Yeah, as if we didn't know it before. What with television, ESPN, every sports magazine in the country, and the Internet repeating it over and over again, you'de think we as fans might be just a little whacked.
But it was only this week when I finally fully understood why Eagles fans are called crazy. I finally understood why we're considered the most die-hard fans in the country. Lastly, I finally understood what it really means to be an Eagles fan.
It was Sunday, October 5th, 2008 -- two days ago. The Phillies had, for the second year in a row, and for only the second time in 15 years, won the N.L. East division. They had, in the playoffs proven that they were not going to go out so quickly as last year, when they were swept.
They won Game One handily, behind Cole Hamels' miraculous two-hit outing. In Game Two, they beat possibly the best pitcher from the last decade in the reigning Cy Young award winner, C.C. Sabathia -- and in doing so, hit the first Grand Slam in Phillies playoff history.
In Game Three, they were turned down behind veteran Jamie Moyer's rocky start. The Phillies wre to play one more game in Milwaukee before having to face C.C. Sabathia again in a potential Game Five. Knowing that the season was on the line, the Phillies went out to give the Brewers a ball game, advance to the N.L.C.S., and look towards possibly the first World Series berth since 1993.
There was, however, one tiny little problem.
The Phillies would be playing Sunday's game at 1 PM, exactly the time the Eagles would be playing. One question was going through my mind: Who will Philadelphia be watching? The question resonated through all the Sports Radio stations in Philly, in the newspaper, and even on Philly's popular blogs.
As the game approached, I became more and more curious. I already knew who I was going to be watching, but I was hoping that most people would be going the other way. I, the nutcase, was planning on watching one game on Sunday and that was...
Sure, the Phillies were going for the N.L.C.S. Sure, it might be a once in a lifetime experience (as it later proved to be). But for some inexplicable reason, an unexplained force in me had me glued to the TV set, watching the Eagles square off against the Washington Redskins.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead, as did the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins slammed a home run in the game's first at-bat, setting a tone for the game. But I didn't want to have anything to do with it, yet.
You know the rest of the story -- the Eagles lost in one of the worst games I have ever seen them disgrace themselves in, and there's been a lot. The Phillies, on the other hand, had advanced to the N.L.C.S. and were looking to break Philadelphia's streak of 25 years without a championship.
And I missed it.
In fact, I don't even regret that I did, because despite whatever anyone says, this is a football town through and through and that is one thing that will never change. Not the Phillies, not the Flyers. Definitely not the Sixers.
After the Eagles game, I couldn't even appreciate what the Phillies had done. The Eagles were all that mattered to me. I was depressed.
In the end, the weirdest stat of all was that not only did the Eagles dominate in the overall ratings, but even at the end of both games -- when the Eagles couldn't stop the Redskins from getting first downs as Brad Lidge closed out the ninth in Milwaukee, the Eagles still won out in the ratings.
I now know what it mans to be a true football fan in the beautiful City of Brotherly Love.
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