There are some weeks when Philadelphia feels short of the dream. You wish you were in some bigger, flashier city like New York City or Los Angeles. Or you’re jealous of your friends at Pennsylvania State University with school spirit to spare. When you walk through Center City, you know all the buildings. You know every pigeon by name. People shuffle to work and shuffle back, dejected, distracted or just plain bored.
This week was not one of those weeks.
Sunday night ripped everyone in the city from their sofas as the Eagles beat the unbeatable 41-33. Fans mobbed to city hall en masse, shooting off fireworks and laughing in the face of god as they scaled poles greased with hydraulic fluid. From then until the parade the following Thursday, it seemed like nothing in the world could wipe the smile off Philadelphia’s face.
Let’s take a minute to consider how lucky we are. We live in the heart of a city that so many people wanted to celebrate with that the train tickets sold out. We’re dead center in the underdog landscape at the exact moment our home went from zero to hero. When finals sneak up to knife us in the back come March, let’s keep in mind how incredible that was.
And while we’re talking underdogs, let’s take a look in the mirror.
Students, faculty and families here understand how much of ourselves we put into our work. They know the hours we keep to stay ahead of a 10-week system, the whiplash we feel between co-ops and classes with no breaks to speak of, and the determination we have to become something better than ourselves. However, a lot of people outside of Drexel’s world don’t know this.
If you have a chip on your shoulder, we get it. We don’t have an Ivy League logo or an international reputation. There’s a lot we don’t have. But there’s a lot that we do have — and piece by piece, the world is starting to see that.
It won’t come all at once. The Eagles played themselves dead for 51 years before they got that ring. But now that they have it, the world’s eyes are on that same team nobody looked twice at. They’re not looking at the Patriots or all the other ones who collected rings like bottle caps. They’re looking at us.
We know it’s not the same thing. College isn’t a football game, and we’re not celebrity athletes. But we are players, navigating a game that gets harder every day in a school that’s rising to meet us. So let’s cheer for the Birds as the glory washes over Philadelphia. And in the meantime, let’s continue to fight for ourselves — it’ll wash over us too.