Eagles fans assemble, but keep COVID-19 in mind, for socially distanced watch party

By KYW Newsradio 1060
GLENOLDEN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — After months of uncertainty and doubt as to whether or not it would be played because of the pandemic, the NFL season is officially underway.

And while COVID-19 may be keeping Eagles fans from seeing their Birds play in person, that's not stopping them from watching the game together.

Michael Stauffer was like a kid on Christmas morning as he watched the Birds take the field Sunday.

"Definitely a season we didn't think was going to happen," he said. "I'm ecstatic."

Stauffer is a bartender at the Red Lantern Tavern in Glenolden, Delaware County. 

They set up a special outdoor tiki bar where people could enjoy a socially distant tailgate and watch party.

"It's definitely different not being inside of the bar, but it's cool, man. There are tables everywhere," he shared.

Like millions of other Americans, Sunday football is a special time for Brian Wharton, who gathered with his boys at the Red Lantern, one of their favorite places to go.

But he isn't too fond of the outdoor social distancing.

"It stinks, but it's what we have to deal with and we'll get through it," he shared.

Wharton is just happy the season is going forward, which he said he never doubted.

"I figured with the other sports being played, football wouldn't let it not happen. I always thought they would get it done," he said. 

He's still keeping his fingers crossed, however, that the season isn't interrupted by COVID-19 issues, as the baseball season was earlier in the summer. Wharton believes if they can play a full season and the Birds stay healthy, they'll fly high.

"I'd say 10-6," he predicted, "make a Super Bowl run."

Watching the game is more than just having a few beers and yelling at the screen. Stauffer said the camaraderie at the bar when the Eagles fly high or low is like nothing else, and it's needed, whether or not they have to be socially distanced.

"With so much going on," he said, "today it's just cool to get everyone back united, and this really does. Sports brings everyone together. It's awesome. I absolutely love it."