Being An Eagles Fan

Posted: July 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 44 Comments »

I touched on the subject of being an Eagles fan yesterday and people responded with some good comments so I thought I would expand on that for today.

To those of you born in Philly, being an Eagles fan is a birthright (although it may feel like a curse at times). You grow up cheering for the Eagles. You watch games with your friends and family. You go to school with Eagles fans. You live in Eagles World.  All you know is green.

I had never been to Philadelphia when I became an Eagles fan. To the best of my knowledge, I’d never met another Eagles fan. It was somewhat of a lonely existence for the first couple of years. I worked at Domino’s during the summers of my college years. I would go down to Myrtle Beach, SC and deliver pizzas to all the tourists.  There was a guy named John Farrell who would come down from Philly to work at that Domino’s (one of the busiest in the world). I still remember John and I being excited about the addition of Herschel Walker. John loved baseball even more so we often talked about that. And beer. And everything under the sun. I haven’t spoken to him in 20 years. If anyone out there knows John, have him send me an email. I’d love to catch up with him.

Because the Eagles had Randall, Reggie, Herschel and the rest of Gang Green, most of their games were on TV even down in North Carolina. I went to a local sports bar for a couple of Eagles games in 1992 and 1993, but I don’t remember hanging out with Eagles fans there. 1995 is the first time I got some Eagles friends. The stars were gone. The Carolina Panthers came into existence and were the FOX game every week. That meant I was at the sports bar a lot. I watched games with Jen and Dan. There were some others who became regulars, but Jen and Dan were reliable. They were there for the good and bad games. The Eagles started 1-3 that year. The 5th game was us at the Saints. Jen, Dan and I watched that game on the smallest TV in the sports bar. I’m pretty sure the TV was used at NASA back in 1971. It was small, old and crappy. But the game was fun because I watched it with friends and the Eagles won.

The next step for me was finding the Eagles Message Board. That happened in 2003. Suddenly I was interacting with people that were not just fans, but obsessive nutjobs…like me. This took things to a whole other level. This was no longer some people getting together for 3 hours on Sunday. EMBers were 24/7 types. You talked Eagles at 3pm and 3am. You talked Eagles on July 4th and Christmas.

Some of my EMB buddies invited me to go to a game in September of 2004. Walking around the parking lot at The Linc was amazing. There were nothing but Eagles fans as far as the eye could see. Sick, degenerate Eagles fans. It was a spectacular sight. I was home.

It freaked me out to see so many gorgeous women walking around in Eagles jerseys. I hadn’t even contemplated what that would be like. I was just excited to hang out with some cool guys. Eagles babes? That was too good to be true. I had known Jen, who was beautiful, but she was one woman. The Linc was filled with ‘em. It was pretty much the same feeling as the first time I walked into a Toys R Us as a kid in 1979…total sensory overload.

I was at The Linc at the right time. The Eagles were great that year. They also had lots of stars. The place went nuts when Brian Dawkins was introduced before the game. That was an amazing moment. Words do not do it justice. The entire stadium went into a frenzy. It truly was an electric atmosphere.

All Eagles fans need to go to a game at The Linc. Even if you pick a dud, just hanging out in the parking lot before the game and getting to spend time with your Eagles brethren is worth it.

Those of us outside of Philly don’t get to physically interact with Eagles fans every day. We have to venture online to find some people to discuss the Eagles with. That is why it’s so special when you do bump into a live Eagles fan somewhere. You stop and chat if you can. If you just exchange a quick hello, it still sticks with you. It means something. The world is full of Cowboys, Yankees and Lakers fans (often the same people). The Eagles are relatively popular, but this isn’t a team that casual fans come flying to.

I consider myself lucky. I love being an Eagles fan for the very reason that it does mean something. We don’t have our Super Bowl, but so what. Tampa Bay has a title, but there is no way I’d want to be part of that sorry fanbase. Think about how cool it is when the Eagles play in Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and even places like Dallas and San Fran. You see huge chunks of Eagles fans at those games. Eagles Nation is active. And loud. And proud. And always crazy.

Don’t ever change.

* * * * *

I’ll post some football stuff later tonight.

_


  • ICDogg

    You know, I’ve yet to go to a game at the Linc. I went to several at the Vet, and one at Franklin Field when I was very young. Not that I wouldn’t want to go to games at the Linc, but they’re out of my budget for now. Going to games at the Vet was always fun, even if the stadium was a concrete toilet and I would wind up somewhere facing the corner of the field where the least was going on.

