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.
A proud member of the most hated fan group in America