Philadelphia Eagles News

A Gender Reveal That's Philly Special

  • We've all seen some unique gender reveals, but Alex Paynter and Matt Noble took a suggestion that was truly "special." And you'll love the child's name.

When quarterback Nick Foles caught tight end Trey Burton's pass in the end zone on fourth down with 34 seconds left in the first half of Super Bowl LII, the Philly Special instantly etched its place in Philadelphia folklore.

So when two die-hard Eagles fans, Alex Paynter and Matt Noble, wanted to find a "special" way to reveal the gender of their expected child nearly six months later, an idea from Paynter's cousin Daniel Dipersia to re-enact the iconic play was immediately accepted.

"When we heard Philly Special we were just like, 'Oh my god we have to do it,'" Paynter said.

So Noble, along with nearly a dozen other close friends known as the "Bird Gang" who watch Eagles games each week at a local pub in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, lined up on Sunday evening to snap the ball at the intersection of Bouvier and North Streets.

And after Foles, or Noble, caught and spiked the ball in the end zone revealing bright pink powder, it was celebration time. Not just in the streets, where friends and family partied for several hours more, but also on social media where the video took off.

Don Luciano, who wore a headset and visor to play the role of head coach Doug Pederson, tweeted out the video of his friends.

"I thought it was just going to make some of the local news outlets but no one was expecting this to blow up like it did," Luciano said. "When it started getting to ESPN and a couple stations from Chicago reached out, that's when I realized it was something special."

"We figured people would record it for our group of friends, but we had no idea it was going to blow up like this," Paynter said.

Paynter and Noble said their group of friends, who wore matching shirts in the video, all wanted to be a part of the special moment. They strategically decided the roles in the re-enactment of the play.

"I kind of wanted the guys that were more athletic handling the ball," Noble said, knowing a botched snap could ruin the video. "We had to really trust our center."

Noble said he and his friends ordered two balls, made of plastic that screwed in together. One was filled with pink powder by Paynter's cousin, Susann Dipersia, the only person who knew the gender beforehand.

The other was filled with flour and used in practice an upwards of 15 times on Saturday. Noble said there wasn't even one low snap in their practice sessions.

In the video, however, there was a brief scare as the ball was snapped a bit low and nearly hit the ground. Luckily, good casting saved the day.

"The snap was a little bit low," Luciano said. "Everyone gasped for a second. But luckily, Tyler (Hunt, a member of the "Bird Gang"), the one who played Corey Clement, has some good hands, so he held onto it."

The play went on exactly as planned. Within hours, a news truck arrived at the party after the video had amassed thousands of views and was shared with more than 20 news outlets, Luciano estimated. The next day, offensive tackle Lane Johnson and cornerback Jalen Mills showed their appreciation on Twitter.

The moment was special to the "50 or 60" friends and family of Noble and Paynter who came on Sunday to celebrate a win for the ages one more time as well as a new addition to the family.

"We're really big Eagles fans," Noble said. "We're very passionate about it. Two of our friends had kids recently and we're calling them Super Bowl Babies having been born this year. ... It's something that keeps everyone together, family-wise. We have two big families. It felt right."

The couple will soon add one more name to the team: Madison Wentz Noble.

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