    • P_P_K

      In the mid-late 70’s, I was a college student and worked part-time for Nylon Brothers, who had the concession contract with the Philly stadiums. I loved working Phillies games and rock concerts at Franklin Field, but I wouldn’t work the Vet during Eagles games. The fans were just too wild!

    • Sb2bowl

      ICD-

      If you are ever looking for tickets, please message me. We have tickets and I’m always looking for responsible people. Don’t want drunk/idiots as that can mess up our licenses. But the offer is there. Use my name at aol.com

  • shah8

    I’ve always enjoyed Eagles fans when they’re manic. Lots of fun to be around, worth it to take precautions in the depressive phase.

    And take it from me, there really are worse fanbases. Not in the sense that we might mock Jets/Mets fans, but in the sense that the fans we hear from, are some of the lamest.

  • SteveH

    I live in Jersey, closer to Giants territory than Eagles territory but its not so bad because you always have someone to talk smack with.

    When I was about 4 years old I decided I was going to be an Eagles fan because their jerseys were green and that was my favorite color. No one else in my family (even extended family) even cares about football and the only close friend I’ve had who cares as much about football as I do is… a Cowboys fan. So I’ve always felt like a bit of a bastion of Eagles pride.

  • Ark87

    I went to 2 games at the vet when I was in grade school, vs the Bengals and vs the Giants. 1-1 in my live experience….and they gave Irving Fryar a motorcycle in one of the games….can’t remember too much about the game…..oh everytime we scored (even a field goal) a runner with a giant Eagles flag would run across the vet, I wondered if he got paid to do that. Everything looks so small and slow from the nose bleed section. It’s definitely the experiences that stuck with me, not the game. Haven’t gotten to the Linc yet.

  • Weapon Y

    I haven’t lived in the Philly area since I was 5, but I’ve been a lifelong Eagles fan. My grandfather took me to an Eagles game (700 level of all places) when I was a little kid and I became an Eagles fan for good. I moved to northern New Jersey, Giants fans territory, but never left the Eagles fanbase. My best friends were all Giants fans and the rivalry was great. It killed me to watch the Giants win Super Bowl 42. That same year, when I turned 14, my dad got a job in Pittsburgh and moved us there. All of my new friends were hardcore Steelers fans, but I stubbornly maintained my Eagles fanhood even as the Steelers won Super Bowl 43. Now, I’m a sophomore at Penn State, where I have friends who are Eagles, Steelers, Giants, Redskins, and Ravens fans. For me, being an Eagles fan gave me a unique identity and allowed me to connect with people because I cheered for their team’s foe.

    • MediaMike

      So stop slacking and get Penn State a national title while you’re living in the Happy Valley!

      • D3FB

        Considering they are banned from post season play the next three years and weapon y is a sophomore, he’d have to take a redshirt year for a shot at that.

        • MediaMike

          Masters Degree. Doctorate. There is time for multiple titles!

  • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

    I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia, and whenever I think of Philly fandom, I think about my Dad. If you catch him watching a game, Phils and Eagles mostly, and you didn’t know any better, you’d get the distinct impression that he hates. . .and I mean HATES. . .those teams. He’ll scream and yell obscenities, (mostly at Ryan Howard at this point) and turn the game off and call them losers and swear off the team(s) entirely (It’s usually at that point my Mom pops around the corner and tells him to shut the hell up, and if he hates them so much why does he keep watching them? To which his reply is usually short and pointed).

    But 30 seconds later the game’s back on and he’s sitting on the edge of his seat. One of the clearest memories I have as a kid is him yelling at the TV as the Eagles lost to the Giants on a late FG to keep them out of the playoffs. I’m not sure what year it was.

    The reality for him is that he’s loved them so, so much for so, so long, and consequently been let down so many times, that he expects the worst before it even happens. But even though they’ve hurt him time and again, he keeps coming back for more because he cares so much. He literally lives and dies with the team. He gets off a long day of work and all he wants to do is watch a game or talk sports. The whole family was watching fireworks last night. . .he’s inside by himself watching the last inning of the Phils game.

    It’s odd for me to stop and think about why I’m so passionate about the Eagles and Philly sports in general. But then I go home for a weekend and see my Dad watching a game and it’s kinda like, “Oh yeah. There it is”. Sure there are little differences; I’m more of a Flyers fan and he’s more of a Phillies fan. But we both love the Eagles. And that’s the kind of important stuff that you never really think about when you’re yelling at players on TV. How sports, and a team, and a city can really give you an identity and bring people and sometimes families together. I lived in a few different cities during and after college and one of the biggest things that always bugged me was the way going to see a sporting event had lost a certain. . .something. Seeing a Philly team play in Philly is one of those truly fantastic experiences. Especially now that I know there’s nothing more strange and alienating than going to see your team play in another teams venue.

