Philadelphia Eagles: Family throws surprise birthday tailgate party for Vietnam veteran

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Eagles fans were up bright and early Sunday morning for the pregame, with some of the fans celebrating much more than just the best team in football.

“The first time I cried was 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 even took the field. The entire family of the Vietnam veteran surprised him for his 70th birthday.

“I went to help the bus driver move his truck off the highway and they were all on board. I got on there and there they were all,” he said.

In a sea of ​​thousands of Eagles fans, Dan wasn’t the only one celebrating his big day with a tailgate.

“Today is my 30th birthday, so it’s a good day. All my friends and family are here, having a great time,” said Rob D’Adrea of ​​Northeast Philadelphia. He got on a bus to the stadiums with 75 of his closest friends and family, bringing lots of games and lots of good food.

“We smoked jerk chicken, we smoked pulled pork here, baked mac and cheese,” he said, pointing to their spread, which is, of course, the centerpiece of any good Eagles tailgate.

“We have breakfast sandwiches, egg and bacon and cheese, egg and pork roll and cheese. We have tater tots and mimosas. The most important part, mimosas,” said Courtney Bartkowski of Ewing, New Jersey.

She and her friends started the day well. 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,” said Shelley Holt of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Help Eagles fans root for the number one team in football. It’s the gift they give to lifelong fans like Dan.

“I think this is the best team I’ve seen in a long, long time,” he said.

Dan’s birthday isn’t until January. Now that she’s had her party, she’s hoping for one more gift; an Eagles trip to the Super Bowl.

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