PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Long gone are the cutouts of Eagles fans that replaced real ones at Lincoln Financial Field during last year’s NFL season. Eagles faithful will finally be allowed to cheer on their Birds again in person this year now that the Linc got the green light to reopen at full capacity.
The Branigan family of Bucks County bought a cutout of their father, a devoted Eagles superfan. The gift was for his birthday.
“My dad is usually really easy to shop for because we can just get him anything Eagles and we’ll know he’ll love it,” Kelly Branigan O’Mara said.
The photo they chose for their two-dimensional dad was special.
“The great thing about the cutout is you could hear me,” Fran Branigan said.
The photo was taken at the moment the Eagles won the Super Bowl.
“I have great kids, great Eagles fan kids,” Fran said. “It was pretty emotional. I was excited about being in the stadium, cheering them on even though we weren’t physically there.”
After the season had ended, the family was notified to make a reservation to come by the Linc and pick up the cutout.
“You walk into the stadium, which is really bizarre that it was so empty except these hundreds of remaining cutouts that were still there,” Henry Colby, Branigan O’Mara’s brother-in-law, said. “It was definitely surreal.”
But finding another family member, their uncle Larry, proved to be a bigger challenge.
“Uncle Larry had a different pickup slot and then his also got snowed out,” Branigan O’Mara said, “so no one was able to pick him up so, unfortunately, Uncle Larry has been recycled into a bench.”
In all, the Eagles say the leftover cutouts amounted to nearly two tons of plastic and now, the park benches they’re being made into will be placed around the Philadelphia area.