This downtrodden-looking Eagles' fan is Dan Leone who, up until last week, was a game-day stadium employee at Lincoln Financial Field. Leone was fired after he Facebook-slammed the organization for trading Brian Dawkins.
Irascible Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, John Gonzalez, relays Leone's sad-sack tale of being a lifelong fan — who also happens to have a nerve-disorder that gives him trouble walking — getting his dream job yanked away from him after he posted this impassioned message on his Facebook page after Dawkins signed with Denver. [Sic'd]:
Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!"
Two days after he posted it, the Eagles' director of event operations, Leonard Bonacci, informed Leone that they needed to talk about his Facebook status. Leone deleted it and was ready to apologize to Bonacci face-to-face in order to make things right again. Didn't happen. Instead, two days later, poor Dan was called by the Eagles' Italian angel of death, Rachel Vitagliano, who informed him that he was no longer employed by the team.
And here we are today, with Leone clutching his keyboard in his Eagles sweatshirt begging for a second chance, or at the very least, a more personalized dismissal.
"I apologized 20 million times. I never bad-mouthed the organization before. I made one mistake and they terminate me? And they couldn't even bring me into the office to talk to me? They had to do it over the phone? At least look me in the eye. To get done dirty like this, I can't believe it. I'm devastated."
Yeah, comments like that are probably not gonna help you get your job back, fella. Besides, if he was a true fan of the Eagles, he would know that the team's history of re-signing aging, injury-prone players isn't something they normally do. They'd rather use that money to get a faster, younger, more malleable west gate chief than overspend on cantankerous veterans.
Oh, and an aside: I'm a little amazed that Dan nailed "devastated" on the first try, given he was way off on both "damn" and "retarded." Maybe it was purposeful.
Anyway, good luck with reaching cause célèbre status in Philadelphia, Dan.
Cold Eagles sure are thin-skinned [Philly.com]