Now that your Philadelphia Eagles are set to take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, the most important question for Philly fans not traveling to Minnesota becomes, "where do I watch the Super Bowl?"
This sounds like a simple question, but in reality is a very complex dilemma. Let me attempt to break it down for you.
The general rule I like to subscribe to: stick with what got you there.
Meaning, if you have a regular Eagles game watching routine, it's probably smart to stick with that routine. But Super Bowl viewing brings a unique set of challenges.
In other years in which the Eagles fail to reach the big game, most people go to a Super Bowl party. These parties tend to be a great time, with food, drinks, commercials, Beyonce, and block pools more of the focus than the actual football on the field. But that's when the outcome of the game isn't so vital to the well being of the entire city of Philadelphia.
This year is different. This year, with the Eagles playing, the football is paramount.
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I tend to prefer to watch big, important sporting events in a controlled environment. I know if I'm on my couch at home, I have a great view of the television with the volume as loud as I'd like. The fridge is stocked and the bathroom line non-existent. The problem there is my Center City apartment is too small for a legit party.
Aside from a perfect television viewing experience, the next most important thing to consider is to surround yourself with Eagles fans as passionate as you are.
Now, in a perfect world, you are invited to or hosting a Super Bowl party where both the viewing experience and Eagles fanaticism will be next level. But that's not always so easy.
Then there are the gigantic stakes involved in the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, something nobody has ever witnessed before.
Our Eagles fandom is such a part of who we are in Philly that we'll want to share this moment with the people we grew up watching and going to Eagles games with: our dads, brothers, mothers, sisters, cousins, best friend from around the corner, etc. Whoever that person may be for you, you want to share an Eagles Super Bowl win with them.
For me, it's my dad. If the Eagles win the Super Bowl, there's nobody's reaction I'd like to see more than my dad's. That's a potential memory I'd never forget.
All Birds fans need to consider who those people are when picking where to watch the game.
The final obstacle to my game-viewing dilemma is geographic location. My parents live in Delaware County and have a gigantic television and a big room perfect for a crazy Eagles party. But my apartment is mere blocks from Broad Street where we partied hard after the NFC Championship victory this past Sunday. That was a wild, wild scene. The FOMO of not being near Broad Street if the Eagles win the Super Bowl is a serious consideration.
What about a bar? It's a gamble that can pay off. You need to be certain the bar will handle the audio, video, and crowd control in a manner you'd be OK with. It's often a situation you can't control. Is the Super Bowl featuring the Eagles a time you want to risk this? The potential pros of this are clear: more Eagles fans equals more jubilation for a win. But more people also means more wild cards with poor viewing angles, more crowded bathrooms, bad loud music instead of play-by-play, and a higher likelihood of the unknown messing your experience up.
All of this is to say: I'm still not sure where I'm watching the Super Bowl next week and it's stressing me out a little.
On the plus side, all of this stress won't mean a damn thing when every single one of us just plans to meet at the parade down Broad Street together after the Eagles win.