Eagles fans have quite the reputation, don’t we? No matter what, it always seems like we’re the bad guy somehow. And with the Eagles in the Super Bowl, we get to be treated to all this crap again. Only this time, the media is doubling down on it. Why? Because the Vikings fans ran into a lot of problems at the NFC Championship Game, in which the Eagles dominated, winning 38-7. That doesn’t make much sense. Every year, we get Giants fans, Redskins fans, and even Cowboys fans who come here without trouble. Hell, even the Falcons fans didn’t run into many problems. So what gives?
What gives is how cocky and arrogant the Vikings fans were. First their media compared Eagles fans to a gang. Then they came to Philly, joking about all the crap they’ve heard about us. They planned a “takeover” of the Linc (by the way, this is what a real takeover looks like), did their “skol” chant at the Art Museum (which they stole from the Icelandic team), and even had the gall to put their Vikings gear on the Rocky Statue. The worst part was the amount of trash talk on social media, about the Eagles, the city, and the people of Philly nailed the point down. They made it clear that they were going in trying to take over, and that they were being competitive as fans. And then the Vikings get their asses kicked, and then it becomes all about how mean Eagles fans are. They poked the sleeping bear, and cried when it retaliated. They had it coming. It’s the classic kindergarten tattletale.
Granted, we were pretty extra and the NFC Championship. People constantly point out this video of a Vikings fan having beer cans thrown at them on their way to the Linc. And that’s pretty crappy. In no way am I, or the vast majority of the Eagles’ fanbase, condoning that crap. Those dudes should get arrested. But judging an entire fanbase, estimated to be the 5th largest in the NFL, by the actions of a few drunken jackasses is asinine.
And that leads to the problem with the media. All the media really is is a giant outrage machine. It runs on people’s anger and a perception of moral superiority. And here, both the media and the Vikings fanbase are salty over losing the NFC Championship, and are attempting to cope by blaming the entire Eagles fanbase for a select few incidents, and rely on stereotypes of nice Midwesterners and rude East Coasters to claim the moral high ground. Even before the game, ESPN, CBS Sports and the like were clearly pulling for the Vikings. With the Super Bowl being hosted in Minneapolis, it made sense. They made the Vikes out to be the good guys. And they lost. And by losing, it proved them wrong, and defied their two narratives they had toward the game.
The first, being that the Vikings are the good guys and that they’re the better team that’s going to be the first to play the Super Bowl at home. The second being that the Eagles are the bad guys with the horrible fans who don’t deserve to win. They clearly wanted the Vikings to win, and now they side with their salty fans and show isolated incidents to push their narrative. Naturally, they’re not going to point out the awful things Vikings fans have done. Of course they’ll ignore the Vikings fan who spat at Eagles fans and security guards. Of course they’re going to ignore the ones that beat a 13-year old Saints fan at the Divisional Game. They’ll disregard the conflicts between Vikings and Packers fans at Lambeau Field. That goes against both of their narratives. And, of course, they’ll neglect this video with over a million views of nice fans on both sides at the game.
Every fanbase has its scumbags. Everyone knows that. We just have the stereotype of being the worst. That’s far from the truth. And the statistics support this. This article features data that proves that Eagles fans appear to be around 10th in the NFL. The Giants are in the top 5, and the Eagles are 11th. Even the Cowboys and the Patriots are above us. Hell, the Pats have the record for most fans arrested at one game. With Philly, the instance that’s always brought up is the Santa Claus incident. But if you know what actually happened and why it happened, it makes more sense. He had it coming. He deserved it. And that was so long ago that the Eagles played at Franklin Field, and Lyndon B. Johnson was the President. But just about everything we get called out for, someone else (if not everyone) has also done it. Throwing balls of ice? Giants. Rioting after losses? Canucks. Throwing beer? The Browns, of all teams. General rambunctiousness? Every sports team in the whole damn world, especially outside the U.S. That all gets pushed aside. But when it happens in Philly, it becomes the thing we’re known for.
But then there’s the question: why us? Why is it the Eagles that get this reputation when every team out there has fans like this? Why is it that the media seems to root against Philly? I have a theory. And to prove this theory, we’ll look at the only comparable NFL team, the Oakland Raiders. Raider Nation, as its called, is probably the most intimidating fan base in American sports. Unlike other fan bases with a similar image, they’re known for dressing in elaborate costumes. They’re great. It’s gonna suck when they move. Anyway, the similarity is that Philadelphia and Oakland are both in proximity to other cities that get more media attention, and are always the setting of TV and movies. For Philly, it’s New York and Washington. For Oakland, it’s San Francisco. The existing attention to NY, DC, and SF makes them the “good guy” of sorts, the ones you’re supposed to like and see win. That makes Philly and Oakland the underdog. The bad guy. The ones who are supposed to lose.
But, as the Eagles and fans have said; We all we got, we all we need. Go Birds!