Some people are haters of the Philadelphia Eagles. But many, many more people are FANS of the Philadelphia Eagles. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the hating-ass hater’s guides to other teams you love here. Drew Magary has a new book out—have you heard?
My Team: The glorious Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s about to be football season again, thank goddess, and that means we get another year of Drew “Buy My Book” Magary shitting all over our hometown pride, everything we love, and all that makes the world right. It’s taken as commonplace fact that the Philadelphia Eagles are universally hated—even by their own fans—but just like that one idiot friend who’s been hanging around you since you were wearing diapies, the only person who can say they suck are the people who love them most. Don’t you dare tell me that Frankie is a loser with a bad attitude. Only I’m allowed to say that. And I can say it to his face.
Think I won’t? Just watch!
I hate the Philadelphia Eagles. I hate them so much. They are terrible. The mere sight of Chip Kelly’s face these past two years has felt akin to seeing an ex’s pictures pop up in your Facebook feed several years after you’ve broken up, and then seeing that they’ve gone on to marry an animated toilet brush. This again? Make it stop. For the love of god, make it stop! How is it that we so frequently come full circle without ever having moved a yard, or having anything worthwhile to show from two seasons of misery at the hands of a guy who people said was “married to football.” (Wow. Probably time for a divorce, Chip, you tool!) Doug Pederson is like the ghost of Christmas past, but not the kind of fun, heartwarming Christmas that the locals get to enjoy on Smedley Street in South Philly. Imagine Andy Reid waking you up in your bedroom in the middle of the night dressed only in a sheet, jangling chains and ominously humming that famous Coldplay song. It’s enough to make you miss old Chip Kelly, tyrannical failure and all.
Our record: None of your business.
Our defensive tackle: Fletcher Cox, one of the best players in the NFL. And proof that the Eagles can actually draft someone worth a damn.
Our stadium: While we will always mourn the loss of the beautiful, disgusting Vet, Lincoln Financial Field does the job right. Did you know it is the most environmentally friendly football stadium in the country? Also, they serve crab fries. Can’t get into the game? Cook up some delicious sausage and pep at the tailgate in the stadium’s Lot K.
Why we love the Eagles: Because they are almost good every year. There’s no thrill greater than being kept on your toes. Exciting!
Every Eagles loss is like the emptiness that remains after a vape cloud dissipates—with each puff, you believe again... or at least use the cloud of smoke to distract from the inevitable self-loathing that lies deep within. It never works quite that well. The cloud breaks, the storms return, and that sweet black cherry vape juice you got at Vapordelphia is not enough to forget that we have lost the only two appearances that the shit-ass Eagles made in the Super Bowl. I graduated high school the same year that the Eagles choked against the Patriots in Super Bowl 39, and even if I never showed up to collect my diploma that day, I’d have accomplished more in my short teenage years than the entire Eagles franchise has in their 83-year history. The Eagles can’t seem to do anything right. That’s why they’re the best team in the NFL.
Besides, being an Eagles fan is fun. I’d like to think it’s similar to what it must feel like to be Vice President Joe Biden: you can’t control the words that come out of your mouth, you’re vulgar and uncomfortably cheeky, and you’ve probably at some point in your life been unlawfully horrible to a woman. But you’re still lovable, a little bit insane, and best of all, you believe you can be a better coach, quarterback, defensive linesman, or fucking cheerleader than anybody currently under the employ of Jeffrey Lurie. (After Kelly was shit-canned, I vowed to start campaigning for my 68-year-old uncle to take the job, and he can’t even hear out of his left ear.) Sam Bradford looks like a mix of a poor man’s Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and an SAT tutor. Connor Barwin’s defining feature is that he “loves music.” Okay, man. Don’t even get me started on that ginger goon.
So it goes, and being a Philadelphia fan is only good if there are people around who hate us. If a ball slips out of Todd Pinkston’s hands, but no one is around to see it, is he still a wimpy numb-nuts? Being a Philadelphia sports fan is so fun (and also so easy, if anyone is looking to bandwagon—just kidding, bandwagoners are spineless weaklings, better known as “Pinkstons”) because the mere mention of anything Philadelphia-related, or Philadelphia-adjacent, gets people so jacked against you, you barely even have to lift half a Shorti from Wawa to your lips before they smack it to the ground.
