In today’s world of quick blurbs and 5-second attention spans, it’s easy for everyone to take pot shots at already established notions. None piss me off more than the negative feelings directed at Philly sports fans. The rest of the country looks down on fans who root for teams from the City of Brotherly love because of their “history.” As we are learning everyday history is sometimes incorrect, or at the very least, incomplete. (How many of you even knew about Juneteenth before last week?) In that vain, let’s take a deeper look at the most infamous moments in Philly fan history and explain how they’re really not that bad.
1. Throwing Snowballs at Santa
If this list will teach you anything, it’s that Philadelphians love throwing things. I’m starting with this one because of its lasting impact on the national view of Philly sports fans. First off, this took place in 1968, so get over it. Secondly, this Eagles team lost its first 11 games, only to win the last 2 games and miss out on a chance to draft O.J. Simpson. The fans were rightfully pissed. Finally, this Santa was literally a skinny guy from the stands the team found because the original Santa was unable to make it to the stadium. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and fans needed to let their feelings known. Plus, it was just snowballs! Not like they were throwing rocks or D batteries.
2. Throwing D-Batteries at J.D. Drew
Fun fact, I was actually at this game and was very annoyed when there was a long delay. Here are the facts: in 1997 the Phillies selected J.D Drew 2nd overall. Drew and his agent Scott Boras made it clear they did not want to sign with the team. Drew, being a jackass, said he would never play for a team with such horrible fans. Welp, you reap what you sow. I’m not saying it was right to throw batteries at J.D Drew, but he definitely needed to be taught a lesson. Plus, there are no snowballs to be found in June. Drew was not harmed as the batteries landed nowhere near him, so no harm, no foul.
3. Throwing Beer Cans at Vikings Fans
Before reading this, watch the video above. You’ll clearly see at the beginning of the video that beers were being tossed at Eagles fans who were quick to catch ’em and crack ’em. This is normal tailgate behavior. There have been moments in my illustrious tailgating career where I’ve been hit with beer cans and hit others with beer cans due to a lack of communication or bad hands. There is no malicious intent involved. The fact that Vikings fans were offended by this shows they’re out of touch. The fine people of Philadelphia were just trying to give you beverages for free before you had to pay $13 for one in the stadium.
4. Cheering Michael Irvin’s Injury
Michael Irvin was one of the most obnoxious players in the league during his time in the league. This was amplified in Philly due to the hatred between the Birds and the Boys. In the 1999 season, the Cowboys came to the Vet with a 3-0 record while the Eagles were 0-4. The Cowboys stormed out to a 10-0 lead and then it happened. Michael Irvin went down with an injury that ended his career. The fans cheered, and I’m not sorry about it. He was a jerk, and the Eagles were looking for a spark to turn the tide of the game. In the NFL you have to win by any means necessary, and win the Eagles did. After the injury the birds rallied back to beat the Cowboys 13-10. Irvin never played another game. I don’t know how you can blame the fans for cheering for such an obvious win-win situation.
5. Behavior During the Super Bowl Win/Parade
When the Eagles won Super Bowl LII, it was an extremely emotional time for the city. The media was reluctant to report on the joy, and instead focused on fans climbing greased up poles, and the minimal property damage. Let me tell you something, there was no violence the night of the victory or the day of the parade. This was a city that completely united and filled with love. I’ve never seen so many strangers hugging in my life, and there will never be a scene quite like it again. The first one is always the most memorable
6. Booing Donovan McNabb at the Draft
Growing up I loved Donovan McNabb. Although I’m too young to remember the fateful day, but when the Eagles selected McNabb 2nd overall, the few Philly fans who made their way up to New York for the draft were less than pleased.
7. Beating Up Redskins Superfan “Chief Zee”
Before I explain the story, I would like to sincerely say that I hope Chief Zee rests in peace as he died in 2016. RIP in peace. Back in 1983, Cheif Zee thought it would be a good idea to buzz up to Philly for an Eagles-Redskins game dressed in his garb. It was not. He was beaten up by fans and suffered a few broken bones. Now violence is never the answer, and I hate speaking ill of the dead, but come on, this man had it coming. Now that we’re in 2020 the world knows about cultural appropriation. This guy is literally ground zero. Philly fans were ahead of the curve when they beat him up. We’re an extremely progressive city.
So there it is. Solid evidence that Philly fans get an unfair rap. Here’s another truth, you’re all jealous that we love our teams better than you and know when to boo and when to cheer. This is the #1 sports city in the country and everyone else can suck it!