    When my Dad is watching the Eagles I always urge him to relax and try to be positive and have faith. The game’s not over yet. They can still pull it out. But the scary/funny thing is, as the years go by, the more I feel myself understanding and appreciating his viewpoint.

    • P_P_K

      Countless are the times I would hear my Dad screaming at the tv, “You’re bums, a bunch of lousy bums!” Then, after the Eagles loss, he’d pronounce to my Mom, “I swear, I will never, never watch those bums again!” The vow would hold until the next Sunday.

      • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

        Use of the word “bum”, is a sure sign of a Philly sports fan. It’s passed on through the generations like the love of D batteries and hatred of Santa Claus.

  • Mitchell

    I live in Illinois so I deal with a lot of Bears, Rams, and god forbid Packers fans. You all are the only ones I can really talk with about te Eagles so I truly appreciate the company. Although I have been a fan since ’03, I only really started following about a couple years ago. I never played football in high school but I love to learn about football schemes and formations. Looking forward to a great season with you all and perhaps I’ll be able to see another game live at the Linc this time (Soldier Field is nice too).

  • Neil

    The only reason I’m an eagles fan is because when I was 5 years old I thought they had the coolest helmets.

  • P_P_K

    I grew up in Philly and suburbs, and have been a lifetime Eagles fan. My earliest memories go back to the trade for Jurgensen that brought Norn Snead to town. I live in New England now, surrounded by gloating Pats fans. Two of my buddies and I get together every week and watch the Eagles. Our wives and kids join and it is a terrific family environment. My 10 year-old son is a huge Eagles fan, but sometimes I think I should apologize for giving him such a legacy. The kid could be celebrating Patriot’s Super Bowl wins with his school friends, instead he is, well, you know.

  • Joe Minx

    John Farrell wouldn’t happen to be the same John Farrell who’s manager of the Red Sox, would he?

  • Jesus Miguel Hernandez

    I am a Mexican eagles fan & I only know a very few because the “common” fans here are cowboys, steelers, or patriots fans… I went to the Linc two years ago to watch the Giants game when Shady McCoy scored on that 4 & 1 on Mike Vick’s pitch … Oh boy, I can’t describe what a great feeling and love I felt that day in the Linc.

    And even though some of my friends have seen their teams win a SB I just feel that watching your team win its first Super Bowl is something different, specially being an eagles fan

    • GvilleEagleFan

      My best friend since elementary school is a Giants fan (transplanted down here from NJ), and I will never forget how fun it was to watch that play and taunt him on every instant replay

      • Mitchell

        Then he reminds you that te Giants have won two Super Bowls in the last 5 years and you die a little inside :(

        • GvilleEagleFan

          Nah, I just remind him why Matt Dodge doesn’t have a job anymore. Those titles were rewarding for him, but the Eagles weren’t in great positions to win either year, and they beat the Pats both times so I was happy to join him in rooting for the Giants in those games. See my best friend happy + Tom Brady sad? No brainer in my book.

          • Mitchell

            Matt Dodge lol. Poor guy. It’s good your friend doesn’t rub it in your face though.

  • P_P_K

    One other thing that’s fun about being an Eagles fan is meeting Giants fans while travellng. A simple greeting of “Dallas sucks,” is usually enough to garner a smile or handshake in return.

    • MediaMike

      I’d rather pal around with the Cowboys fans and say Eli sucks. Since I started working in bars near Villanova in college, I became more anti-Giants than anything else.

      • theycallmerob

        I must say, you’re the first Eagles fan I’ve ever come across with that viewpoint. Most of my family is split between NY and PHL, yet we all come together for our hatred of Dallas. And now that I live in Bmore, it’s nice to know that my buddies who are Raven’s fans share a hatred of the Redskins with me. I was more anti-NYG as a child, but nothing makes me happier these days than seeing Romo sign a fat extension and Jerrah the day after a draft.

        • MediaMike

          I have a burning hatred of NY sports fans and their franchises.

  • pjxii

    I grew up in Philly but live in Florida now. Never been to an Eagles game in Philly but when they came to Miami and Tampa the past couple of years I was there. Nothing will beat the image of the huge Eagles fanbase in Sunlife Stadium! We took over the place to the point that our defensive players were encouraging us to make noise (it was basically an Eagles home game with over half the packed house wearing green) and the Giants fan friend I was with came away very impressed with our fans.

