Sports Misconceptions: The Typical Eagles Fan

Anthony WilliamsonCorrespondent IMay 8, 2009

The general consensus is that they're an unruly bunch.

Their stories are legend.

They've chucked foreign objects at everyone from Jimmy Johnson to Santa.

They cheered as Concrete Charlie stood over a seemingly lifeless Frank Gifford and when Michael Irvin suffered a career ending injury.

They've booed the Easter Bunny and booed a young quarterback on what was supposed to be the best day of his life.

And who can forget the famous "Eagles Court" in the stadium's basement?

The National Media and even some former Eagles players deem the fans as being "front runners" and have further commented "they only love you if you win".

Is the above commentary fair though?

Do they tell the whole story?

What if I were to tell you that the cheering was not elation over Irvin's injury, but over an 0-4 team showing signs of life.

Yes, it seemingly continued as he was carried off the field, but fans knew that without a weapon like Irvin the Eagles had a chance to actually win.

Was it ill-timed? Sure.

Was it inappropriate? Absolutely.

Was it malicious? Not in the least. after the Irvin injury many Philadelphia fans sent get well cards to both the hospital he was taken to and to the Dallas Cowboys home office?

What if I told you that Santa merely caught the brunt of fan frustration with Joe Kuharich and Jerry Wolman and Norm Snead after a 2-12 season? And that Frank Olivo, the man in the suit that day, thought it was funny?

No one booed the Easter Bunny; it’s a Bob Uecker joke that’s taken on a life of its own and the fans that booed McNabb on draft day were hired guns. They were sent there to boo any Eagle pick other than Ricky Williams.

You know, the running back more known for wearing a wedding dress on an magazine cover and smoking pot than for leading his team to victories? For all we know, they may not have even liked the Eagles!

And I don't know about you, but if I saw Jimmy Johnson now, with his smug attitude and Florida tan, I might pelt him with something too...

Still, even though all of the above can be found by any six year old with Internet access and knowledge of the word "Google", the perception remains.

The majority of Eagles fans are knowledgeable about the sport of football.

They know the success rate of a play action on second down as well as they know the quickest way to get from the 9th street entrance of the Gallery to Penn's Landing.

They are also fiercely loyal.

The American City Business journal, which conducts a regular study to determine the most loyal fans in the NFL, evaluates fans based primarily on attendance related factors and ranked Eagles fans third in both 1999 and 2006.

The 2006 study noted that they filled 99.8 percent of the seats in the stadium over the previous decade.

As of August 2008, the team had sold out 71 consecutive games and even with a 6-10 record in the 2005-2006 season, the Eagles ranked second in the NFL in merchandise sales, and single game tickets for the next season were sold out minutes after phone and Internet lines opened.

Not the mark of a "front runner".

And if they "only love you when you win" then Ron Jawarski wouldn't be able to walk the streets of Philly, given his performance in the 1981 Superbowl.

True, while you're draped in Midnight Green, chances are if you screw up you're going to hear about it, but who among us hasn't given someone a hard time for under performing?

Whether it's getting on your younger brother or the starting quarterback the reason remains the same:

You know they can do better.

Donovan McNabb has a nationally recognized standing as being the most maligned Philly athlete in the last ten years.

Really though, is it the majority that hates McNabb? If you read the local papers and listen to local talk radio it sure seems to be the case.

Still, I challenge you to walk the streets of Philly on a Sunday afternoon during the regular season and count the No. 5 jerseys you see.

If you can do that and not lose your mind, I'll hire you to do my taxes next year.

As is often the case in life, it's the minority that mistakenly get's tabbed as the majority, so allow me to set the record straight on a few things:

If you go to an Eagles game and cheer the opposing team you will NOT get beaten within an inch of your life.

Now if you're being a jerk, you're writing your own ticket and it just may get punched.

Eagle fans do not go into a suicidal rage after a loss.

No one likes to lose and some recover from a loss faster than others but people do not wrap their entire reason for being on the win-loss column.

There are drunken idiots everywhere not just at Lincoln Financial Field.

I can't stress this enough, you go to any bar, stadium, or other place of sports viewing and you are bound to find someone who's mission it is to be a complete tool. And despite popular opinion the vast majority of those exist outside of Philadelphia city limits.

The majority of Eagles fans are nothing like you think.

Most of us not only have all of our original teeth, but we enjoy an intellectual conversation regarding opinions other than our own.

We drink in moderation and we do our best to adhere to generally accepted social standards regarding hygiene.

In short, we're not much different than any other football fan...

Except our team doesn't SUCK!



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