Philly Fans' Christmas Spirit

Phil AndrewsCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2009

Yes, they booed Santa and have not been able to live it down ever since. Come on, I'm sure at some point or another while watching the Eagles play your team, you have heard the announcers smugly tell you, "Hey Eagle’s fans are tough, they even booed Santa Claus once." Yes, once, a very long time ago. Oh and by the way, they also threw snow balls at him too.


First of all, you need to know the real story behind this urban legend if you will. Its roots stem form a December 15, 1968 Eagles-Vikings game at Franklin Field. That particular year the Eagles were horrible, finished 2-12 following an 0-11 start. Like I said, they were horrible. Needless to say, Philadelphia fans were neither amused nor excited by the team’s efforts, which only added to their frustration that day. 


The Santa in question was a skinny 20 year old kid named Frank Olivo who had been wearing a Santa suit and fake white beard to the final Eagles home game of the year for several seasons. As halftime of the Vikings game approached that day, the Eagles' entertainment director asked Frank, to replace a hired Santa who had been stranded by the snowstorm.

As Olivo ran downfield past a row of elf-costumed Eagle cheerleaders, the team’s brass band began playing "Here Comes Santa Claus,"  and It was then, that the boos began raining down on Saint Nick or in this case Saint Frank. Those boos were then followed by the snow balls. For Olivo, it was just an unfortunate case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Eagles fans were not really mad at Claus, they were mad the teams ill timed attempt to spread a little good cheer during another wise blah season. So remember this story next time you hear an announcer tell you that Eagles fans booed Santa Claus.

Now, with that said, you should know that this Sunday prior to the Eagles-49ers game, Eagles fan Michael Young and a few hundred of his friends will hold a charity tailgate toy collection and Fundraiser for the police athletic league. Former Eagle players Willy T, Fred Barnett and Brian Mitchell will be on hand to sign autographs along with the folks from  Butz and Butz Sports Radio.

Any fan that brings an unwrapped new toy will get an autographed picture. A $20 donation will also get you an autographed photo. $75 gets you a signed ball by all 3 former players, and for a $15 donation, all the food and drink you want. The Police Athletic League will be there by the way to collect the toys.  Hey, if you are in the holiday spirit and want to take a pause for the cause, you can find Michael and his posse in lot D-6 at the Wachovia Center across from Lincoln Financial Field-see map.


So see, Eagle fans aren’t really as bad as the reputation that precedes them. Just don’t wear your favorite team’s jersey to a Philly home game unless it’s got a little kelly or midnight green in it.