More than two dozen staff reporters, photographers, and other staff members covered Thursday’s Super Bowl victory parade through the heart of Philadelphia. Here are some of their favorite moments:
Samantha Ingram, of Hatboro, was not allowed to take off work for the parade, so she went to an Emergency Care center and said she thought she had the stomach flu. She had researched the subject and knew that you can’t really tell for sure who actually has stomach flu, so she thought that was a surefire way to get a doctor’s note. But when she described nausea as one of her symptoms, the nurse recommended she get a shot.
“I had to do it!” Ingram said, warming up to her story. What she didn’t realize was the shot would be administered in a body part much lower than she expected. “So, yeah,” she yelled to the amusement of people around her, “I took a shot in the butt to be here!”
— Claudia Vargas
After the crowds cleared, with people fleeing to bars or gathering to plot their return trip home, many of those who remained — their faces still pressed against the metal barriers — were little kids. One young girl looked up at her mom and asked, Could we “do it again”? Nearby, a boy who could not have been older than 5 or 6, grabbed a handful of the green and white confetti on the ground, held it up and shouted, “Mom, I’ve got a memory!”
— Caitlin McCabe
Kelce’s epic word bomb
Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce’s epic F-bomb call to action brought the folks sloshing around in ankle-deep mud near Eakins Oval to a frenzied final moment of Philly unity. Where else but Philly could a speech like that bring so much joy? With fans hanging out of trees, filling the hills on the Martin Luther King Drive side of the museum, dangling their feet from perches on the Spring Garden Street Bridge, Kelce’s speech put them over the top. Some answered back with loving middle fingers held high and sang along with, “We’re from Philly, f—in’ Philly. No one likes us! We don’t care!” After Jody Williams of North Philadelphia hugged Justin Sauers of Toms River and the two strangers belted out “We Are the Champions!” Williams, laughing at the absurdity of the moment, summed it up this way: “Oh man, it’s how we felt. Everybody that didn’t like him, everybody that doubted the Eagles, doubted Philly. Look at the unity. Like he said, F— ’em.”
— Amy S. Rosenberg
“I’ll get that for you, buddy,” Paul Conover, 35, told a stranger, accepting a large Dunkin’ Donuts cup brim-full of urine, then carefully pouring it onto the muddy ground at Eakins Oval. The man thanked him, and gave him a beer and a mini bottle of Fireball whiskey.
— Samantha Melamed
From the fifth floor of City Hall, high above the throngs below, Calvin Clement, 71, watched a scene unfold that for decades he could only dream of: the city rejoicing in an Eagles Super Bowl victory.
“It’s a storybook ending,” Clement, of Mount Airy, said, tearing up. That story, as I was quickly told, featured his grandson, Eagles running back and hometown hero Corey Clement, who came up with several big plays Sunday. “It’s just a blessing Corey was able to achieve what he did.”
Nearby, Corey’s dad, Stephen Clement, of Glassboro, was shaking his head, as if he still couldn’t believe what had happened. “It’s a movie in the making,” he said.
“I’m ecstatic. Definitely glad my boy pulled it out, the whole team pulled it out.” Then he, too, turned weepy. Surrounded by half a dozen other family members, he said: “The Eagles are Super Bowl champions.”
— Julia Terruso
It was a simple and strange moment, one that captured the energy of a city wanting to erupt as it waited for the Birds to make their way along Broad Street. Most people at the parade were decked out in Eagles gear, but here was Ace Calloway, 53, of Pennsauken, who opted instead for a referee uniform. Why? “It’s totally different,” he explained.
Then he said, rather bizarrely, “I’m the sexiest ref they ever had.” He blew his ref’s whistle twice and the nearby crowd, inspired by his command, chanted, “Philly! Philly!”
— Andrew Seidman
A new convert
At the front of the Wendy’s restaurant at Broad Street and Snyder Avenue in South Philly, Emily Bengen, 26, of Williamsport, Lycoming County, had found the perfect high-up spot to watch the parade: standing on a 3-foot-tall planter. Perfect, that is, until a Wendy’s security guard told her she had to get down for her safety. So she stepped over to the thin concrete ledge jutting from the wall of the building, where she still had a better vantage spot than most. Her husband, Josh Bengen, 26, formerly of Conshohocken, stood in front of her so she wouldn’t fall. Meanwhile, the security guard dragged away the planter.
“I’m trying to see past the huge crowd,” Bengen said, happily. Asked how huge of a fan she is, she described herself as “a new convert.” She had only recently started following the Eagles, she said, “because they love Jesus.” She added that she was serious. A Christian, she had heard that “they’re baptizing in hotel rooms.”
She was referring to the baptism of Eagles wide receiver Marcus Johnson in a North Carolina hotel pool this past fall as six other players, including quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, took part.
— Julie Shaw