Kristine L Ming

Eagles fans in Jerusalem flying high after Super Bowl win

As is the tradition, American sports fans congregated at the unofficial US Embassy in Jerusalem, Mike’s Place, in the heart of the capital, which hosted several hundred diehard sports fans for Super Bowl LII.

The upstairs and downstairs of the bar screened the event on just enough television screens to give everyone in the packed bar a chance to fully engage in the game that began at 1:30 a.m..

Both Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots fans donned the jerseys of their teams with a cold beer and a pile of chicken wings close at hand.

As the game and morning progressed, friendships were forming and the rival fans sat side by side in a show of true camaraderie with the common bond of a love of football and sharing this unique experience in Israel.

Most of the spectators were loyal to one of the teams, but a sizable amount felt the desire to be part of the experience of spending the early morning in the basement of a bar watching the Super Bowl surrounded by a ragtag group of insomniacs.

Olim as well as tourists could be found glued to the screen as well as the token Israelis and yeshiva students.

When halftime rolled around at around 3:30 in the morning, nearly everyone cleared out of the bar to congregate outside to enjoy friendly banter with the new friends they made inside.

Derrick from Levittown, Pennsylvania, wearing an Eagles jersey, is visiting Israel with his mother for the week and feels very strongly towards his team: “They’re a bunch of great guys, they are pure players and Philly deserves this,” he told The Jerusalem Post during halftime.

While the Patriots fans maintained a level of confidence, Ofir from Boston told the Post at the start of the second half: “The Pats are going to crush the Eagles tonight.”

Ofir, sitting with two other Patriots fans, Yitzhak and Rachel, at a corner table told the Post they did not know each other before tonight but their love of the Patriots and Israel was enough for them to share an intense early morning watching sports together.

The second half of the game had a sizable amount of more vocal and passionate fans and as the game progressed. The Eagles fans became more and more rowdy the more it became apparent that they would be the next Super Bowl champions.

Banging on tables and chants of “Holy s***! Holy s***! Holy s***” bellowed through the nearly packed downstairs section of Mike’s Place.

And as the game ended a little after 5:30, Eagles fans cheered wildly for their team’s 41-33 win, hugged their new friends and called relatives back home.

Patriots fans quietly climbed the stairs and returned home.

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