There was a roar in the one of the Zoom windows as Widener University students discussed the final Presidential debate Thursday night in the shadow of the Philadelphia Eagles game against the New York Giants.
About 10 miles down I-95 from Lincoln Financial Field, the Chester school played host to one last virtual DebateWatch ahead of next month's election.
Kayla Taylor, a sophomore criminal justice and psychology major, said she struggled trying to multitask, while wanting to focus on President Trump and Joe Biden.
"All of my friends here - everyone that I associate with - are always like 'Go Birds!' They don't care about the debate. I'm watching the debate on Zoom, and they're all watching the Eagles while screaming and yelling. I'm sitting here with my earbuds here trying to listen, but I'm from Philadelphia, too, I want to watch the game. I felt more of the energy in my friend group is more about the Birds right now."
Those who focused on the debate said they were able to take more substantive results than the first Presidential debate three weeks ago.
Othniel Degahson, a first-year graduate student, said the topic about race really proved key.
"I feel like Joe Biden was a bit more informative in his response. He did elaborate on "the talk" that many African American parents have with their children so they don't end up in situations like that. Donald Trump did definitely use that as an opportunity to sell his record on criminal justice reform and how he commuted the sentences of a lot of people who were locked up with very long prison sentences for minor crimes. I definitely see how he used that as a selling point to tote his record, however I feel like he could have gone more in depth with that particularly to sell to undecided African American voters who view both as unpopular. Both candidates aren't the best, particularly with Joe Biden and his support of the crime bill, and that's definitely something Trump took him to task with."
Pre-Med candidate Michaela Jemison said she was left wanting to hear more from Trump to the African American community.
"From my point-of-view, I haven't seen him really do anything with Black Lives Matter and try to hear what they were saying, he was doing more repressing, in my opinion."
Taylor said she thought Trump scored points going after Biden on creating detention facilities for undocumented immigrants.
"It's just eye-opening to see that President Trump was asking him about immigration and who built the cages. He couldn't respond, he didn't want to respond to the question. He then posed it to America and talking about sitting around the table, that's all he could respond. I've read articles, the cages did start with the Obama administration, and the fact President Trump kept asking and posing the question and he would avoid it, he should have answered it. If he's not hiding it, if he's not hiding anything about race or his immigration policies, he could have answered correctly."
Freshman Kyle Mercer said he enjoyed the tone of this debate, but felt it should still be seen as buyer-beware.
"It's kind of like they're putting on a show, and I think that's what we've seen the last couple of debates. Tonight, they were able to talk a little bit more, and you saw more about [details]. I think if you really want to do research, as we've done, go to their websites. Don't take the word of their mouth, take it with a grain of salt, and do your own research based on that. I think tonight you either liked your candidate or didn't like your candidate based off of that."
Taylor said she felt Trump was much calmer this time around.
"We saw a side where he does have self-control. I feel like someone from his party definitely told him you need to settle down, because you're looking bad to the public in general. I feel that when the discussion was happening and he was told to stop talking, even though you saw he didn't want to stop talking, he still wanted to attack, that he had enough self-control to say 'I am going to let Biden speak, I am going to let them hear,' even though he was making faces on the side and disagreeing. He did show more self-control than I've previously seen in any debate or public speech he's ever had."
Ultimately, Jemison wondered if the final debate would really move the needle in a potentially critical swing area of suburban Philadelphia, especially with the Eagles playing at the same time.
"I think most of the people really wanted the Eagles game rather than the debate. A lot of people aren't informed, and they don't really feel like they need to be anymore because it's such a toss-up, people are just tossing coins to see who they are going to vote for, so I think the Eagles game definitely won tonight."
The Eagles did win Thursday night, but the question on whether President Trump or Joe Biden will has to wait for another week-and-a-half.