Thursday, October 2: The Eagles Fan Thing

Via Wikimedia Commons

Via Wikimedia Commons

I was thinking last week about the Dallas Cowboys and their rivalry with the Redskins. I assume the reasons for this are pretty obvious, and I’m not going to revisit Dallas Week except to make this one observation: whenever I thought about the Cowboys and the Redskins, I thought of specific games. Sometimes they were good: the 1983 NFC Championship, the Monday Night Moss Miracle, the Troy Vincent blocked kick, the dominating win last year. Other times they were pretty cruddy: the Clint Longley game, the broken undefeated streak, the vast majority of games at Dallas since 1991. But the common denominator is that it was about the games.

There have been plenty of good games against Philly, wins and losses, but that’s not what keeps coming to mind as I think about this week’s game. What I keep thinking about instead are the Philly fans. When the guys at Mr. Irrelevant posed the question the other day about the Redskins biggest rival, Chris Mottram claimed to hate Philly fans more, even if he’d rather beat Dallas, which I think is rooted in the same phenomenon: the Cowboys are hated on the field, where the Eagles are hated off it.

(I should note at this point that some of my good friends and extended family grew up in Eagles territory and are lifelong Eagles fans. I want to hurry to assure all of those people that OF COURSE I’m not talking about them. I’m also not talking about the fictional-but-amusing Emo Eagles Fans at Kissing Suzy Kolber. [Language warning for KSK, although not those particular posts.] I’m talking about the OTHER kind of Eagles fan. You know, THAT guy.)

The roll call of misdeeds has at this point become legendary, and probably doesn’t need to be recounted, but what the heck. Eagles fans have, among other charming incidents:

And the first fistfight I ever saw in person — more of a beating, really — was at a Phillies game at the Vet. So, you know, there’s all of that. On the other hand, much of this stuff is presumably exaggerated, right? And at least a few staffers here rolled their eyes when I asked about the Eagles fans, calling it a complete non-story and (I’m paraphrasing) the most pointless annual discussion in the history of mankind.

Maybe, I thought, I’m completely off the rails here. Maybe I’m buying into years of overblown hype. Maybe the Eagles fans don’t even deserve their reputation at all. So I asked the players.

“They deserve it,” says Fred Smoot. “They are the meanest fans in the NFL, no doubt. My momma never came to watch me play in Philly, and I bet she never will, because I care about her too much. They’re hard knock fans, and they demand respect.”

Mike Sellers agrees. “It’s a hostile environment,” he says. “When we’re driving in, they egg the bus. When we drive into the stadium, there’s all these little kids standing there flipping us the bird. They’re much worse than Dallas fans, when it comes to talking trash.”

That may be because they do their research. “They know everything about you,” says Rock Cartwright. “They know all about your family, everything that needs to be known, they’re gonna find out. It’s not all of them, you know, but some of them….” He shakes his head.

It’s Randy Thomas, though, who puts it all in perspective. “They’ve got passion. I really think these guys don’t like to lose, and they take it the hard way. And they let you know with their mouths. Besides our fans, they’re probably some of the better fans out there.”

They’re fans, just like us. Really. I’m sure that’s what I’ll find out when I head up to my first game at The Linc on Sunday.

Or maybe not, according to Sellers. “It’s great for their fanbase, because they try to intimidate people, but once you’ve played in the league for awhile you start to get used to it. You’ll see, though. When you ride the bus into the stadium, you’ll be like, “Okay….”


30 Responses

  1. no, they are not fans just like us. as you said, there are a few of them who are easy to get along with and who don’t go overboard, but most of them are the most ridiculous people i have ever seen at a sporting event.

    i had never seen a fight at the Verizon Center in DC at a caps game….until i went to 2 playoff games against the Philthadelphia Flyers last year. both games there were fights in the stands, started by flyer fans, and one fight on the concourse where a drunken ******* flyer fan spit on 65 year old man (caps fan). the flyers fans proceeded to get beat down, which was great, and then got kicked out.

    then on the way out, there was a guy laying in the stair well with a broken neck…you guessed it, a flyer fan threw him down the steps. they are unbelievable.

