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      United by Pride

      Widener Students Divided By the Super Bowl, United By Their Pride

      Roommates Divided

      Boyd McCoy, a sophomore finance and accounting major, and Matt Blankenstein, a sophomore sports management/operations major, are roommates and fraternity brothers, but they will be cheering for different teams come Super Bowl Sunday.

      Widener University sophomores Matt Blankenstein and Boyd McCoy are friends, roommates and fraternity brothers in Alpha Tau Omega.

      But when it comes to Super Bowl LII, they couldn’t be more divided.

      Blankenstein, an operations management and sports management major from Souderton, Pennsylvania, is a lifelong Eagles fan and season ticket holder. He was at the NFC Championship game wearing a pug mask for the underdogs. “I bleed green,” he said with pride.

      McCoy, a finance and accounting major from Muncie, Indiana, is a die-hard Patriots fan. (He supports all Boston-based teams).

      “At the end of the day, we’ll break Philly’s heart again like we did in the ‘04 season,” said McCoy, referring to the last time the Eagles and Patriots faced off in the Super Bowl.

      The big game has put these friends, and others like them across Widener’s campus, on opposite sides. While it’s all in good fun, there’s certainly a healthy dose of teasing going on.

      Sophomore Lisa Gale, a devoted Eagles fan, calls senior and Patriots fan Alissa Dadarwala, a friend and sorority sister in Delta Phi Epsilon. “But if we lose, I couldn’t even look at her in that (Patriots) sweatshirt,” Gale said jokingly.

      superbowl 2018

      A Love of Football

      Justin Gilfillan and Leo Harmon, both physical therapy graduate students, are united by their love of football, but not by their NFL loyalties.

      On the Monday after the AFC and NFC championship games, Leo Harmon, a physical therapy graduate student and Patriots fan from Charlton, Massachusetts, bravely wore his team’s jersey to class.

      “I was a little nervous wearing it,” he admitted, given the high number of Eagles fans on campus.

      Harmon’s friend and fellow graduate student, Justin Gilfillan of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, was more than happy to dish out the jabs.

      “(On Monday) he was sitting in front of me in class, and probably every 15 minutes I let out a nice boo,” said Gilfillan.

      While these friends won’t watch the game together – “not a chance,” said Gilfillan – they have great respect for each other’s passion.

      “Sports can bring people together. It’s about finding common ground,” said Harmon.

      Regardless of the final score, these Widener Eagles-Patriots friendships will survive. Though they may be divided by NFL loyalties, these students are forever united in their support for the Pride.

      The Pride Activities Council and Interfraternity Council will be hosting a Super Bowl Party in Lathem Hall at 6 p.m. on Feb. 4. Watch the game, and enjoy free food and prizes.

      Show off your Eagles/Patriots pride for a university photo contest. Through Feb. 5, take a picture in your game-day gear by a campus landmark and submit online for chance at a prize. Or post photos publicly on Instagram and tag @wideneruniversity.



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