Well ladies and gentlemen, the unthinkable is now thinkable. The underdog Philadelphia Eagles have made it to the Super Bowl! In a rematch ten years in the making, the Eagles will take on the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 4.
I know you’ve heard it all — Philly fans burn cars, climb greased poles, and punch police horses. And the rumors are true. We’re an aggressively rowdy group of sports fans. But, that aggression and rowdiness comes from deep-seated passion.
We’re not just sports fans. We’re dreamers. We’re believers.
Walk into the grocery store at the beginning of football season wearing Eagles gear and you are guaranteed to hear “go birds!” “nice shirt!” or the classic E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles! chant. Our fandom is not an act. From the opening kickoff to the final minutes, we’re in it for the long haul.
Philly fans don’t know the meaning of “jumping on the bandwagon.” We are here through thick and thin. When our birds were down, we were right there with them. And now as they play in the championship of all championships, we cheer them on as proudly as we would in the second game of the season.
Sure, we can be rude. Go to any other city — I’m looking at you, Boston — and I can assure you you’ll find fans as rude as Philly fans. We’re just spotlighted. Search “philadelphia sports fans” on Youtube and you won’t see our fun chants and pep rallies. No, instead you see videos titled “Are Philadelphia Sports Fan the Worst?” and “CRAZY Philadelphia Fans.” Most recently, some have popped up from the Vikings game, including “Things Got Bloody at the Tailgate!” Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, and Sports News have all featured the “crazy” fans from Philadelphia. NBC Sports, NY Daily News, and even Men’s Journal have published articles about us being “the worst.” I can understand. The city of brotherly love launches punches and insults, what makes better news? What you don’t see on television is the run-ins at the grocery store, or bells chiming the Eagles fight song in a Church in Rittenhouse Square, the numerous billboards lining I-95 and the PA turnpike, cheering on our boys, the dozens of people dropping by Rally House and other sporting apparel stores, the pep rallies at schools across the region, and the good deeds of fundraising to send deserving loved ones to the Super Bowl. All kinds of videos of our fans swearing and fighting make it on the news stations, but what about this one, created by Philly Sports fan and local, Matt Conlin, highlighted by Philly Mag, and already shared by many across social media?
Super Bowls, World Series, Championships, they are so much more than titles or games to Philly fans. It is an exciting time in this city, and surrounding areas. It feels like Christmas! People are kinder, more thoughtful. We’re all in this together. This is an inspiring moment. In the climate we are living in, can you really fault us for celebrating, for having the passion and heart? There’s violence and negativity in the news all day, every day. The Super Bowl, and other sports championships, is a time of excitement and energy. And finally, finally, it is our turn to experience those feelings. Don’t take that away from us.
And yes, I know we were harsh on Minnesota. But come on, they had it coming. What did you expect when you put your vikings gear on our beloved Rocky?
Video courtesy of Matt Conlin.