  2. Jim Zorn related a story of when he was a QB for Seattle, playing at the VET in the 70s. During a TV timeout, his offense was standing near midfield, when one of his O-linemen yelled “Ouch”. Apparently he had been shot in the leg by a pellet gun!

  3. Phuck. Filly.

  4. Not winning at any sport for that long must make them angry. I admire the passion, but booing special needs children at the halftime of a Sixers game just shows what kind of people they are. Philly is the armpit of America…thats the real reason why they moved the capital to D.C.

  5. It’s funny I said the same thing yesterday on Cooley’s blog. As much as I hate Dallas I don’t hate their fans. But Philly fans… their the most annoying **** talking fans the world has ever met.

  6. Hey you forgot to mention that philly fans started a fight with Clinton Portis’ mom in ’06. She had to leave the stands and go to the sideline with the team

  7. I have to say that while I enjoy a victory over Dallas (mostly because they’ve been too few the last number of years), I take particular glee in beating the Eagles. Or really when any DC team beats a Philly team. Or really anytime a Philly team loses. Just hearing their fans piss and moan and justify their teams’ failure makes my day.

    My schadenfreude for Philly knows no bounds.

  8. I disagree. We have good games with the Cowboys but their fans are just as annoying as Iggles’ fans. The rub about Cowboys fans is that most of them are posers who follow a brand to crave attention, while Iggles fans are usually legit.

    Also Cowboys fans are smug bc they’ve actually won Superbowls. Philadelphians in general are venting frustrated anger–especially with the Iggles.

  9. yea CP’s mom had to leave cuz she straight knocked a b! t c h out
    Philly fans r old men who never played a sport in their life so phuck em’

  10. i do remember one specific game which makes me hate them on the field though. the monday massacre – i think it was the 1990 season? maybe?

    regardless, the eagles and eagle fans are equally hated.

  11. I am with Mottram, I hate Philly more than Dallas. I think its just based on my experiences as a fan. I mean don’t get me wrong… I love to beat Dallas and see it as our Rivalry but Philly is the worst!!!

  12. I don’t see what the big deal is….

  13. I’m with Michael on this one…

  14. Die Hard Redskins Fan has a nice interview with the Die Hard Eagles Fan. He doesn’t sound like the raving idiots that most Eagles fans are, but he still takes “pride” in the body bag game. It’s a good read.

  15. Philly fans are that way because nobody ever taught them any different. They think that’s the way a fan is supposed to act.

    I live in NC and last year there was an incident down here where a high school coach almost got fired because the father or uncle of one of his players was here from where else, Philly, and just started screaming profanities at the coach and getting in his face as he walked of the field and the coach ended up punching him in the mouth.

    His reaction was “Why’d he hit me? I was jst giving him the business” Like I said, nobody ever taught them right from wrong so they think what they do is ok.

  16. Hey! I just noticed that Chris Horton received another honor as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in September. That’s awesome!

    Now… I have been watching him.. and I know nobody, nobody can replace the late Sean Taylor. But Chris Horton almost looks like Sean without the dreadlocks. While Sean was 6’2″, Chris is 6’1″, and both weigh about the same (Sean was 212, Chris is 216). Both are heavy hitters. Chris is a rookie but imagine when he gets more experience, he could be on the same level as Sean was in a couple of years.

    All of this said, I just feel like Chris Horton is the next coming of Sean Taylor if he continues to play at this pace and gets more experience as he continues playing in the NFL.

    What do you guys think?

  17. No way in the world is Chris Horton in the same universe as Sean Taylor. It’s not to say Horton won’t be any good, it’s just that Taylor was a once in a lifetime combination of size and athleticism. Horton is definitely a playmaker, but I haven’t seen anything to say he’s a big hitter. Our other rookie safety, Kareem Moore, seems like more of a hitter than Horton.

  18. The Reaper:

    I agree with you. That’s why I said nobody can replace Sean Taylor. All I am saying is that Chris could strive to be like Sean, do the same things that Sean did: hit hard, make plays, and hit even harder more. Chris already has three interceptions, a fumble recovery, and he can definitely tackle – 8 out of his 10 are solos.

    All I’m saying is that if Chris can practice on his speed, his range, and his hitting, he could reach the potential that Sean had. You gotta admit there are a lot of similarities (height, weight, and some skills) between them even though Sean was a once in a lifetime combination of size and athleticism, as you describe.

