Eagles fans are insane. Some people think we’re a little bit too insane. This guy will tell you, as will he, and this person goes in depth here. We’ve been ripped apart for throwing snowballs (twice), throwing batteries (this one was actually pretty rude), and even punching horses (which are synonymous with cowboys, so the horse probably deserved it). The truth is most of these things are actually funny, and the events that were truly abhorrent were done by a few idiots. Contrary to what national media and other fan bases will tell you though, there are indeed belligerent fans outside of the boundaries of Philadelphia and even in other NFL cities. Eagles fans, at the heart of it, are an emotional and unbelievably supportive bunch, whose weekly moods are determined by the outcome of a football game. For years, we asked the question, “Can you imagine what the city will be like if the Eagles won the Super Bowl?” For the past five months we’ve seen the answer to that question, and now as training camp begins, I’m going to ask a different one, “What will Eagles fans be like after we’ve won a Super Bowl?” How would the most supportive, rambunctious, and out-of-their-mind fan base act as the defending Super Bowl champion campaign draws near? Well…just about as you would expect.
Open practices to see the Eagles are something fans have always looked forward to, going back to when they held them out in the Lehigh Valley or even West Chester University (as was recently discussed by our very own Jason Blevins). Just last season, even after a 7-9 season, 23,000 fans came out to the Linc to catch Carson Wentz and the team practice. 23,000 fans showing up – and not even for a game. Being defending champs and knowing the city pretty well at this point, the Eagles knew well enough that they needed a more organized routine in filling the seats this time. So they issued free tickets to the two open practices, and they were “sold” out in minutes. The hype to see the defending champions, even if it’s only glimpses of action, is very real and you can feel it pulsating throughout the city as the season draws closer.
Just this past Tuesday, Jason Kelce and his saxophone joined the nationally acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra to the tune of “Fly, Eagles, Fly,” as well as providing a heart-pounding score as the backdrop to the Eagles Super Bowl LII victory. Eagles fans showed up in numbers, 8,000 to be exact, and celebrated the 2017 season all over again. Not only did they show up in force, but they tailgated the thing like it was a Sunday in October. Kelce gave a speech before his performance where he noted how unified the city has been since that victory, and when you look at how Eagles fans have continued to celebrate since, that unification becomes even more apparent.
Celebrating the World Cup final with a block party and a huge TV is a tremendous idea. Doing that and then watching the Super Bowl again after? Even better. Philly fans might not ever stop watching that game, nor should they. The guy with his hoodie tied around his waist showing off his empty forty is an icon, and the gentleman in red popping bottles after the “Philly Special” is every fan re-watching that play as if it was the first time. The 2018 season is almost upon us, and the party celebrating our Super Bowl win is just getting started.
Philly has always provided one of, if not the best, home field advantages in all of sports. Opposing players don’t want to come here, opposing fans don’t want to come here, and other cities news stations have even started coming up with survival guides to those fans that do end up coming. The past few months the city has had the Sixers, Flyers, and Phillies to keep us occupied, but Philly has always been a football town first. Eagles fever is heating up, and you can bet every fan will be itching for fight song after fight song when that opening kick goes soaring into the sky. The true hearts of Eagles fans is something the national media and opposing fan bases have never understood, and that’s fine – chances are, still no one likes us and we still definitely don’t care. I’ll end this with one last question, if you thought the Linc had an unbelievable atmosphere before…can you imagine what it will be like now?