My NFC championship experience

Philadelphia Eagles Torrey Smith catches a touchdown pass in front of Minnesota Vikings Trae Waynes (26) and Harrison Smith (22) during the second half of the NFL football NFC championship game Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

AP

Philadelphia Eagles’ Torrey Smith catches a touchdown pass in front of Minnesota Vikings’ Trae Waynes (26) and Harrison Smith (22) during the second half of the NFL football NFC championship game Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Mark Walters, Student writer

The Eagles are headed to the Superbowl for the first time since the 2004 season, and I was lucky enough to be at the NFC championship to experience it.

It was a very memorable moment to experience and definitely a moment that I would never forget.

The crowd was into it since 8 AM when FDR park in Philadelphia opened up for tailgates. The larger tailgates started when all the other gates opened after 12. I left to head down to Philadelphia at 12 PM. Luckily, I hit no traffic and it was surprisingly an easy, straight shot.

Once I got into Philadelphia, the hardest and most stressful part of the day began. Parking was hard, just I like expected it to be, but not this hard. After about a half hour of driving in circles and cutting people off to get into lanes, I finally parked in Citizens Bank parking lot. Now the fun began, walking through tailgates, eating food, singing the Eagle fight song with thousands of other Eagle fans, and along with many other festivities before the game.

Around 4 o’clock I started my walk from Citizens Bank parking lot to the Linc to get in line to run up the steps to get into the game. Around 4:30, the gates opened up and thousands of Eagle fans flooded the stadium from all angles and rushed to their seats to see the pre-game. Pre-game was electric. Fans were standing down at the gates by the field from 4:35 all the way up until kick off at 6:40. As kickoff approached, the crowd got more and more in to it. The players came out, the crowd went nuts, and the game didn’t even start yet.

Finally, at kickoff, all the fans stood up from their seats and that might’ve been the last time some fans sat all game. From 1st down on defense to 4th, the crowd was the loudest I’ve ever heard. The game started off poorly though as the eagles gave up an opening touchdown drive. Many fans, including me, thought what happened in the past years by getting so close but losing was going to happen once again.

The next thing I knew, the Eagles got a pick 6, and the game was tied at 7-7. I never jumped around and high-fived more Eagle fans in my life during such a short moment like that. The Eagles never looked back, putting up 31 unanswered points to win the game. The crowd never got quiet and no one left until the final minutes. Some fans even stayed after for the trophy presentation. Leaving the Linc was such a special moment. There were so many Eagle fans so happy, jumping around, screaming, and doing whatever they wanted to do.

Finally, I got to my car and headed home. The game and the whole day was well worth the money and it was definitely an experience that I would never forget.