Thousands of fans took to the streets of Philadelphia as they celebrated the Eagles’ first ever Super Bowl championship – but the joy quickly descended into mayhem.
Passionate supporters lit fires, flipped a car, smashed shop windows and clambered up traffic poles after their team defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in dramatic fashion at U.S. Bank Field in Minneapolis.
At one point a hotel awning at the city’s Ritz-Carlton collapsed under the weight of fans while the windows at the Macy’s near City Hall and a T-Mobile were smashed as celebrations got out of hand.
Fans piled into the streets across the City of Brotherly Love, from Center City to Northeast Philly – marching, jumping and screaming in utter chaos.
The raucous scenes followed the Eagles’ stunning victory over the defending champion New England Patriots in the NFL’s championship showpiece.
The triumph marked the first time a Philadelphia team had won a championship since the Phillies won the World Series in 2008 – when street celebrations devolved into looting and vandalism and more than 70 people were arrested.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Monday morning that just three people were arrested in the Super Bowl celebrations.
‘Tens of thousands came out and celebrated this amazing victory last night, and but for a handful of bad actors the celebration was peaceful and jubilant. there were only three arrests. We’re thankful for our PPD for their assistance in getting the crowds dispersed and people home safely,’ the statement read.
Earlier in the celebrations, the Philadelphia Police Department released a statement saying there had been multiple injuries but no fatalities.
‘We have had several acts of vandalism where windows have been smashed, and some injuries have been reported around light poles that have been pulled down,’ the statement read. ‘We have one report of looting at a gas station. There have been no fatalities.’
Local television station CBS3 reported that two poles in Center City had been toppled, leaving one person seriously injured.
Police had greased lamp posts and traffic light poles across the city with slippery hydraulic fluid earlier in the day in a bid to discourage climbers.
Before the games, officers who declined to give their names, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that about 100 poles up and down Broad Street were being greased to deter revelers from climbing them.
They dubbed themselves the ‘Pole Patrol’ rather than the earlier ‘Crisco Cops’ that applied shortening that failed to stop some fans after the NFC championship victory.
But the Philadelphia Inquirer, on its website philly.com, reported that numerous poles had been brought down and lights damaged.
‘F**k that grease,’ the fans reportedly chanted as the daredevils climbed.
Many of them were seen chugging beers as they got to the top. At one point the fans got so out of control they pulled down a light pole.
The newspaper said windows were smashed at a Macy’s department store near City Hall, where people were spotted carrying away parts of window display mannequins.
Climbers were also seen scaling the City Hall gates – while police moved in after a group vandalized a gas station.
Philadelphia police officers stood guard as revelers poured into the streets in unprecedented numbers.
They retweeted a message from Boston police saying: ‘From the men and women of @bostonpolice to our brother and sister officers of @PhillyPolice: “Congratulations to you and your city. Please be safe out there”‘.
In South Philadelphia, fans started chanting ‘Free Bud Light,’ after the beer manufacturer made a bet with Lane Johnson that if the Eagles won the Super Bowl, they’d give free beer to the city, according to CBS Philly.
The streets of the city were also filled with Eagles fans chanting ‘F**k Tom Brady’ in reference to the Patriots quarterback and ‘Big d**k Nick’ in honor of Philly quarterback Nick Foles.
Destruction seemed to follow fans wherever they went. Fans also took to lighting up scraps of metal in the streets on fire.
However, more concerning than the small bonfires were the trust falls that sprung up around the city.
A video made the rounds on social media a man perched atop a Ritz-Carlton hotel awning falling into the crowd from a height, trusting he would be caught.
In another video, fans scaled the same awning of the Ritz-Carlton hotel only to have it collapse under them due to their combined weight.
And in a turn for the disgusting, cameras captured one daring Eagles fan eating horse excrement.
Police, some on horseback, had earlier been called in as huge crowds descended on the streets. One fan was later seen eating horse excrement as jubilant crowds cheered him on.