Bradley Cooper had a great time at Super Bowl LII, seemingly channeling his Silver Linings Playbook role in the process. When it comes to Philadelphia, sports and the connection between them, one movie stands above all others: Rocky. That movie, filmed in Philadelphia and released in 1976, is referenced constantly in the city’s sports discourse. Rocky Balboa, after all, was a blue collar hero, an underdog, who overcame adversity to win athletic glory. Snippets of Bill Conti’s score from the Rocky movies are frequently played at the games of local teams, as are clips from the original movie and its many sequels.
More recently, other Philadelphia films have entered the conversation as well. The 2006 movie Invincible, with Mark Wahlberg, was the story, also set in 1976, of an actual Philadelphia Eagles player, Vince Papale. Then, in 2012, came David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, which was filmed locally and starred area native Bradley Cooper as an Eagles fan struggling with mental illness. Cooper wore a white DeSean Jackson Eagles jersey for nearly that entire film, and in recent weeks he’s participated in something resembling a real-life sequel.
When the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots Sunday night to win Super Bowl LII, Cooper was there, seated in the owner’s box next to Eagles owner (and sometime movie producer) Jeffrey Lurie. Throughout the game, Cooper could be seen on camera celebrating Eagles touchdowns enthusiastically.
Cooper, who hails from suburban Jenkintown, Pa., was seen at multiple Eagles home games throughout the playoffs, and has narrated Eagles hype videos for the last couple of years. The Eagles, throughout their run, have clearly made an effort to invite many of their most famous fans, like CNN actor Jake Tapper and baseball player Mike Trout. Comedian and Philly native Kevin Hart was at the Super Bowl too, although he was reportedly prevented from crashing the trophy presentation after the game.
Can Silver Linings Playbook ever take its place along with Rocky as a great Philadelphia sports movie? Probably not, seeing as it's not a full-blooded sports film. There’s no game footage, and a trip to the stadium gets cut off, due to a parking lot brawl, before the characters even get inside. And as skeptics of the movie are fond of pointing out, it concludes with these Eagles-obsessed characters skipping a game against the Cowboys in favor of a dance contest.
Still, for a city that loves its hometown heroes almost as much as its sports teams, Cooper’s participation in the Super Bowl victory will likely go down as one of those things that won’t ever be forgotten.
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