Tatiana Kent: firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last few months, Philadelphia’s pro sports teams have come unbearably close to titles – only to face defeat. The Phillies lost the 2022 World Series to the Astros; the Philadelphia Union lost the Major League Soccer Cup to Los Angeles FC in a penalty shootout following a draw. Super Bowl 57 was no different. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles by just three points, 38-35, after a nail-biting game.
The night began with Kansas City winning the coin toss and deferring. Eagles running back Miles Sanders got the first touch and ran for one yard; his teammate Devonta Smith made a catch for six yards and converted a third down with a twelve yard catch. Quarterback Jalen Hurts (who would finish the game with 66 rushing yards; the most by any quarterback in Super Bowl history) scored the game’s first touchdown. But the lead was short lived – Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (the game’s MVP) picked up eight yards on a scramble and completed two long passes to tight end Travis Kelce, tying the game. Wide receiver Zach Pascal was then called for an offensive pass interference, giving the Eagles a first-and-20 start. Hurts completed a pass to Smith for five yards, then threw incomplete. When the Chiefs got the ball back, kicker Harrison Butker unsuc- cessfully attempted a field goal, hitting the left upright with a resounding doink! At the end of the first quarter, Hurts successfully crossed midfield.
In the second quarter, Hurts launched a 45 yard touchdown to wide receiver A.J. Brown, putting the Eagles ahead by seven points again. Kansas City was unable to respond when Mahomes’ pass to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was incomplete on third down. But then disaster struck for the Eagles’ offense: on 3rd and 6 from the Eagle’s 49, Hurts dropped back and began to run when he dropped the ball, which ricocheted off his leg. Chiefs Linebacker Nick Bolton seized it and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown. On the next possession, Hurts ran the ball in from the 1 to give his team a 21-14 lead. The Eagles almost got another touchdown when Smith made a diving catch on the sidelines for 30 yards down, but the referees decided that Smith’s leg was not inbounds. Eagles place-kicker Jake Elliott converted from 34 yards for a 10 point lead to end the half.
Following the halftime show, Mahomes returned to the field, scoring a touchdown and running twice for 11 yards. Running back Issac Pacheco capped the drive off with a one yard TD run. When the Eagles got the ball, a Chiefs linebacker almost scored another touchdown for KC’s defense, only for the play to be reversed to an incompletion. Sanders appeared to fumble after catching Hurt’s short pass, but the play was ruled incomplete. Hurts then completed a sideline pass to tight end Dallas Goedert, who outleaped a defender before getting knocked out of bounds. The Chiefs challenged his catch, but were overruled. But they would soon get a one point lead when Mahomes threw a touchdown, and then another, giving Kansas City an eight point lead with only 9:22 in the entire game left to go. Incredibly, the Eagles tied when Hurts scored his third rushing touchdown – another record. But it wouldn’t be enough. Butker made a 27 yard field goal in the last eight seconds, winning the game.
As a reporter, I feel it’s my duty to disclose any bias, so here goes: my boyfriend is a die-hard Eagles fan. We watched the game together at his Temple University dorm, then ventured out into the streets
of Philadelphia. The city of brotherly love has gained a reputation for having some of the country’s most boisterous sports fans – particularly after Superbowl LII in 2017, when rioters smashed windows, climbed traffic lights, and looted stores to celebrate the Eagles’ win. We’d also learned that a car had been overturned on Temple’s campus before the game had even started. But fortunately for the city’s budget, the two of us didn’t witness any criminal activity to that degree – mostly just widespread public intoxication. We squeezed onto a crowded subway, where the mood was bitter. Fans hurled expletives at the referees and Andy Reid, and soon a chant of “F*ck the Chiefs!” had overtaken the entire car. (A couple lone Chiefs fans tried to start their own “F*ck the Eagles” chant, but were unsuccessful.) We got off on Broad Street and walked to City Hall, where we were met by dozens of police officers in riot
gear. Things were tense, but a little more celebratory – we watched a man set off green and red fireworks on the ground in a rare show of sportsmanship. An intoxicated stranger slung his arm around my boyfriend’s shoulder and told him that the Birds would “be back next year.” I took a picture with a couple of girls dressed as Eagles in which all three of us are sporting wide smiles – still proud of the team. Around midnight, one of the police officers ordered us all to disperse through a megaphone, and my boyfriend and I complied, taking the subway back to the safety of his home. But not before we’d gotten to witness what has become a Philadelphia tradition– as hundreds of fans gathered around City Hall, three young men successfully climbed a light pole, despite police officers’ earlier efforts to grease them. The crowd cheered, and a chant of “Let’s go, Eagles!” spread throughout. If you’d been in that crowd without knowing the game’s true outcome, you’d have thought the Eagles won.