The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
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Eagles fan responds to Minnesota criticism


Vikings fans voice their judgments on the city of brotherly love

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings 38 to 7 in the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship matchup on Jan. 21. Despite their team getting blown out, Vikings fans seemed more appalled and frightened by the behavior of the Eagles fans than they did with their team’s horrendous performance.

Media stations in Minnesota set up their cameras in the airport to try and get  raw reactions from Vikings fans who flew back from Philly. Many had nothing but horrible things to say about Eagles fans, and our city as a whole. Some suggested that the Eagles should be stripped of the NFC title for their willingness to allow bad behavior. Others took to Twitter to devise a plan for Vikings fans to sign up for Uber, through which they would drop Eagles fans off at the wrong location on game day.

Unfortunately for me, I could not afford a ticket to the game, given the cheapest tickets started at $135 for standing room. However, for the combined price of around $10, I was lucky enough to be squeezed into a train car and subway, both filled with sweaty, booze-infused football fanatics, on my way to Lincoln Financial Field.

I feel as though it is necessary to preface this column by saying I have been to countless Philadelphia sports games, so I am no stranger to the realities of how Philadelphia fans, specifically Eagles fans, act at any given game. That being said, I understood that a game with this much at stake would surely be no exception.

Before even arriving to the stadium, I saw more passion and enthusiasm from Eagles fans than I have ever seen at any sporting event. Students from St. Joe’s were gathered at Overbrook Station, waiting for SEPTA trains to arrive. Random strangers seemed as though they were friends for years, by administering a simple “Go Birds.”

On the train lines, hundreds of fans gathered in unison to chant the beloved fight song, and mixed in a customary blend of cheers and slogans that the uninitiated would find inappropriate and distasteful. Taking advantage of the mayhem in the train systems, some riders were openly drinking alcohol, urinating, and doing pretty much whatever they pleased.

When I finally got to the stadium, Vikings supporters looked like tiny, purple grains of sand in the seemingly never-ending sea of green.

To say that I did not see any Eagles fans acting aggressively or rudely towards Vikings fans would be completely and utterly false. Most of the Vikings fans I saw were accompanied by a surplus of boos and expletives as they tried to make their ways through the tailgate lots. In specific cases, beers or hotdogs were thrown at Vikings fans. One Eagles fan even had a small Viking doll that he dragged on the street with a leash. All in all, these things did happen; I saw them up close and personal.

It seems to me as though Philadelphia fans have had this perception from the national media and sports world for quite some time. From the time Eagles fans threw snowballs at Santa Claus in 1968, to the most recent criticism regarding the Vikings game, Philly is notorious for its insane and ill-mannered fans. I believe that through all this talk, we have now adopted and even embraced this pattern of behavior, since no matter what, it seems like we will always be labeled as the rowdiest and meanest fans in sports.

The most crucial concept to take away from the NFC game is that not all Philadelphia fans are behemoths or irrational lunatics. The camaraderie amongst Eagles fans is unlike that of any other community, and I am extremely proud to be a part of it. But, as with all great organizations, groups, or fanbases, there are individuals whose actions reflect poorly upon the whole.

I similarly propose that this type of behavior is not specific to Philadelphia sports. These incidents happen in major sports cities around the world. The combination of hours of aggressive alcohol consumption and the intensity of emotions that are brought forth through professional sports will always result in individual cases of misconduct. I find it unfair how the media and opposing fans continue to generalize an entire city and condemn an entire fanbase.

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