Penn State Eagles Fans Return Home From Minneapolis After Super Bowl LII
The Philadelphia Eagles shocked the world last Sunday when they took down the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII.
Eagles fans throughout Happy Valley saw their wildest dreams come true on the TV screens of their apartments and dorms, gathering at Beaver Canyon and in front of Old Main to celebrate the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl victory after Tom Brady’s last-second Hail Mary pass fell harmlessly to the turf.
A select few Eagles fans on Penn State’s campus were unable to attend the rally following the game in favor of a much different celebration. Some lucky Philadelphia diehards flocked (pun very much intended) to Minnesota to experience the game live from US Bank Stadium.
Penn State junior Jake Klein and sophomore Matt Raynor didn’t hold back their excitement ahead of the big game, taking the trip to Minnesota with their fathers to see the Eagles’ first Super Bowl appearance since 2005. Philadelphia squared off with New England in Super Bowl XXXIX as well, but the Birds exacted their revenge this season.
There aren’t many feelings in the world quite like watching your team win a Super Bowl, but Klein and Raynor both got to experience that first-hand in Minneapolis alongside a crowd mostly consisting of Eagles fans.
“The game was as entertaining as any game I’ve ever seen in person,” Raynor said. “The stadium was amazing, and the crowd was at the very least 75 percent Eagles fans.”
Klein, Raynor, and the rest of Philadelphia’s championship-starved fanbase let all of their emotions out after once the clock hit triple-zeros in the final quarter, as shown in this video Klein took immediately following the conclusion of the game.
“The best feeling was maybe 5 minutes after the game ended when everything sunk in,” Klein said. “I couldn’t stop smiling. That was a feeling of pure joy. I celebrated with my dad and the Eagles fans around us [after the Hail Mary incompletion]. It was bedlam; we were all hugging and screaming hysterically. The entire stadium was breaking out into Eagles chants. It was incredible.”
Raynor recalls the feeling of pure joy following the “Philly Special” — Nick Foles’ one-yard touchdown catch that came in a crucial fourth-and-goal situation, even if it meant he was soaked in beer by fellow jubilant Eagles fans.
“The most memorable part of the game for me was the Philly Special,” he said. “My dad was freaking out calling for a field goal, and I said I liked the call to go for it — because I thought they would give the ball to LeGarrette Blount. When that play happened, we were in disbelief and everybody was going insane. This lady accidentally beer-showered me because she was jumping so much. She kept apologizing to me like crazy, but I told her, ‘You can dump all the beer you want on me as long as they’re winning.'”
Both Klein and Raynor took in the sights and sounds of the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis ahead of kickoff, visiting the world-famous Mall of America prior to the game. While Raynor stuck around Minnesota until he had to return to classes at Penn State on Wednesday, Klein and his father took a red-eye flight back home at 1 a.m. Monday.
Both stayed at the stadium for at least an hour after the end of the game to celebrate with fellow Eagles fans and watch their team lift the Lombardi Trophy. Neither could attend the parade in Philadelphia on Thursday due to their classes, but regardless, the experience was one neither will forget anytime soon.
“The Super Bowl was maybe the greatest experience of my life,” Klein said. “The stadium, the atmosphere, and the game were all incredible.”
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Pat Freiermuth provided all of the offense that the Nittany Lions needed to take down Rutgers in Piscataway.
Parsons made seven tackles and recorded a strip sack in the Nittany Lions’ victory over Rutgers on Saturday.
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