PHILADELPHIA fans. Lincoln Financial Field.
It’s a night game. Twenty-five degrees outside, and the mercury is creeping to the bottom of the thermometer as if it can huddle against itself for warmth. There’s a guy making $15 an hour sitting in a $300 seat, next to guy who makes $12 an hour. Neither can really afford to be there, but neither can afford to be anywhere else tonight.
Breath as dense as smoke leaves their mouths with the words “Fly Eagles Fly.” The smell of beer and the hum of possibilities. Someone nearby has a phone with “Mummer’s Strut” as a ring tone. The atmosphere is festive. Tonight victory is assured, since the Saints have never won a cold weather playoff game. History is on our side for a change.
That night, Saints history would be made and we would fall to them.
In most cities across our great nation, when their football season ends, their fans turn their bitter eyes to hockey, or basketball, or the wait for spring training. It usually depends on which type of pro teams they have there. Philadelphia boasts an NHL team, an NBA team, and an MLB team. Once that Eagles season came to an end, we had our pick of options to fixate on. We could have used any one of them as a distraction, and hid from a loss that could have haunted us.
But we didn’t do that did we?
Despite the fact that we have a franchise from every relevant pro league in America (including Soccer), Philadelphians never really fold-up camp on an NFL season. Here you can talk Eagles 365 days a year, and nobody will say “Hey buddy, it’s the wrong time of year for that”. Not unless he wants to be hit in the teeth with the edge of a ceramic plate. We take our Eagles seriously in this city. We’re rabid here. Unapologetically so.
I used to think we were misunderstood, but that’s not it at all. Other fan bases understand us plenty. And THAT is what they have their issues with. Other fan bases understand that they don’t have our pride. Remember that Forty-niners/Cowboys game where thousands of Cowboys fans sold their tickets to Niner fans? That could never happen here. It’s simply not possible. Other fan bases understand that they don’t have our loyalty. Five decades with no Super Bowl and still the Linc fills to standing room only. Other fan bases understand that they don’t intimidate players like we do. Rival players routinely say they hate playing here because of the fans. Other fan bases understand that our former players love Philly BECAUSE OF US. Players who leave here overwhelmingly speak highly of us. Some even kiss our logo when they return.
When have you EVER seen that elsewhere? (Okay, okay Micheal Jordan did it, but not after playing for someone else.)
So no. There’s no misunderstanding. Rival fans understand us perfectly. They understand, that we’re the best.