By: Chloe Chappell, Alyssa Glenn, and William Glomski
After a nail-biting final attempt by Tom Brady to tie up the game, Eagles fans burst into cheers all around the University of Pittsburgh’s campus as Rob Gronkowski (#87, tight end for the Patriots) allows the ball to slip through his fingertips, securing the first Super Bowl win for the Philadelphia Eagles with a score of 41-33.
Like a flock of birds, fans from all over campus and Oakland gather to celebrate the fall of the Patriots and rise of the Eagles. Joining the already grouped students on Litchfield Towers Patio, many took over Fifth Avenue, halting traffic. Screams of “Fly, Eagles Fly,” and “F*** Tom Brady” echoed in the night, overwhelming the cries of the minority Patriots’ fans.
Police cars shadowed behind the masses, in an attempt to keep the traffic at bay. The screaming horde ran down South Bouquet Street, and continued onto Forbes Avenue, taking over one lane of traffic, and the Forbes side of Towers. As the Eagles fans continued to cheer and jaunt at Patriots fans, the mass continued to grow and bystanders watched from the skybridge and Tower’s Patio. As more fans flew in from surrounding buildings, the crowd eventually grew over the entire street and shut down Forbes Avenue, while the local police struggled to redirect traffic elsewhere.
Flags waved and hands raised with some individuals taking off their shirts. A small group climbed into the back of a pickup-truck, jumping and shaking the truck. One man climbed up a pole, managing to lift himself a few feet off the ground as the crowd roared in approval.
As more police arrived to control traffic, a group of armored riot police gathered nearby, armed with batons and a tear gas launcher.
Two male attendees, climbed onto the ledge of the skybridge overlooking Forbes Avenue. Riot police and other attendees gazed on as they hushed the crowd and began to chant “Fly, Eagles Fly” and “F*** the Patriots.” They stood on the ledge leading the crowds before eventually creeping back to the safety of Towers Patio. Several onlookers expressed relief that the students were no longer on the edge.
After some time, students began running, waving their hands up and down, mimicking a flying eagle, from Forbes Avenue under the skybridge, to the front of the Cathedral of Learning. Several students climbed up the steps to the balcony overlooking the growing crowd of people, before being ushered off the steps by police. The riot police stood by, in a tightly packed group, prepared to overtake the rowdy crowd if the situation became out of hand.
Pitt Police said they would let students celebrate and wouldn’t intervene as long as there was no destruction, according to The Pitt News. Eventually, the crowd dispersed and parties went back home.