This isn’t about the concert coming to Citizens Bank Ballpark next summer. It’s about the team that plays across Pattison Avenue—your beloved Philadelphia Eagles.
I live in Philadelphia, and the Eagles annoy the hell out of me. From September, usually through the later parts of December when they miss the playoffs, this is something I’m always confronted with. At this point, I think the hate is justified.
Let’s preface this all with a normal scenario.
Have you ever had an argument with someone, knowing the other person is stubborn, thick-headed, and refuses to see any other side of the conversation except his or her own?
No matter what you say, this person refuses to acknowledge any fact or reasoning behind what you bring to the table. Any normal conversation about the topic spirals out of control into a heated debate in which you just end up wanting to scream at the top of your lungs.
Know anyone like that?
Living in Philadelphia, there are hundreds of thousands of people like this.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up around here. Maybe it’s because my parents weren’t Eagles fans growing up. Maybe it’s because their parents weren’t Eagles fans either, but I really don’t get this fanbase at all.
I grew up in the Lehigh Valley, a melting pot of sports fans due to our lack of actual closeness to any particular city. A majority are Eagles, Giants, and Jets fans, but really you’ll find a fan of almost any team.
I grew up a Dolphins fan, as my decision as child was to root for teams that had fish in their logos. I stuck with them through my adolescence, teenage years, and into my adult life.
I’ve stood beside all the bad QBs and poor coaches. I was there for 1-15, and I was ecstatic when Chad Pennington brought us back to the playoffs the next year.
Here I am now as a Dolphins fan living in the City of Brotherly Love, and things from a non-Eagles perspective are pretty annoying. And, believe me, I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Working and living in the Philadelphia area for the past 10 years I’ve seen and heard many things from Eagles fans. Some asinine, some cocky, some down right dumb.
I don’t question Eagles fans love for the sport, but sometimes I do question their thinking.
Historically, other Philadelphia sports franchises are way better than the Eagles.
Each of the other Philadelphia sports franchises have multiple championships in their respective sports. Despite the three NFL Championships dating back to 1960, the Eagles have yet to win in the Super Bowl Era.
The Eagles haven’t even had an MVP player on their team in the past 5 decades, despite each of the other three Philadelphia teams having one within the age range of most millennials. The last Eagle to win the MVP was quarterback Norm Van Brocklin in 1960, and you never see his jersey at the Linc.
Maybe they burned his jersey after he cut ties with the team to coach in Minnesota.
The Eagles have not had a consistent player from the past 25 years make the Hall of Fame. There hasn’t been a Rookie of the Year in Philadelphia since Keith Jackson. Remember him? You’re always hearing about how great of an Eagle he was.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of other teams out there that lack some of the same prestige, but their fans don’t nearly act as gaudy as Eagles fans.
Everyone assumes you’re an Eagles fan, which is awesome if you are.
If you’re not, you better be ready for a whirlwind of criticism.
If you’re a fan of another team in the NFC East, you’re done for.
If you’re a fan of another team in the NFC, you’ll probably receive a good gauge of what you did or didn’t do correctly last season, what players are good or bad, if your coaching stinks, and how the Eagles beat you at some point over the past five years.
If you’re a fan of an AFC team in Philly, outside of the Steelers or Patriots, you’ll probably have someone trying to dig up players who played for your team some years ago. Yes, Dan Marino was a great quarterback. Yes, it was a shame he never got a ring. Thanks for the insight, guy who, for some reason, wears a Ricky Waters jersey every Sunday.
Unless your team traded their underwhelming number one running back to the Eagles mid-season. Then all you will hear about is how great this player is, despite having no touchdowns, 3.8 yards per carry, and 66 yards per game halfway through the season.
In all, it won’t matter when it comes down to it. Any NFL conversation will always come full circle back to The Birds. It’s inevitable in this city.
The sports radio is as entertaining as it is annoying.
Despite the team’s lack of championships, awards, or honors. They are still held up on a pedestal in this town. You can get a good taste of this just by turning on your radio.
The two sports radio stations are soapbox for these Eagle diehards to shout from. It’s actually as entertaining as much as it is bad, though I do enjoy the commercials. I’m not even sure how Eagles fans can be in the same stadium with each other without brawling it out.
Tis no Eagles tailgate w/o your standard Delco white trash cat fight. SOLID Iphone club by Fletchana Cox. She's been in the film room. pic.twitter.com/2roTUaii83
— Smitty (@SmittyBarstool) November 14, 2016
My favorite so far has been the Chip Kelly era. Despite the coach having a 2 winning season and one NFC Eastern Division Championship, the Eagles fans turned on him before he could even finish his third season.
Fans couldn’t decide who to blame this “mess” on, Chip, Jeffrey Lurie, or Sammy Sleeves. Each call was followed up by how the previous caller lacked any knowledge of what he was talking about.
Now we are in the Wentz era, where fans are accepting of a coach they were roasting last year, and are praising Carson Wentz already as one of the best players in Eagles history.
The chant just sucks.
There are very few cities where thousands of people chant the spelling of one word over and over again. I’m not sure if I can even read the word “Eagles” without thinking of it being spelled out in one large boisterous roar.
You can be walking down the street on the phone with someone you haven’t talked to in a few months, and mid-intimate conversation, you get some possibly drunk, middle-aged man yelling out the chant for all to hear.
I’m completely fine with the “Fly, Eagles Fly” song, however. Even the Dolphins have their own victory song. But the absurdity of spelling out one word as loud as you can was something I thought we stopped in elementary school.
One of the most difficult parts is liking a different team, though.
I understand how rivals in the NFL work, and that when the Cowboys, Redskins, or Giants come to town there’s definitely going to be a lot of words flying. I’m sure it’s coming from both sides too.
But, when my buddy and I attend a Dolphins Eagles preseason game, please have some decency. Neither of us were unruly, or even that celebratory. We just wanted to see our team play once.
I did meet one nice Eagle fan who actually worked at the Linc, and we discussed how both of our seasons were going to be interesting and exciting. That was nice.
There are circumstances when I’ll root for the Eagles.
Here we are days away from Divisional Playoff weekend, Eagles are the 1 Seed in the NFC, and will be hosting the 6 seed Falcons. I’m mostly rooting for any team to beat the Patriots.
I don’t wish the Eagles fans any harm or curse them. I want the best for their team. The fans may be annoying, unnerving, and sometimes rude (I’m sure that’s a compliment to some), but if the Pats take down the AFC and the Eagles make it to Minnesota, you bet your ass I’ll be out there screaming/spelling at the top of my lungs.
Editor’s note: I do not endorse this take. Go Birds.