The Eagles had just beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, 2018, and Shamus Clancy’s mind immediately went to another historic moment of wild jubilation.
He tweeted the famous photo of a sailor kissing a dental assistant in Times Square after the Japanese surrender in World War II, playfully adding this caption: “me and your girl on Broad Street.”
He didn’t mean it for real. But Ashley Suder did.
She didn’t know Clancy from any other crazed Eagles fan, but she tweeted back that she’d be willing to re-create the photo during the team’s victory parade. Talk about a Philly Special. Nearly four years later, the pair are engaged.
On Friday night at the corner of South Broad and Federal Streets, where the two first kissed during the parade, Clancy popped the question. She said yes.
“It felt like a special thing to do,” said Clancy, 27, a sports journalist and podcaster, “and it brings things romantically full circle.”
The original 1945 photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt has drawn controversy in recent years, after it became known that the sailor planted the kiss without asking. Not so the Clancy-Suder photo. It was her idea, and he was clearly an Eagles fan. How bad could he be?
“The Eagles had won the Super Bowl,” said Suder, 29. “That was so huge, I think I was really trying to make that a day to remember on all counts.”
“It gave it a kind of a feminist spin, almost.”
The two kissed at the parade — “laughing our asses off,” Clancy recalls, as friend Enzo Siciliano captured the shot — and went their separate ways. Clancy did not think he would see Suder again.
But PHL17 asked them to talk about the moment the next day on TV, and something clicked. They grabbed a bite afterward at the Pub on Passyunk East, and they’ve been together ever since.
In addition to their love of football, the two learned they shared a passion for punk-rock emo music and the Marvel superhero films. (One of the first movies they saw together was Black Panther.)
And the couple, who live in Northern Liberties, took an interest in each other’s careers. Clancy covers the Eagles for Bleeding Green Nation and the Sixers for Liberty Ballers — two sites under the SB Nation sports-media umbrella. He also writes a daily sports newsletter at patreon.com, where he owns up to having “a sickening obsession with Philly sports.”
So it was no surprise that sports-mad Suder would think his job was neat.
But Clancy, who grew up in South Philadelphia, thinks her job is even neater. She’s a licensing coordinator at Unique Industries, a party-supplies manufacturer based in the Navy Yard, helping to line up the rights to reproduce movie images on plates, napkins, balloons, and the like.
“People think I have a cool job,” Clancy said. “I say actually her job might be cooler.”
And she might also be crazier about sports.
Growing up in Bensalem, Suder watched the Eagles faithfully every week with her parents, Bart and Joanne, and took pride in the family collection of team memorabilia and knickknacks. Eagles banners. Eagles figurines. Vintage toy cars with the Eagles logo.
“And a Donovan McNabb bobblehead, obviously,” she said.
One time she went from room to room to try to count it all. No luck.
“I got to 50,” she said, “and stopped.”
Clancy and Suder went to three Eagles games during this up-and-down season — the Sept. 19 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Nov. 21 victory over the New Orleans Saints, and the Dec. 5 win over the New York Jets.
Both had high hopes for the playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the Birds had somehow pulled it off, Clancy wondered if maybe, just maybe, he could kiss, and propose to, Suder on yet another big green occasion.
“I would’ve really liked to do it again this year in a Super Bowl parade,” he said.
It was not to be.
Instead, he brought Suder back to the scene Friday night after taking her to the Sixers game, and the two had their own winning moment. She had no idea what play he was about to call.
But as Nick Foles did on Feb. 4, 2018, she executed it to perfection.