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Remember Grandpa Phil? He's still cheering on the Birds at 104 years old

Grandpa Phil Basser sporting a 2022 NFC Champions hat.
Grandpa Phil Basser sporting a 2022 NFC Champions hat.

Millie Wall, a Vikings fan who was nearing her 100th birthday, was captured on television in the stands during Minnesota's miraculous walk-off win over the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round of the 2017 playoffs. With Minnesota poised to host the Super Bowl, it looked like it was the Vikings' destiny to win – Grandma Millie just added to the fun.

Not so fast.

Josh Potter, then a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, introduced the world to his grandpa – Phil Basser – through a Twitter post. And just like that Grandpa Phil was an overnight sensation ... at just 99 years old.

Grandpa Phil was in Philadelphia to watch the Eagles win the NFC Championship over Grandma Millie's Vikings then was on hand to witness the team's first Super Bowl Championship over the Patriots in Minnesota's stadium.

"He was overjoyed like every single Philadelphia Eagles fan," said Grandpa Phil's daughter, Shari. "He was in person in Minnesota to witness the incredible victory and was overcome with emotion."

As the Eagles suit up for tonight's Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, Grandpa Phil Basser will be watching his team play on television at 104 years old – hoping to see a second championship in 5 years after waiting so long for the first Super Bowl.

"LET'S WIN THIS GAME!" said Grandpa Phil, who turns 105 in March. "GO BIRDS!"

Grandpa Phil's grandson, Josh, who ignited the swarm of media attention, graduated college and is working in New York City. Grandpa Phil's sudden popularity helped him reconnect with family members from as far away as Australia who came to the United States to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Grandpa Phil and his grandson, Josh
Grandpa Phil and his grandson, Josh

When he's not watching his beloved Philadelphia sports teams, Grandpa Phil enjoys going to the library and the art museum. He is a fan of Jalen Hurts, saying that the quarterback is He said Hurts is "smart, hard-working, and disciplined and that is a recipe for long-term success."

Those are characteristics that Grandpa Phil can appreciate as his secret to a long life is what he learned in Boy Scout Troop 139 in Philadelphia – "Be physically fit, mentally strong, and morally straight."

"He's so special because he's an inspiration and such a role model," said his grandson, Josh. "He's lived such an amazing life, but he's just so real. He never does anything for attention. He never does anything for any other motive than it's the right thing. He's just an incredible example for our entire family. He's a true underdog story. It's hard for us to get down about anything when we've seen what he's gone through and how strong he is. He really just sets the standard for how to live life."

As a child, Grandpa Phil would spend the week in the Jewish Foster Home in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, while his father worked. He served his country in both World War II and the Korean War. When he returned to Philadelphia, he started a new life with his wife, Pearl, and opened the renowned agency Philip B. Basser Advertising, Incorporated.

Grandpa Phil and Pearl raised four children, who have gone on to provide 11 grandchildren, two grandchildren-in-law, and two great-grandchildren.

"The successes of all of my children and their spouses make me feel like I'm living in a dreamland," he says. "I can't explain it. It's heaven on earth."

Unfortunately, Pearl did not get to see Grandpa Phil celebrate the Super Bowl win in person. She passed away in April of 2017. They were married for 65 years. Grandpa Phil now lives in New York with two of his daughters.

As Eagles fans all over the world gather to watch the team tonight in Super Bowl LVII, Granda Phil Basser will be one of them, a man who represents the best of us and is worth cheering on to 105 years young and beyond.

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