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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Super Bowl bound


St. Joe’s students get the opportunity of a lifetime

Three St. Joe’s students are getting the opportunity of a lifetime – they’re headed to Minneapolis, Mn. to watch the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII (52) on Feb. 4. 

As lifelong Eagles fans, watching the “big game” in person will surely be a significant moment. The last time the Eagles made a Super Bowl appearance was over a decade ago in 2004 when they were defeated by the New England Patriots. This year’s game is a rematch of their last shot at the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Kevin Ryan ’18 was born in raised in South Jersey, just 20 minutes from Lincoln Financial Field. Ryan has been an Eagles fan for his entire life.

“Both sides of my family are huge Eagles fans, and I spent many fall Sundays going to games with my dad or watching them at home with my parents and little sister,”  Ryan said.

After seeing his dad attend a few Super Bowls of his own, he wanted the opportunity to see this one. His dad surprised him with tickets after telling him they couldn’t go.

“Once the Eagles were about to win the NFC Championship game, I started joking with my dad,” Ryan said. “I said, ‘when are we getting tickets?’ and he said ‘I don’t know, they’re really expensive.’

Ryan will fly out to Minneapolis with his dad and some family friends to experience the big game. Regardless of the result, this game means the world to him.

“Having this opportunity to go out to Minnesota and see this Super Bowl with [my dad], will allow us to make memories of a lifetime,” Ryan said. “Ones that we will talk about forever, win or lose.”

Kevin Ryan ’18 (far left) with friends at an Eagles game (Photo courtesy of Kevin Ryan ’18).

Nat  Gallen ’20 has had a connection to the Eagles since birth; he was born during a Monday night football game against the Dallas Cowboys. He recalls some of the ups and downs of the Eagles throughout his life.

“I remember being devastated while watching the Eagles lose Super Bowl XXXIX (39),” said Gallen, who’s been a season ticket holder since the 2007 season. “We have seen some good seasons and some very bad seasons. Watching a season like this one has been incredible.”

Gallen found out Monday night, a day after the Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl, that he would be attending the game. He was emotional as is expected of a diehard fan like himself who has yet to go to a Super Bowl.

“I was sitting in DB with a couple of my friends and my dad was messing with my family hinting at it but not outright saying that we were going, so I was really nervous and wasn’t sure,” Gallen said. “He finally said we were going, and I’m pretty sure I fell out of my chair. I didn’t talk for like two minutes, because I was so in shock.”

As an avid Eagles fan, Gallen doesn’t like to make predictions about the game. He does think the city of Philadelphia will respond to the end result.

“I hope there aren’t riots or anything like that,” Gallen said. “If we got lucky enough to come out with the win, the first super bowl in Eagles history, I think there would be one of the biggest parties the U.S. has ever seen.”

According to Gallen, the Philadelphia football fanbase should be revered rather than hated for their passion, as they come out to and sell out games in winning and losing seasons.

Alec Arena ’19 said he wants to see the Eagles win, not only for himself but for all Eagles fans. 

“I wholeheartedly want the Eagles to win the Super Bowl in my life more than literally anything else in the world,” Arena said. “For my family, friends, the city itself, it’s just the most mythologized concept and I think about it every single day.”

Alec Arena ’19 (right) in an “underdog” mask (Photo courtesy of Alex Arena ’19).

So far, through its existence the Super Bowl has eluded the Eagles. They’ve only made three appearances and have never won the championship. Arena emphasized what a Super Bowl win would mean for the city.

“Philadelphia is my home and in a city that is constantly considered losers, this is our chance to prove to the world that we’re winners, champions and specifically, Super Bowl champions,” Arena said.

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