If there were ever a spelling bee for NFL fans, these guys would be world champs. I’ll spare you the details, but you all know the chant. Living in Philly, you hear it in grocery store lines, waiting for the train, in public bathrooms and just about anytime two drunken Eagles fans meet on the street. Normally everyone within earshot joins in, typically right about halfway through the “G.”
We all know the stereotypes; throwing batteries (size D, not your normal AA’s), booing Santa Claus, celebrating opponents injuries, and tailgating every event possible (trust me – I’ve seen my sidewalk tailgated just because it was a Thursday). Let’s face it – Eagles fan, have a reputation of having a relentless mean streak and being obnoxiously rude. Now, let’s be fair, every team has their share of fan idiocracy, but I’ve never been anywhere else where there exists a pure, unfounded hatred for all NFL teams other than the green and silver.
I remember the first time I donned a Steeler jersey and headed to the bar to watch the game. My mind filled with the horror stories I had heard, I had no idea what to expect, and frankly, I was quite nervous. I can handle heckling and jeering, but the thought of going fist-to-cuffs with a pack of wild McNabbs and Dawkins’s wasn’t very appealing. Needless to say, I survived the experience and even met a few fellow Steelers fans along the way. I’ve got a pretty good ability to keep a low profile, and combined with my mutual respect for the game and all fans, I’ve built a successful foundation as the accepted Steeler fan in my group of friends. Aside from the random, “Hey man… Pittsburgh Sucks” comments that are delivered when I make an entrance into an establishment, I’ve managed to avoid much conflict while supporting my team in
What this boils down to is that these experiences; being an outsider in a hostile environment, standing apart form the crowd, following my own path, and staying true to what I believe in, have come to define me as a person, and strengthen my love for the Steelers, and my general overall character. You really learn a lot about yourself when you’re vulnerable, exposed, and out of any sort of comfort zone. It’s made me feel like I have something special that no one else has, a Steeler team all for myself.
Luckily, I’m not a Giants or Cowboys (yuck) fan, these guys really take the brunt of the heckling down here. The Steeler/Eagles rivalry, being outside of any conference or division implications, is really more of a “friendly” rivalry that we can joke about and watch together knowing that regardless of the outcome of the game,
That being said, I genuinely feel as if the Eagles fans are almost envious of the Steelers, the stability of the organization, and (obviously) the championships. I will give them credit though, as ridiculous as they can be at times, Eagles fans are extremely passionate and actually quite knowledgeable about their team and the game itself. Perhaps if they stopped perpetuating all this negative energy, they might actually have a shot at a ring. It is my true belief though that every Eagles fan secretly wishes they were a Steelers fan – and if you don’t believe me, just scroll up to the top of the page and look at the guy in the middle of the picture.
-This post was written by my best friend of 24 years, David Scerbo who has been suffering in Philly for the past few years. Thanks for the awesome post.