Some here in the Philadelphia region call it “Eagles Nation”. Most just say “Go Birds!” or “Go Eagles!”. Now that the notorious Eagles, the so-called “Underdogs” have won their first Super Bowl Championship ever, you no doubt have heard about those crazy Philadelphia fans. Are we crazy? I suppose you could say yes. Are we unruly, rude, and unwelcoming to fans from other cities? Maybe some rabid Eagles fans have a tendency to be a bit unruly and rowdy. Frankly, though, we’re all sick of hearing about that game where Eagles fans threw snowballs at Santa. To quote Brian White, staff writer at the Boston Globe (yes, Boston, but he’s originally from Philly), “Look, that happened in 1968, and if that’s the best trash talk you’ve got about my city, you can kiss my Rocky Balboa.”
Most Philly fans are civilized, gracious, and not overly rowdy. Yes, we love our teams – the Eagles, the Phillies, the Flyers and the Sixers. And we wear our pride on our sleeves. What great sports town’s fans don’t? If the fans don’t go a little nuts over their team, I say shame on them!
Yes, Elijah and I went to the final game of the season against the Dallas Cowgirls (oops, did I really write that?) even though it was only 15°, snowy, and theoretically the game didn’t even matter. But it was OUR Eagles against our arch rivals, the Cowboys. It matters, and it was awesome! Most Eagles fans grew up here and love of this team is a family and generational tradition. Fathers, sons, moms, daughters, sisters & brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all have reveled in the glory of victory and the agony of defeat together for years and years. Not having grown up here, my perspective is a little different. I started a family tradition with my boys. I dragged my wife into it too, but she really only watches when the Birds make it to the playoffs.
And then, there are my “brothers”. We have developed our own band of brothers. We have started our own traditions. We all bleed green, and we all love this team! We prepare theme food for the games depending on who the Birds are playing. Or we just do usual football food, whatever fits. We rotate hosting game watching parties at our homes. We have as few as four to as many as eight or ten of us, just depending. It’s awesome.
And then there is the whole Underdog thing. Were the Eagles the Underdogs this year? Definitely. But now they are the Top Dogs. Undeniably. Hey, this is Rocky’s town – what greater Underdog story has ever been told. So, ’nuff said. I bleed green. We bleed green.
FLY EAGLES FLY, ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY…E-A-G-L-E-S…EAGLES!