We've all heard this a million times, "Philadelphia fans are awful, I mean they booed Santa Claus." Is there anything more irritating for die-hard fans in Philly than the assumption that Eagles fans are classless or they are just a bunch of boo birds?
The thing that always gets brought up about 20 times a season, usually by a national sportswriter who has run out of ideas, is the booing of Santa Claus. You ask most people outside of Philadelphia what year that famous incident took place and they probably have no clue. Well here's a quick history lesson to clear some things up about that fateful afternoon.
The year was 1968, The Eagles started the season off at 0-11, by far the worst in the league. The silver lining, O.J. Simpson was the top prospect in the upcoming draft and the Eagles were on pace to get the No. 1 overall pick. All that was wrecked when the team won their next game, thus forfeiting the top pick in the draft.
Joe Kuharich was the Eagles head coach and general manager. Kuharich was the genius who decided it was a good idea to trade Sonny Jurgensen for Norm Snead. Snead finished the season with 11 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
During the final game of the season, which the Eagles fell to the Vikings finishing 2-12 on the season, there was a Santa Claus pageant during halftime. The fans at Franklin Field decided to vent their frustration out on Santa Claus, but he wasn't the only one. Head coach Joe Kuharich received his fair share of snow balls as well. Eagles fans were just so upset over the horrible 1968 season, and the fat man just happened to be in the way.
Eagles fans are actually the most loyal fans in sports. Forbes magazine did a study on the most die-hard football fans in the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles came out on top. The study used several factors, including season ticket renewal rates (99.7 percent for Eagles fans) and average attendance during the bad years, combined with the good years.
Eagles fans might be known for booing, but it's more of a sign that they care. They let the players know they expect better from them, kind of like a coach chewing out a star player after a bad play. Regardless of the team's performance, they continue to show up.
I'll leave the skeptics with one final thought. When was the last time an Eagles game was blacked out in Philly due to lack of fans in attendance?