  19. I’m with the Mayor!

    Philly fans are the worst. All they do is talk and try to act hard, but and then end of the day they are just plain wack!

    The reason they are so mad is because they have never won anything. They are the JV Bills, loosing 3 NFC Championship games in a row.

    The hate Skins fan becasue of our 3 super bowl rings. and this year they might be last in the NFC East, even though all the experts picked the Skins to finish last. Guess they are not experts after all.

  20. Ben W,

    I think the comparisons end with their size. Horton is strictly a SS who overachieves and just makes plays. Sean Taylor was the prototypical FS, with the height and speed to battle top WR’s. He was able to cover so much ground that it was mind boggling. Add that to his pention for de-cleating people with his hits, and you had an all-time great. I’m a selfish fan and miss having him back there more than anyone, but we Skins fans have to realize we’ll never see anything like him again. I think Horton would tell you that himself…and its a little unfair to compare anyone to Sean Taylor. Horton can become a great player, but they’re so different to me that I wouldn’t compare them. Just my opinion though.

  21. I’ve gone to the philly game for what will be 5 years in a row and i’ve had close to 80 yr old gma’s come up to me and tell me i’m f-in nuts, i’ve been called every insult in the book but mostly in good humor. no nose to nose confrontations but they definitely get on your case which is fine as long as the Skins win. It’s worse when we beat them, trust me. After last years Monday night game were mcNabb played poorly and we won late on a 4th down play they launched a verbal assault on me like no other but we won and I was smiling ear to ear. One word of advice DO NOT wear a personalized jersey to an Eagles game, just don’t do it.

  22. The Reaper:

    I agree with your opinion. I’m just giving a different take, I guess.

    At least we can agree on this one thing – nobody will ever replace Sean Taylor at all. Period. He’s a legend in all of his own right. And now…. let’s beat PHILLY to the point of submission!

  23. No one compares to Sean. He was just getting ready to explode as a football player. What we saw in DC was nothing compared to how he played at the U. No matter who we draft they will not match his sie, speed, awareness or tenacity

  24. Gotta agree with all and say that I hate the FILLY Fans more than Dallas fans. Even here in Hawaii we get Krack Head Filly’s eagles. On a side note, I met Dallas Kicker Nick Folk here in Hawaii. Cool guy, nice kid. He and His family, uncle, aunty and cousins were vacationing here. Nice people. It seems our Dallas rivalry has simmered down since the 80’s and 90’s. dunno!

  25. I will tell you why Philly fans are the meanest, angriest fans in the league. It is because their franchise sucks and has never, nor will ever anytime soon, won the superbowl. They are the Lions, they are the Cardinals, they are the Chargers, they are the losers of the NFL and they will never win.

  26. But I root for Philly to beat Dallas anytime they play unless it somehow would help the Redskins for Dallas to win.

  27. I’m with the reaper no one compares to sean. His hits made my tv shake and he had outstanding range. I’m curious to see what Horton does over an entire season because it just seems like anyone in his postition would have made those plays. I like what he’s done so far, but, he honestly doesn’t look like he has a lot of athletic ability to me. Hopefully i eat these words and we found a diamond in the rough.

  28. I cannot stand Philly, I love to see Dallas lose, but I would not want to see any of their players hurt (including T.O). Well at least not seriously injured. Remember Michael Irvin’s last play? He almost broke his neck and the Philly fans cheered while he was down on the field.

  29. philly fans are the worst. having been to a few redskins away games in various cities, they definitely stood out. theyre the polar opposite of the fans at lambeau (was at the skins-packers game up there last year) who were friendly, knowledgable, and actually interested in your perspective on the matchup. ive been to philly twice, for the last game in 05′ that got us in the playoffs and the monday nighter last year (thank god both were wins!) and i was spit on, yelled at, etc. my favorite moment was when cooley caught that td right before half in the monday nighter. right after that happened i stood up and put my two arms up and immediately felt at least 5 or 6 projectiles (including beer bottles) hit me in the back. i have to say though, theres no better payoff feeling than hanging out with the other skins fans up there who made the trip and dealt with the abuse too after a win.

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