Philadelphia Eagles: Family throws surprise birthday party at tailgate for Vietnam veteran
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Eagles fans woke up in high spirits on Sunday morning to go behind the scenes before the game, some fans celebrating much more than the best team in football.
“The first time I cried was during the ’80 Super Bowl when the Raiders beat us,” said Dan McAlee, who has been an Eagles fan since he was six years old.
This game became one of his all-time favorites before the team took the field. The Vietnam veteran’s entire family surprised him for his 70th birthday.
“I went to help the bus driver get his truck off the highway and they were all on board. I got in there and they were all there,” he said.
In a sea of thousands of Eagles fans, Dan wasn’t alone in celebrating his big day with a tailgate.
“I turned 30 today, so it’s a good day. All my friends and family are having a great time here,” said Rob D’Adrea of Northeast Philadelphia. He boarded a bus to the stadiums with 75 of his closest friends and family, with lots of games and good food.
“We’ve got smoked jerk chicken, we’ve got smoked pull pork here, baked mac and cheese,” he said while showing off their spread, which is, of course, the centerpiece of any good Eagles tailgate.
“We have the breakfast sandwiches, bacon, egg and cheese, pork roast, egg and cheese. We have the tater tots and the mimosas. The main thing is the mimosas,” said Courtney Bartkowski of Ewing, New Jersey.
She and her friends started the day off right. Eagles fans from far and wide wanted to show Tennessee why Philadelphia is the best football city.
“This is a city like no other. Everyone has a great time when they come to Philly,” says Shelley Holt of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
It helps Eagles fans cheer on the number one team in football. It’s the gift that keeps on giving to lifelong fans like Dan.
“I think this is the best team I’ve seen in a long, long time,” he said.
Then his birthday is in January. Now that he’s had his party, he’s hoping for another present; an Eagles trip to the Super Bowl.