    • GvilleEagleFan

      I saw the Birds play in Jacksonville in 2010 and it was the same way, my seats were in the middle of a three row deep, ten seat wide bloc of Eagles fans. Not ashamed at all to say we drove several more fragile Jags fans out of the stadium. When Philly fans come to a game, we mean business

  • Tom from Hungary

    I have been an Eagles fan since February 6, 2005. On that day I sat down in front of my TV at roughly 1 a.m. to watch Super Bowl XXXIX. I had never seen an NFL game before, I did not know anything about the game itself besides the fact that the Super Bowl every year is a real big deal in the US. After the game I thought to myself: “I don’t know what I just saw, but it was pretty spectacular and actually – without knowing the rules or the players – interesting”.

    I always liked the 76ers, even as a kid, mostly because of Allen Iverson, so it was natural for me to pull for Philadelphia in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, things did not work out the way they should have that day, it meant little to me then, means a helluva lot more know.

    The reason why I only became a fan in 2005 is that the first NFL season they broadcasted here in Hungary was maybe the 2003 season, so the game itself in the early 2000s was relatively new to Hungarians, as it was to the whole Eastern (and maybe Central) European region. Also, I was a teenager back then, and in Europe most teenagers are soccer fans. This might actually be changing a bit these days. NFL is really growing in Europe as you may already know, actually we have a site here in Hungary that covers the Eagles with OTA and minicamp coverage etc., albeit according to the number of Facebook likes only a few hundred Hungarian Eagles fans are dedicated enough to read that site regularly, but I’m sure there are thousands of Eagles fans in Hungary. I am one of them. Igglesblitz and Eaglesblog have been my daily go to sites for quite a while now, so all I can say to you Tommy is: thank you and keep up the good work!

    • GEagle

      I’m from Philly, spent a few years in Rome. I take great pride in converting like 10 Europeans into die hard birds fans!! EAGLES NATION!!!!

  • Alex Karklins

    I was born in Philly, then lived abroad until I was ten, then lived in Doylestown, PA through high school. I remember watching the Eagles playing the Raiders in Super Bowl in 1981, while my family was living in Mexico City. That’s probably the beginning of my fandom. Watching the Eagles on Sunday with my dad and yelling at the TV got me into form. I was lucky enough to see several games at the Vet growing up, but I haven’t been back to Philly since the Linc was built.

    I’ve lived out West for a long time (college in Montana, grad school and career in Denver), but I’ve remained a loyal and obsessive Eagles fan the whole time. I’m really looking forward to seeing Chip Kelly’s Eagles in September at Sports Authority Field.

    Most of the Broncos fans I know are quick to conclude that Manning and the Broncos will win easily. I tell them that they’re probably right, but in the back of my mind I feel that this game might be the one where everything comes together. Manning gets confused by Billy Davis’ multiple fronts, and Cole and Cox and Graham feast on the Denver o-line. Manning is forced into bad decisions, even throwing a pick 6 to Bradley Fletcher. Shady and Bryce Brown pile on over 350 rushing yards running to DRC’s side of the field. Von Miller is neutralized by perfectly timed read option plays by Vick/Foles/Barkley. As the game goes on, the small pockets of green in the crowd get louder, while the large sea of orange sits on its hands. At 5:30 pm MST, on September 29, Chip Kelly gets the biggest win of his Eagles career (so far).

    It could happen, right? At the very least, I get to see my Eagles in person for the first time since the late 90s.

  • Ickles

    Born in Philly, grew up in Louisiana (and still here)…and a die hard Eagles fan from birth. Still dreaming of seeing my first game in Philly. Hopefully one day I can bring my boys up to watch. I catch the Eagles every time they play in New Orleans (which has been painful recently) and am planning my first trip to Dallas to cheer the birds against the Cowgirls this year.

  • atb124

    Grew up in a Philly suburb. There were no football fans in my family, so I pretty much discovered football on my own and started falling in love with it during the days of Randall, Reggie and Buddy.

    We moved to Florida just before I turned 12 and I was not a fan of the move to put it mildly. I reacted by becoming obsessive in my loyalty to all things Philly and PA.

    I broke my fist when Tommy Hutton bobble the snap on what would have been a chip shot game winning field goal against Dallas, then again when McNabb threw the pic-6 to Barber.

    I was pretty much isolated in Eagles fandom until I made my way back to the keystone state about a decade ago. It’s pretty nice to be able to talk Eagles with guys at work, and the Eagles blogs I’ve discovered over the last year or so are the icing on the cake.

    • Alex Karklins

      Gaaah! That Hutton bobbled snap put me into a foul mood for several days. Since I wasn’t in Philly, people couldn’t figure out why I was so crabby all of a sudden.

