The True Confessions of the Misunderstood Philly Fan

January 29, 2018 — The Eagles left for Minneapolis yesterday to prepare for the big game next Sunday. To say I am thrilled about this fabulous team making it to the Super Bowl doesn’t fully describe what I’m feeling.

That’s because there is another side to the Super Bowl hoopla that has me upset … we are always described as the worst sports fans in the country any time we get close to winning. You’d think I’d be immune to that nonsense by now. If there is a possible chance that a Philly team will win, the lazy media digs up the same old stories about us, and now is no exception. So, bear with me while I get this off my chest:

Dear Ron Cook (of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette), Minnesota fans, and the rest of the fans around the country spewing garbage about us:

I won’t defend the behavior of a few idiotic fans who drank too much and acted like buffoons at the championship last week, but for you to call all of the Philadelphia fans subhuman is a bit dramatic, don’t you think? However, after listening to you and reading the articles through the years, I’ve learned that it is not the minority of Philly fans that cause trouble, it’s the majority. Apparently thousands and thousands of fans were drunk and abusive, had the gall to scream at Vikings fans and throw whatever they could find at them.

I wasn’t there but I’m sure that didn’t happen. The slams written against us include the tried and true incidents that are always brought to light when talking about Philly fans. We know Philly fans booed Santa Claus and threw snowballs at him. This event, which happened at an Eagles game in 1968, and has been so blown out of proportion. It also happened 50 years ago, so it’s time to let it go.

And we know Philly fans threw batteries at J.D. Drew. It doesn’t matter that there were 50,000 fans at the game that day, and two punk teens threw two batteries at J.D. Drew. The way it is written, it is as if the entire stadium stoned him with a barrage of batteries. Two kids, two batteries, 50,000 fans. Can you name any city in America that doesn’t have at least two stupid teenagers who would do the same thing? Sadly, every city has its share of losers.

Let’s not forget that Philly fans were so out of control that Veteran’s Stadium placed an Eagles’ court and a jail in the basement for fans that got unruly at football games. That’s true. Not our proudest moment, but it seemed like an efficient solution to a time-consuming problem. It reduced court backlogs, saved taxpayer’s money and served as a deterrent. Now that the Eagles have made the move to Lincoln Financial Field 10 years ago, the jail and court are out of session. Still, if you look at the Washington Post’s article on arrests at football games, it’s clear that the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t the only ones with this problem; they’re not even among the top teams with a problem. However, the Chargers are, with 24.6 arrests per game, the Giants follow, with 22.5 arrests, the Jets, with  21.5 arrests, the Raiders with 17.8 arrests and the Steelers, Mr. Cook, have 16.8 arrests per game.

And, of course, Philly fans cheered when Michael Irvin of the Dallas Cowboys lay on the field injured back in 1999. I can’t defend that and have to believe that fans didn’t believe he was as hurt as he was. Thankfully, I’ve never known that incident to be repeated, and just read that that Michael Irvin is rooting for the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Somehow he appears to have gotten over it. Why can’t sportswriters?

There are no words to defend any awful incidents committed by sports fans, whether professional or at the college level. How is Philly the one with the reputation when fans set fire to five police cars in Montreal, a father and son team attacked the umpire in Kansas City, riots and knife-fights broke out in Oakland, Calif., arson in West Virginia, state troopers were injured in Maryland, and some even threw glass beer bottles at a seven-year old in Wisconsin? All of these things are worse than throwing snowballs at a drunk Santa Claus, but you don’t hear about them constantly because they didn’t happen in Philly.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Human nature is the same in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Boston, and even in Timbuktu.

To paraphrase W.C. Fields, all things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.

Sincerely,

A proud member of the most hated fan group in America

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Change

January 22, 2018 — There are a lot of things in this world that would benefit from change.

Since they’re too numerous to mention, and many are out of my control I’ll start with something simple.

I started this blog nearly eight years ago, and have made only two layout changes during that time. Now it’s time for something different, a facelift if you will, and although it might have been more appropriate to introduce a new look with the start of the new year, today felt right.

 

Firsts and Lasts

January 16, 2018 – I’m trying to compile a list of things I’ve only done once in my life.

It might have something to do with a friend who decided to jump out of an airplane to commemorate a milestone birthday. When I told her I could never do that, she looked disappointed asked me what happened. She said I used to be fearless.

My friend loved the experience, said she’d probably never do it again, and got to cross it off her bucket list. I wouldn’t call this my bucket list since I didn’t set out to accomplish these things – they just happened. And it’s not something to prove I’m brave or fearless because I’m obviously not. Rather, it’s a set of unique experiences that I can share (rated PG, of course).

Here’s what I came up with so far:

5. Sang a duet with Steve Perry of Journey fame in Prescott, Arizona. OK, so his song was coming through the radio and I was driving from the Grand Canyon to Phoenix while harmonizing with him, but it happened. My friend and traveling companion enjoyed it, we both laughed, and I never did it again!

4. Got snowed in during summer vacation. While visiting the Yukon Territory of Northwestern Canada the bus that was driving us to our hotel had to pull over because of snow. Did I mention this was Labor Day weekend? Twenty inches of the white stuff fell on the Canadian Rockies that weekend, which is something that rarely happens during the summer. My compadres and I spent 18 hours on that bus, and most of it on the side of the road near this strange little lodge, the Hotel Caribou, which inspired the singer/songwriter in one of my friends. “Welcome to the Hotel Caribou,” she sang. “Yukon check out any time you like but Yukon never leave.” It certainly felt true, and once I did check out I never went back.

3. Drove across the Southwest by myself. I have a few business trips and a long personal weekend away to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe to thank for this first and last. I drove from Taos, N.M. in the northern part of the state, down to Roswell, the infamous UFO landing spot near the southern border, from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, which took me through the breathtaking Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, and from the Flagstaff, Ariz. to Nogales, Mexico by myself. That’s a lot of desert with long stretches of nothing else to make it through alone. Since then, I’ve never repeated it.

2. Walked through a rain forest. It wasn’t in the deep jungles of the Amazon, but rather in the tamer landscape of the Caribbean. Still, it was a rain forest complete with tropical sounds, plenty of humidity, rare creatures, and darkness even in the light of day. The El Yunque Rain Forest is a tiny rain forest in Puerto Rico. I haven’t stepped foot in another rain forest since that experience.

1. Witnessed a glacier calving. You know that thing that happens when a large piece of the glacier falls into the ocean and causes a huge ripple? That’s called a calving, and it happened at the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. At the time, the tour guide told us we witnessed something relatively rare. At least for me it was, and I’ve yet to experience another calving.

It’s funny how all of these firsts and lasts occurred while away from home. I suppose I’m more adventurous when traveling.

Bumper Sticker Philosophy

January 8, 2018 – I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “What if the hokey pokey is what it’s all about?”

It made me laugh, but then it made me realize that humans do have a tendency to complicate things.

That memory comes to mind whenever I’m stressed, or trying to figure out why things happen the way they do. And then it makes me ponder the age old question … what is it all about?

While the answer may differ for everyone, most people would say something about the importance of health, and family and other relationships. That’s how I would answer, too, but if I put aside the family, relationships, etc., and ask myself what’s important to me as an individual, outside of being a mom, a sister, a daughter or a friend, what would I say?

That silly hokey pokey bumper sticker comes to mind. It’s funny and poignant, and makes me realize that aside from family and friends and good health, laughter is what it’s all about.

So, here’s my best attempt at bumper sticker philosophy: “Smile. It makes people wonder what you’re up to!”

Better yet: “Make someone laugh every day!”