You might remember this: On Feb. 4, with 38 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Nick Foles caught a touchdown pass, gave his team a halftime lead over the Patriots, and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win.
And on Oct. 30, almost exactly nine months after Super Bowl MVP Foles’ historic catch, newborn Layla Grace Foles Castelli made her way into the world.
The name, her father admits, was his idea.
Mario Castelli is a Bedford, N.J. resident and a long-time Eagles fan.
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“My wife Anna was a bit skeptical,” he adds, “but I told her that if it wasn’t for the way Nick Foles played during the Super Bowl, we wouldn’t be having this baby.”
As it turns out, Layla isn’t the only Super Bowl baby in town. Some say there’s been a spike in births in the Philly region this fall, just around nine months after the Birds made their flight to victory.
If so, it wouldn't be the first time that sports victories have prompted baby booms. A 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal investigated the correlation between Spanish soccer team wins and local hospital birth statistics, and concluded that the "heightened euphoria" of perceived victory was often correlated with heightened levels of ... human conception.
So, we wondered, what did Philly local hospitals have to say?
At Holy Redeemer Hospital in Bucks County, there’s been a noticeable increase in birth numbers. Between Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 last year, Holy Redeemer saw 54 births.
In the same date range this year, they’ve seen 72, said Maryanna Rodabaugh, the hospital’s corporate communications manager.
When asked if she’d correlate the spike to the Eagles’ win nine months ago, Rodabaugh said it was very possible.
“I mean, most people in the region were in a celebratory mood around the Super Bowl," Rodabaugh said. "Who knows?"
Other hospitals are more skeptical. At Abington Hospital, their senior director of media relations says, birth numbers are perfectly average. “We had 180 deliveries a year ago for these two weeks and we’re at 171 right now, so no spike here.”
Are these birth numbers the long-range effects of the Philly Special? Or is this just coincidence? The jury’s still out.
Meanwhile, little Castelli is heading home to her family of diehard Eagles fans. As if her name isn’t enough to prove it, her dad says she’s got a wardrobe full of Birds gear waiting for her at home.
After all, there’s no time to waste.
We’ve got a whole new generation of Philly sports fans on the rise.