I’m Not Fighting It Anymore: I Want to Be an Eagles Fan
It was during a performance of The Nutcracker that I realized I wanted to be an Eagles fan.
As soon as the curtain closed for intermission, my date checked his phone. An innocent enough move after an hour of ballet about a kitchen gadget, sure, but then I heard it. Coming from the seat next to me, the telltale opening notes of the city’s battle cry, a more infectious intro than the Sugar Plum Fairy could ever hope for: E-A-G – … you know how this ends. We all know how this ends, and he had plenty of company. Men and women, old and young, suits and sweats joined in to celebrate whatever had happened a couple miles down Broad Street.
I quickly went through the five stages of grief, as one does when her date starts an Eagles chant at the Academy of fucking Music: Sliding-down-the-seat denial, anger, bargaining with the usher, hiding in the bathroom and then, finally, a rush of acceptance and maybe even jealousy.
Because part of me wished for a swift and merciful death by the Mouse King, yes. But the other part of me couldn’t deny it: These people had managed to find joy and have fun at the ballet, of all places.
You Eagles fans really, really like your team. More than Flyers fans, more than Phillies fans, more than anything I have ever liked in 30 years. The fact that you don’t actually play on this team doesn’t matter — you happily pay hundreds of dollars to stand outside and watch them in the cold. Even when they come up short, you cry not for your $15 beer or frostbitten fingers, but for your collective sense of loss.
Now that my niece has learned to talk, I could use a little refresher course on unconditional love. I want in.
It shouldn’t be hard. I have all the makings of an Eagles fan, in theory at least. I grew up in the Northeast, I’ve dragged a keg of Twisted Tea into the Dave Matthews parking lot, I know my way around a block of Velveeta. Not only have I tucked sweatpants into my Uggs, but friends, I have liked it. How long can I spend watching TV on a beautiful Sunday afternoon? I have a sectional sofa and cable — try me.
And yet something isn’t quite clicking. A couple years ago that something was Michael Vick’s face — I’m a thrower when I get angry, and TVs are expensive. These days though, I’m not sure what’s holding me back. I wanted the Eagles to beat Atlanta last Monday, just not nearly as much as the rest of Keenan’s. I didn’t feel the pain, and so I’m afraid I’ll never feel whatever it is you beautiful weirdos feel when you hang over the rail at the Linc, screaming obscenities at strangers as green paint runs down your faces.
I’m not worried about this weekend though. I might not understand how to be a football fan just yet, but I’m a pro at hating Texas. When that godforsaken state isn’t busy arresting 14-year-olds for building clocks, its writing me speeding tickets. Guess what, cowboy? I’d rather pay the $120 fine than spend another five minutes driving through your dustbowl. Next time I want to check out Austin, I’ll just go to the most annoying bar in Northern Liberties, tape some fangs on the biggest cockroach I can find and save myself the trouble.
Am I ready to whip out an Eagles chant? Maybe not, but I am more than ready to heckle Dallas. And that, well, that feels close enough.
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