Family throws surprise birthday party at Eagles tailgate for Vietnam veteran

Some fans were celebrating a lot more than the best team in football on Sunday.

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Family throws surprise birthday party at Eagles tailgate for Vietnam Veteran
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Family throws surprise birthday party at Eagles tailgate for Vietnam Veteran

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Eagles fans woke up bright and early Sunday morning to tailgate ahead of the game, some of fans celebrating a lot more than 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 Vietnam veteran's entire family 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 all were," 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 a great time," said Rob D'Adrea from Northeast Philadelphia. He boarded a bus to the stadiums with 75 of his closest friends and family, bringing plenty of games and lots of good food.

"We have smoked jerk chicken, we have smoked pull pork here, baked mac and cheese," he said showing off their spread, which is, of course, the center of any good Eagles tailgate.

"We got the breakfast sandwiches, bacon egg and cheese, pork roll egg and cheese. We got the tater tots, and the mimosas. Most important part, the mimosas," said Courtney Bartkowski from Ewing, New Jersey.

She and her friends started the day off right. Eagles fans far and wide wanted to show Tennessee why Philadelphia is the best football city.

"This is a city like no other. Everybody has a great time when they come to Philly," said Shelley Holt from Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

It helps Eagles fans are cheering on 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 that I've seen in a long, long time," he said.

Dan's actual birthday isn't until January. Now that he's had his party he is hoping for one more present; an Eagles trip to the Super Bowl.