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

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Eagles fans woke up bright and early Sunday morning to tailgate ahead of the game, and some of the fans were celebrating much more than the best team in football.

“The first time I cried was in 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 Vietnam veteran’s entire family surprised him for his 70th birthday.

“I went to help the bus driver get his truck off the highway and they were all in the vehicle. I got in there and they were all in,” he said.

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

“I turned 30 today, so it’s a good day. All my friends and family are here having fun,” said Rob D’Adrea of ​​Northeast Philly. He boarded a bus to the stadium with 75 of his closest friends and family, bringing plenty of games and plenty of good food.

“We’ve got smoked chicken, we’ve got smoked pork here, baked mac and cheese,” he said, pointing to their spread, which is, of course, the centerpiece of any good Eagle’s trunk.

“We got breakfast sandwiches, bacon egg and cheese, pulled pork egg and cheese. We got cupcakes and mimosas. The most important part, mimosas,” said Courtney Bartkowski of Ewing, New Jersey.

She and her friends had a good start to their day off. Eagles fans far and wide wanted to show Tennessee why Philadelphia is the best football city.

“This is a city like no other. Everyone has a good time when they come to Philly,” said Shelley Holt of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

It helps Eagles fans cheer for the number one team in football. It’s the gift that keeps on giving for lifelong fans like Dan.

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

Dan’s actual birthday isn’t until January. Now that he has had his party, he hopes for another gift; the Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

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