Nothing, not even a dramatic rescue, can stop a frustrated Philadelphia sports fan from venting about a tough loss, as Hakim Laws proved in a moment that will live on in Internet infamy.
Laws was in the area as a blaze erupted around 2 a.m. Monday at a building on North 52nd Street near Girard Avenue in Philadelphia. The former firefighter and Army veteran jumped into action and helped rescue trapped occupants by literally catching a baby and a woman who were thrown out of the burning building.
"You can believe in me," Laws told NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark in an exclusive interview Tuesday. "I'm not gonna drop her. So she came down. Boom. My first thought actually in the back of my head was like, 'Yeah, no fumble.' So I caught two. And then ran them in for a touchdown."
The football metaphor showcases what was still on Laws' mind even after the rescue: the Eagles' tough loss to the Detroit Lions Sunday in which Wide Receiver Nelson Agholor dropped a critical pass.
"Messed up my whole day," Laws said. "That was earlier the same day that happened. Maybe 12 hours or so. Less than that. Yeah, I'm gonna think about that all day."
Laws didn't hesitate to speak on it even while being interviewed after the fire early Monday morning.
"My man just started throwing babies out the window and we was catching them, unlike Agholor and his mishaps, I'd like to put that out there," Laws told NBC10.
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
The moment made Laws a social media sensation, sparking an endless stream of gifs and props from diehard sports fans from across the country. Laws had no idea that his jab at Agholor and subsequent, "I mean, really?" facial expression would go viral.
"I walked into one of my friend's house and he just had a big hug," Laws said. "He's just like, 'Yo, you went viral!' I'm like, 'Huh? Alright.' Phones ain't stop ringing. My friends' phones ain't stop ringing. People they know from elementary school was calling them and everybody's looking for me. It's crazy."
Laws wasn't surprised that so many Eagles fans are relating to him after the video.
"I think I probably connected because I was saying what everybody else was thinking," he said. "Or they said amongst themselves, 'That's what it is.'"
The viral clip of Laws eventually caught the attention of Agholor, who responded with a classy tweet, writing that he wanted to thank him and invite him and his family to an Eagles home game.
Just like his initial jab, Laws responded in the most Philly way possible on Tuesday as NBC10's camera rolled.
"He got it the first time," Laws said, before dropping his sunglasses for dramatic effect.
Laws said that the Eagles ultimately reached out to him and they're working on setting up a date for him to go to an Eagles game.
"Being acknowledged for doing something like that, rescuing people from a fire, that's the real reward for me," he said.
Will Laws and Agholor meet face to face? Only time will tell. But we're hoping a camera is there if it happens.