The Philadelphia Eagles are no ordinary NFL team. Full of faith, compassion and kindness, they seem to do something awesome almost every week. Well, they’ve done it again. The team recently invited 99-year old Eagles superfan Phil Bassar to the NFC Championship game Sunday.
The elderly man shot to social media fame after his grandson replied to a tweet from a Vikings fan who urged his team to “Bring it Home” for Millie Wall, a 99-year old megafan of the Vikings who gained viral notoriety over the weekend.
The Eagles are hosting the NFC Championship Game and are now just one win away from the Super Bowl.
Check out Phil and his grandson singing the Eagles fight song in the awesome video below:
The #Vikings may have Millie but we have Phil!
99-year-old #Eagles fan Phil Bassar is getting an early 100th birthday gift…the team invited him to the #NFCChampionship game with his grandson Josh! #FlyEaglesFly #WinforPhil #Underdog @6abc pic.twitter.com/7W39qXbYRl
— Jamie Apody (@JamieApody) January 18, 2018
Millie became an instant internet sensation after being invited to watch the playoff game between the Vikings and the New Orleans Saints at the weekend. In a dramatic and climactic moment of the game, Stefon Diggs caught a massive 61-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Case Keenum to send the Vikings to Sunday’s NFC Championship game, as reported by News-Press.
Wall, who was born all the way back on July 4, 1918, received two Super Bowl tickets from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who took a moment to visit the elderly woman in her seat during the recent game:
— Ashley Wall (@ashleyjwall) January 15, 2018
Millie said she will attend the Superbowl finale if the Vikings manage to beat Philadelphia at the weekend. If they lose, she said she will give the tickets to her family.
A lifelong fan, her son Jim detailed more about his mother’s commitment to the team she so dearly loves.
“She used to have a Styrofoam brick with the Minnesota Vikings logo on it,” Jim Wall said. “And she would throw the Styrofoam brick at the TV anytime they made a bad play. She got so tired of getting up and getting it, that she tied a string to the end of it.”
“The other storyline is she believes the key to her long life is at least one screwdriver a day. She did have a screwdriver (vodka and orange juice) while she was at the game.”
The internet exploded with love for this die-hard fan. “Hail Mary,” became “Hail Millie,” for the day.
“There were hashtags,” Jim Wall said of the outpouring of support on social media. #MillieMiracle, #SendMillietoPhillie, and #HailMillie were just some of them.
“Every news media known to man picked it up,” Wall added. “She was on the front page of the sports section for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She was on the front page for the Variety section for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Local TV stations picked it up. The Associated Press picked it up across the United States.”
“I was getting calls from Denver, from Texas, from California, from all over the United States. And of course, social media went absolutely viral.”
“I’m listening to the national radio shows, and there are people from Philadelphia saying that we may have Millie, but our country wouldn’t exist without Philadelphia,” Curtis Wall said.
Though the attention was certainly exhilarating, the family had to be watchful of their mother. As with any viral trend, a person can quickly become exposed to criticism, slander and “trolling” on social media.
“It’s getting a little bit overwhelming for her,” Jim said. “We are very, very excited. But once something goes viral, there is a dark side to it. Once you get that celebrity status, we had to pull it back a little bit.”
“She went to an open house,” Jim continued. “She was 97-years old. She got on TV. She ended up saying something like, ‘This place is beautiful. The Vikings better get to the Super Bowl pretty quick. I don’t have that much time.’”