My Mostly Uneventful Intersession in Philly Relayed as a Countdown to the Super Bowl
Pre-Super Bowl Thoughts: Friday, January 26
Just finished my psych final, and I can’t say I missed Philadelphia because it hasn’t been long enough, thanks to Princeton’s unique calendar. But it does feel strangely more like home since the last time I was here. Home to a more intense degree. Maybe it’s the way all my favorite landmarks seem to be welcoming me, adorned in green lights: Boathouse row, the FMC building, the Liberty towers, the Cira building switching from a giant eagle floating across its windows to the words “FLY EAGLES FLY.” Okay, maybe I missed home a little bit.
Pre-Super Bowl Thoughts: Sunday, January 28
Dad tried to explain the entirety of football to me while we ate dinner. He did a pretty good job, but I will probably forget everything in a week.
Pre-Super Bowl Thoughts: Monday, January 29
Had to bring my computer into the Apple store today. The Apple store is a fascinating subculture. Maybe I’m reading too many anthropology course descriptions on Tigerhub. It has rows and rows of crowded tables and its own help “bar” complete with bar stools and Geniuses as bartenders. The guy next to me tried to initiate conversation while we waited at the bar by saying “tangled earphones, am I right?” as he tried to untangle his. I nodded. Spotted an older man across the room sporting an Eagles cap and matching Eagles sweatshirt. That made me smile a little.
Pre-Super Bowl Thoughts: Wednesday, February 1
Waiting to meet my sister for crepes in a Penn common area, and there is a giant blown up Eagles player next to the fireplace. Penn is kind of alright sometimes. At least they started their spring semester already.
Went to Zumba for the first time with a best friend from high school. At one point tried to convince her to get into football even though I’m not into football. Failed.
Pre-Super Bowl Thoughts: Friday, February 2
“Fly Eagles fly” is painted everywhere downtown. Snapchat filters abound. Saw a hawk on my neighbor’s balcony today, which is only one story up, in the heart of the city. Maybe it’s a sign?
Pre-Super Bowl Thoughts: Sunday, February 4 (Super Bowl Sunday and Last Day of Freedom)
Just woke up in my own bed for the last time for a long time. But today will be a day of many firsts. The first time that I may be old enough to actually witness my dad remaining “neutral” during a Patriots game. The first time I will possibly watch an entire football game myself and also try to understand what’s going on. The first time my other non-football-watching friends from high school seem excited about the sport, even those who make sure to remind me that it’s violence-promoting as well as jingoist and misogynist. Everyone forgetting their differences, their qualms with everything.
I have every version of social media open on my computer while I simultaneously try to figure out my class schedule with Google Maps so that I can hit the ground running from foreign building to foreign building Monday morning. Wondering why there are three different brands of guacamole in the refrigerator. Reading about “passing yards” and “running game” even though I don’t really know what anything means.
People are shouting and cheering outside already. Eagles fans are a
scary passionate bunch. Everything is overcast and gray-looking but that has no bearing on the mood of this place.
The players just ran out onto the field. The announcer said “it’s an Eagles crowd tonight.” So far still interested.
My dad is already pacing. Kickoff is 7 minutes away. Still interested.
My dad is no longer neutral.
Justin Timberlake was pretty good, but Philly friends agree he should’ve brought Janet Jackson back. Also, wondering how long it took his team to decide on that outfit.
All these injuries make it so hard to just watch football without having to ask myself moral questions. Why can’t I support my morally gray team in a morally gray sport in peace?
Was distracted and missed that turnover but yay!
Post-Super Bowl Thoughts: Monday, February 5
We did it.
Went downtown with a friend. Witnessed: people group hugging on top of potted plants, people on poles, people on traffic lights. Fireworks thrown inches away from where we stood. The ubiquitous aroma of weed and alcohol. People throwing bottles. Young children standing with their parents. People hanging out of cars. Honking, endless honking. Many happy, crazy people.
Running on four hours of sleep and ready to head back to Princeton. I love my city but all I want to do now is leave so I can make it back to campus in time for my first class of spring semester. It’s been real, Intersession.