I really didn’t know what to make of school districts cancelling classes for a parade and celebration for Super Bowl LII champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. That’s probably because I’ve never been in this situation before.
And it’s certainly historic, not just for me but for everyone around here. The Birds have won championships before, but not the Super Bowl, as we’ve known it for the past 52 years. According to Wikipedia, they won NFL Championships in 1948, 1949 and 1960.
The School District of Philadelphia will be closed. So will all administrative offices.
Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite explained,
“The excitement of the Eagles first Super Bowl victory is a once in a lifetime event. For this reason we have decided to give our students, teachers and their families the chance to witness history.” #EaglesGreenSDP
So will Archdiocesan high schools and parochial elementary schools in Philadelphia, although the Archdiocese said it was because of
“projected city street closures and heavy demands on public transportation.”
But it didn’t end there.
“In order to permit members of all our school communities to participate in this celebration, Archdiocesan high schools in the suburban counties will also be closed,” the Archdiocese continued.
Also to be closed, according to KYW-TV: the Upper Darby School District, the Mantua Township School District, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.
But not just schools. The city announced,
“All Philadelphia municipal government offices will be closed. … These closures include Philadelphia Park and Recreation’s recreation, environmental, and older adult centers. All Courts and Philadelphia Courts offices will be closed. If you are scheduled for Jury Duty … do not report for service. You will be rescheduled at a later date. All critical Court services are expected to remain operational. Philadelphia City Council has cancelled its stated public meeting for Thursday. Trash and recycling pickups are suspended on Thursday.”
So there will be significant travel delays. Look for detours and especially slowdowns everywhere even close to the parade route: Broad Street (no cars in the median!) from the stadiums up to City Hall, and then the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum (across the street from me) and its Rocky Steps.
Maybe the schools SHOULD be closed. There won’t be any way to get around. Also, if the teachers, students and other employees won’t be there, then it’s not worth having a day of school. I don’t know if the testing pressure is as intense here as it is in Florida. (Days before the test count because learning can take place. It doesn’t matter after students have already taken the test.)
But why have class if nobody will be showing up, and any lessons will have to be repeated? Why spend money paying substitutes under those conditions? I’m comparing it to the Jewish holidays.
And since this is so historic as I explained above, shouldn’t children be part of it and have something to remember? I didn’t get that privilege at least twice, while growing up.
Due to bad decisions, when I was in kindergarten and it (barely) snowed in Miami, nobody took us outside. (You can do research and math if you’d like. You’ll have to work for those details!)
And when my parents and grandparents got to visit one of the most important Jewish/Yiddish writers of the 20th century — Isaac Bashevis Singer — at his condo in Surfside, Fla., between Bal Harbour and Miami Beach, my parents didn’t want me to miss a day of 5th grade. Who the heck knows what happened in school that day? I didn’t know about the visit under after. Singer — who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978 — died in 1991. The opportunity is gone forever.
There will be other closures, possibly because of the crowds, or employees wanting to be part of history. That’s kind of like restaurants without TVs being closed during Sunday’s game.
Don’t plan on visiting the Whole Foods or Aldi by me. Same story down at Society Hill Synagogue, which is far from the parade route but will be following its established plan.
So I’m hoping everybody has a good, safe time, and behaves themselves. But that may not be easy for some.
I do think it stinks that Bud Light will be offering free beer at two dozen bars along the parade route. Drinkers can thank a promise the beer maker made to Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson before the season.
— Bud Light (@budlight) August 2, 2017
The @Eagles of Philadelphia have emerged victorious! Join us with @LaneJohnson65 and your 21+ friends at taverns along the parade route to raise one of the Kingdom’s favorite light lagers. #PhillyPhilly #DillyDilly pic.twitter.com/30ptis8xIC
— Bud Light (@budlight) February 5, 2018
We might not be able to get everyone a beer but we can try. 😉 Fans get a free #PhillyPaleAle on us Thursday 2/8 in the taproom while we celebrate our championship team. #GoBirds #YARDS #BrewUntoOthers pic.twitter.com/2KFTNp9Nan
— Yards Brewing Co. (@yardsbrew) February 7, 2018
Neither will help behavior, and the world knows Philadelphia sports fans “have a reputation for bad behavior and sports-related violence.”
Police report these eight people have been arrested so far for violence after the Eagles beat the New England Patriots, 41-33, Sunday night, and they expect many more to come.
Of these eight, KYW-TV reports one is charged with flipping a car at Broad and Walnut streets in Center City, another for throwing a bottle at a car, and a third who destroyed property.
Video is everywhere these days, so finding the people who vandalized an A.C. Moore store, looted a gas station, smashed windows at the Old Navy at 17th and Chestnut, and did the same at the Macy’s across from City Hall shouldn’t be too hard.
The station also reports several poles taken down, and who can forget the Ritz Carlton awning collapsing under the weight of so many people?
As for me, I don’t plan to be on the parade route. It’s going to be freezing and windy, so it’ll feel even colder. But the wind will help get rid of the water, so the dry weather arguably beats Wednesday’s snow-turned all-day rain.
So there will be very cold weather and free beer along the route, along with crazy fans. Definitely not a good combination.
“Patience will be the order of the day,” KYW-TV reports Police Commissioner Richard Ross said. “It will be a lot of people, a lot more than most have ever seen in any one gathering in this city.”
That could mean another record.
The city says the celebration will have 14 jumbotrons placed along the route.
The parade will end and the celebration will begin at the Art Museum (my neighborhood, of course!).
Hundreds of crews did weeks, if not months, of work in just days including a wet Wednesday. The Eagles are “foot”ing the bill. The tab has reportedly not been calculated yet.
Once it starts, I’ll head out for a few minutes to take in the scenes. Then, I’ll go back in, warm up, and watch everything on TV!
And another reason to watch the festivities on TV while warm, indoors: Will there be enough porta potties to accommodate the amount of people who are expected to attend?
Some people are skeptical, with reason, due to drinking and cold weather. You know how that works!
My friend Hadas talked to a man who said he expects to have to hose down his driveway.
Another reason I’ll be mostly staying indoors! (That was always something I liked about being a news producer.)
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) February 5, 2018
Safety is our number one priority during the #EaglesParade. Be prepared for long periods of standing, walking, and lots of people. Please review this information before visiting tomorrow. https://t.co/52bmM0nSfc pic.twitter.com/zgsjGFOeAo
— City of Philadelphia (@PhiladelphiaGov) February 7, 2018