  • Cafone

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Eagles Digest! I guess you were unaware of it… It was the fan newsletter/magazine put out by Dave Spadaro in the late 80s and early 90s before the internet. For an out-of-town fan it was like mana from heaven.

    I can be critical of Spadaro now sometimes, especially for the lack of useful commentary he adds during the Eagles draft broadcasts, but back in the day he was the man! And I remember being thrilled for him when the Eagles hired him and he got to live out the dream of working for the organization he loves. (just like I’ll be thrilled when someone finally recognizes Tommy’s talent and he gets a network TV gig.)

  • Sb2bowl

    I grew up near Harrisburg, but our roots run back to the 1960 team. See, the Eagles used to hold training camp in Hershey, and back then it was common for kids to help move equipment around, carry stuff for the players, etc. Anyways, my uncles used to hang out down there and carry the shoulder pads/helmets down to the field. There are even stories floating around about some players coming over to the house to visit the bar that was in the basement, but those are tough stories to get out of the people that took place.

    It was in the early 90s when the Eagles became my team; we were At the Eagles/Cowboys Halloween game on a Monday night. It poured, and Emmit ran for over 200 yards against us. We sucked. But I remember knowing that despite family relations and history, the Eagles were my team.

  • McNabbulousness

    Dad was born and raised in Telford, up near Quakertown. Mom’s side of the family resides mainly in Canton, OH. I was born in Virginia, go figure. Mom’s side got me hooked on the Indians. Dad never really pushed me towards any of the Philly teams, but I for some reason or another developed a fiery passion for both the Eagles and Flyboys. That edge/fire/craziness that flows through the genetic makeup of that region was a dominant gene I inherited. In Virginia, I’m way out of place with a half ass hail to the redskin nation and the cowboys bandwagoners left over from the 90s.

    Even in Ohio I’m a shade off, being the one guy to start booing a half second earlier than the crowd at a bad call made at Progressive Field (the Indian’s ballpark). Being a more outwardly subdued fan base, every time I go to a Cleveland game I get that WTF look at least once (Best example; between innings one time they did a celebrity birthday montage, and guess who’s b-day it was, Tiki Barber. Seeing his face instantly made start cursing at the jumbotron to the point where I had most of my section looking at me). On I side note, I believe my bitterness comes from both cities.

    As its been said many times before, its easy to love a winner. I’m still searching for my first title in any sport (missing out on those Phillies in aught 8, even though i rooted for them hard in the fall classic). As an Eagles fan that didn’t grow up in east PA, i consider myself less of a pessimist and more of a cautious optimist. How can I get too down when there’s always next year!

    The NFL as a whole has the most ignorant/shallow fanbase of all the major sports. With people who know nothing about football except who’s starting on their fantasy team and the grotesque “fandom” of cowboys/steelers/pats/ giants “fans”, I’m glad I am part of a tough-nose/no BS fan base.

    Go Eagles.

  • ohitsdom

    There’s nothing like being at an Eagles game and going crazy when Dawkins is announced. Dang I miss those days…

  • Neill Stark

    I am also a long distance fan of the Eagles that has experienced being a fan with only a couple of fellow Eagles fans mostly over the years. My mother and her family was originally from PA and I was born in NJ, but I grew up in North Carolina and was an Eagles fan as a child in what was really Redskins area. At 15 my mom moved us back up to upstate Pennsylvania and for a few years ’91-’96 I got to experience being a fan and actually watching them every Sunday on TV. In ’96 I joined the Navy and since then I have caught the Eagles when I could and always celebrated with fellow Eagles fans when I had the chance that I served with. I have loved being a part of the long distance Eagle Nation and I truly appreciate being a fan. I am being medically retired here soon and I will be moving up to the Wilkes-Barre area. I can’t wait to have my chance to finally attend my first game at the Linc and being surrounded by the thousands and thousands of fellow Eagles fans. Thank you Tommy for putting out such an informative site for me to still enjoy being an Eagles fan long distance.

  • Binkle84

    Wow. I was on the EMB heavy back then. Weird to see someone mention it in an article. Shout out to Herb.

    As an avid Eagle fan in Dallas,Texas…I feel your pain.

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  • mrdefrance

    I now live near shreveport Louisiana and I’m looking for a spot to watch eagles games with other eagles fans. Were is the closest nest? Anyone?

    • PREeagles

      Did you get any info? Im also in the area!

      • mrdefrance

        No I did not. Were are you at? We may have to start our own nest lol Many people down here aren’t even online lol.