The Super Bowl, a game that brings experienced and novice fans together for one night—be it for the game, the quirky commercials, or the halftime entertainment. There’s an element for all to enjoy and a reason for a party.
For some, however, the Super Bowl brings with it the bad taste of regret or longing or fear. It’s filled with widespread superstition, a chip on our shoulder, a craving like no other. In particular, for a city that bleeds green, it brings a reminder of that box we have yet to check, that game yet to be won. Some call us the worst fans in the nation, and thanks to the media, most only see our poorest moments (burning jerseys, snowballs at Santa, punching police horses), but Philadelphia fans continue to deliver unconditional support to their team year after year.
Let’s take a step back so I can do a little ‘splainin’.
By no means do I claim to be one of the diehards out there, but I understand and respect all that comes with living in Philadelphia and the rules that go along with Sunday (or Monday, and now even stupid Thursday) football.
From birth, we are groomed to bleed green, be it our first photos with Eagles apparel, photos of us “watching” the game with our parents, learning to chant E-A-G-L-E-S! EAGLES! along with our first words and taking our first dancing steps to “Fly Eagles Fly” in the form of a Mummers’ strut.
When the Eagles are on, the living room is a sacred place where true fans must focus without interruption. It is completely acceptable to have an Eagles viewing room at your wedding reception with radios in the mens’ room and updates from the DJ to appease those that had to sacrifice watching a playoff game to wish you and your groom much love after their nuptials (yes, that happened at my wedding).
We were forever cursed by the buildings towering above Billy Penn, which was finally broken with the Phillies World Series win in 2008. That being said, we are creatures of habit and believe that the slightest change in clothing, viewing location or Sunday habits will jinx the destiny of our beloved Igles. I mean, have you ever seen Silver Linings Playbook?
Now, here we stand days before the big game, still in disbelief we made it this far, and pulling out every trick in the book to keep the good karma flowing in this City of Brotherly Love. We have banded together to send our boys off the right way. We have draped Eagles gear on monuments around the city, put signage in the windows of our offices, homes, schools and any place visible to the public eye to show our continued support for the team that has broken our hearts time and time again.
Our priests are praying for this team in their sermons and little old ladies are putting the Blessed Mother in their windows. And, because we tend to live up to our reputation, barricades are on the corners along Broad Street with hope that our communities will have a reason to march together on Sunday night in celebration of a win (but no one dare say it aloud)!
There is something in the air in Philadelphia… a humility from the many challenges our team has encountered this season. Many of us wrote this year off as we watched player after player fall to injury, but our team has rallied to bring home win after win to get us to the end of the season. It is only fitting that we are facing the New England Patriots—one of the game’s most fearsome teams, with the most regarded quarterback in the NFL. It’s the same team (and quarterback) we faced in our last Super Bowl appearance in 2005. That these two teams—with the most outrageous and loyal fans—are meeting a lucky 13 years later to face off once again is no coincidence.
So to the naysayers, the haters, the Patriots fans out there, beware the City of Brotherly Love! Yes, we are the ultimate underdogs, there’s blood on the moon, and the odds are forever not in our favor, but we as an Eagles Nation are rallying. We are traveling in the masses to Minnesota and we are not going down without a fight!
THIS IS OUR TIME! GO BIRDS!