Wild Night Is Calling: Some Thoughts on the Super Bowl Aftermath in Philadelphia

Today, I hope that young man’s parents, after viewing that video, are right now taking a serious self-inventory of themselves and asking, “Where did we go wrong?”

“Philadelphia merely seems dull because it’s next to exciting Camden, New Jersey.”

~Robert Anton Wilson

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(photo credit: Getty Images)

Right now, in Philadelphia and the city’s surrounding communities, to say nothing of those who have moved far away from the area, yet remain loyal fans of the city’s sport franchises, thousands of people are basking in the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory over The New England Patriots. This post, however, is about the aftermath of the Super Bowl win.

If you are inclined to follow the news, you may have seen some footage from places like The Ritz Carlton Hotel on Broad Street. Some revelers thought it would be a good idea to climb onto the canopy over the main entrance. As evident in the video, not a one was a qualified structural engineer or canopy manufacturer. It didn’t end well.  I worked at the Ritz Carlton once upon a time. I know the canopy (or perhaps I should refer to it in the past tense?).

For a more comprehensive glimpse of what went on, take a look at this video. At a minute twenty-five seconds into the clip (1:25/3:01), one gentleman makes a life-changing decision. I hope some of the other people actually caught him. If not, I can’t imagine that guy got up and walked away; however, it’s been said that the angels always look out for drunks.

Despite such potentially deadly stunts, the Philadelphia Police Department, at least as of today, reported no deaths related to the goings-on last night. Injuries and vandalism, of course, were another matter.

News of the Super Bowl celebration’s downward spiral in Philadelphia spread quickly.  The New York Post today offered this article: Fires, mayhem, insane trust falls in Philly After Super Bowl Win. Not to be undone, Newsweek pulled no punches in this article.

Philadelphia is not alone in cities that go ape-shit crazy after a championship game. I could post a long list of links here, but I am fairly certain that internet-savvy readers have already seen hours of that sort of footage over the years. Still, in all of the championship celebrations that have gotten out of control, I don’t remember ever seeing a guy eat horse shit on a dare. I won’t post the video here (even I have my limits), but the footage was picked up by several news outlets from The Daily Mail to The Oregonian. If you’re of a mind, you can google that one yourself.

They say every generation does a little better than the last. Evidently, the horse shit connoisseur didn’t get that memo. Today, I hope that young man’s parents, after viewing that video, are right now taking a serious self-inventory of themselves and asking, “Where did we go wrong?” Also, does anyone know if eating horse poop will, perhaps by way of numerous debilitating infections, make a person sterile enough to kill any chance of reproduction? I sure hope so.

 

Montag, Winston, and Yossarian Walk into a Bar…

Just when I think there’s no hope left in the world (or in this country, at least) a student of mine begged another to read Catch-22.

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Okay, “begged” is a strong word. Still, I was a taken aback. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Catch-22 (among other Heller books). But it’s been my experience as of late that college students just don’t seem as passionate about novels. So when the student who strongly suggested to his classmate that he read Catch-22 began summarizing Yossarian’s woes I remained silent, allowing him to pitch Heller’s book to his peer. It was glorious!

“What about Fahrenheit 451?” Another student inquired. “Should I read that?”

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“Yes!” A collective cry went up from the opposite side of the room.

Call it a sign of the times. Call it pure coincidence. I had to throw my own recommendation into the discussion.

“While you’re at it,” I said, “read Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

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We talked about Winston. We talked about Julia. We talked about my namesake O’Brien who broke Winston and, in the end, caused him to love Big Brother.

In one classroom in this country a dozen or more students talked about these three books in terms of deserving another read. Imagine if college students and other young people all decided to reacquaint themselves with these tales. I like the prospect of that.