In honor of Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp getting underway this week, I decided to write a little something about my home town football team. Philadelphia Eagles fans have been named the most hated fans in the NFL (National Football League). My response? Thank you.
I was raised a Philadelphia Eagles fan. My grandparents lived in Southwest Philadelphia and my father was a season ticket holder through most of the 70’s and the early 80’s. Sundays during football season, when the Birds were home, my father was at Veterans Stadium ALL DAY. Even when there was an afternoon game, Dad left early Sunday morning with a cooler filled with beverages, small charcoal grill and a meat of some sort. He would meet up with friends and they would tailgate for hours then go into the game.
Philadelphians seem to be known for two things: tailgating for sport and music events are legendary and our phans are well phanatic. We are vocal. We let our teams know when they are doing well and we certainly let them know when we they are not.
I liken it to a family scenario. In a family you can speak smack about each other, but if someone on the outside starts to bad mouth the players, then the gloves are off. We are protective of our teams, especially the Eagles. The 700 level of Veterans Stadium was notorious for foul language and intoxicated fans. As a little kid I would ask my Dad to take me to a game and he always refused. He would flat out say that it was no place for a child, especially a young girl.
Eagles fans are loud, obnoxious and it is very clear where we stand. We are not fond of the New York Giants and the loathing we feel for the Dallas Cowboys, I think by this point, is just genetic. Not only do parents educate their young children about this fierce rivalry, but even new players to the team have to learn the history as well.
We appreciate players who do their best; who go out to practices and games and give their 100%. Call us egotistical, but we like it when the players acknowledge the fans and our enthusiasm. And when a player starts bad mouthing the city and the fans, well, their time in the City of Brotherly Love will be short lived. Just ask Terell Owens.
I have a daughter and I have raised her to be an Eagles fan. When she was a toddler we would play the game “So Big.” I would take her hands, clap them together and lift them up and say “Soooo big.” Then I decided to change it up a bit. When I raised her arms I would say, “Touchdown!” So as a proud mama my baby girl could say Touchdown in her early vocabulary.
We have taken her to pre-season games and last year I took her to an Open Practice during Training Camp. It is a bonding experience which I love. Of course, now that she is a tween she likes to get me going by saying she is rooting for the Cowboys. I have told her in no uncertain terms that she is NOT allowed to root for the Cowboys. No way no how.
We’re from Philly after all. We have a rep to protect.
P.S. If you bring up Eagles fans and Santa – it was over thirty years ago. And the young man who was dressed as Santa never took it personally. He knew the fans were angry at the team and the general economic climate of the time. He was fine taking a few snowballs. Let. It. Go.