Wildcats and Eagles Should Cohabitate More Often


Courtesy of Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan (‘24) and his family at the Eagles portion of Sunday’s tailgate.

Brain Luppy, Staff Writer

Villanova could learn something from last Sunday’s Wells Fargo game. On Sunday, Jan. 30, Vil-lanova Men’s basketball played its second game at Wells Fargo this season against Providence. As always, students mobbed Lot D hours before the game.

That Sunday, however, was different than most, as the NFC championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadel-phia Eagles kicked off hours after Villanova’s tipoff. The presence of Eagles fans did nothing but enhance the gameday atmosphere.

Of course, getting to and from Wells Fargo is always a head-ache, and the addition of one of the biggest NFL games of the year did not help. In what is usually con-tained to just one parking lot, rowdy tailgaters stretched endless-ly, adding to the excitement of the day.

What was once a tailgate on the verge of being rescheduled to a game at the Finn ended up being a perfect blend of basketball-foot-ball excitement. “I loved how we had both teams there,” freshman Grace Iannaccone said. “It made it a lot more exciting for everyone.

Personally, I’m not even an Eagles fan, but you really felt the positive vibes.”Fellow freshman Caroline Hisler, self-proclaimed “Eagles superfan,” shared a similar senti-ment. “The atmosphere was elec-tric,” Hisler said. “It was great to see all the fans come together.”

Eagles tailgates, objectively, are far superior to Villanova’s. It was nice to get in on the action. Before students arrived in the morning.Eagles fans had already be-gun tailgating for a game that was to begin three hours after ours. Around us, RVs and buses painted in Eagles green stretched across the entire lot. A man with a full set of drums played live rock music. Tables were set up with endless food and beverages.

If winter basketball tail-gates in South Philadelphia are going to be a part of Villanova’s student experience, let’s do them right. Allow us the liberty of using tables. Let us play louder music and bring food. Instead of making a morning of it, we could make a day of it, lingering and hopefully celebrating even after the game is over.

In lots of ways, our tailgates feel like the idea is there, but the execution is not. Another positive of last Sunday’s Wells Fargo game was that it transitioned nicely into Sunday evening. We are all familiar with the post-Wells Fargo fatigue. Upon arriving back on campus after the game, a nap is always more than necessary. By the time you wake up, it’s dark, and you feel obligated to go out because it’s a Saturday. This obli-gation did not exist last week.

The tailgating fatigue acted as the perfect transition into a calm Sunday evening, with enough time to get homework done. “I wish it was Saturday because then I could’ve had all of Sunday to relax,” freshman Lorenzo Bartolotta disagreed. “Sunday is usually a more productive day for me.”

Although Villanova suf-fered a tough loss, January 30 was definitely one of the more memo-rable tailgates that I have been a part of. Never before did I think it would ever be possible to tailgate for two sports at once, but that is exactly the experience we were given last Sunday. In the shared sports complex, it was nice that we took advantage of the beloved sports equinox that is Villanova basketball and Philadelphia football.