A Person From Philadelphia: This cheesecake recipe calls for Philadelphia cream cheese—
You: Jesus Christ, you’re such a fucking scumbag and your fans threw batteries.
A Person From Philadelphia: My great-grandmother died this week and I have to go back to Philadelphia to—
You: Wow, you really are a homophobic loser, you piece of shit. I bet you’ve committed several hate crimes.
A Person From Philadelphia: This hanging philodendron—
You: Why don’t you go choke on another Super Bowl, you bigot. Philadelphia is the worst city on earth and I cannot believe Ryan Howard got that fucking undeserved contract. It’s your fault and you should be ashamed. You deserve to die.
Our celebrity allies: Bradley Cooper, Kobe Bryant, me (Dayna Evans), Tina Fey.
Imagine being a Patriots fan, and having to listen to famous Patriots fans talk about Tom Brady. (If the idea makes you want to walk into traffic—-same!) I mean, have you seen the way Patriots fan Ben Affleck let his Jim Beam do the talking on Bill Simmons’s new HBO show? I had never doubted that Ben Affleck is the kind of guy who would say dumb shit in public, but I definitely believe it now! It must suck to support a team that wins. Look at how much being a Patriots fan has aged him (and how hard Botox is working to fight it).
If an Eagles fan were given the opportunity to defend any single dumb thing that has happened in our team’s history since the Great Depression, we’d either yell incoherently about Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb or just walk right off set. It’s not worth it. We may be a bunch of jamokes, but at least we sort of know it. If Eagles fans are inextricably linked with the Eagles franchise, and we both suck, does that mean that, in fact, we both rule? According to the Philly law of averages, that’s how it works.
You know who’s an Eagles fan? Someone who also rules—Bradley Cooper.
One day last summer, someone at my work alerted me to the fact that Bradley Cooper was sitting outside, by himself, on a bench near my office. I immediately ran downstairs to pay my respects. I approached the man, who was staring blithely at his phone, and said “I’m a big fan,” and he said, “thanks.” Before I walked off, though, I made sure to say what I’d really come all the way down there to say: “And go Eagles!” (I also flashed him what I’ve been told is a “smile that makes people uncomfortable.”) To this, Oscar-nominated movie star, and a man who claims to still live in the house he grew up in Philadelphia, responded with, “thank you.” What does that even mean? It’s fucking insane! I had never been happier in my whole life than at that moment. I’m going to tell that story at my wedding.
What’s new that rules: Chip Kelly got sent back to college.
What has always ruled: The fight song.
Last night, on the occasion of the first preseason Philadelphia Eagles game of the year (we won), I grabbed the remote to my TV and searched for the game stream on Roku. As I tapped E-A-G-L-E-S into the search box, I noticed I had my jaw dropped slightly and was mouthing each letter as I punched along. When it was time to press the “search” button, I couldn’t contain myself and completed the chant by whispering “Eagles” to my empty apartment. E-A-G-L-E-S … EAGLES.
Philadelphia sports give people from Philadelphia something to live for, but the problem is, technically, even fucking Sisyphus had something to live for. Maybe we’ll keep collectively rolling that massive boulder up the side of the Linc, and it’ll keep rolling back down over our fat greased-up fingers, but there is at least some serenity in futility. Every year, sure as the sun does rise, the Eagles come back. And like clockwork, the preseason starts up again, and we catch ourselves silently mouthing E-A-G-L-E-S under our breaths in anticipation of their first game. (Reminder: They won.) Maybe this is our year. It’s probably not. But—hey—FLLLYYYYY, EAGLES, FLY. ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY.
I’m sorry—I got carried away.
Let’s remember some Eagles:
- Randall Cunningham
- Reggie White
- Brian Westbrook
- Chuck Bednarik
- Brian Dawkins
Let’s hear from some fans!
The Eagles are a complex mess of overblown expectations mixed with perpetual disappointment that perfectly suit the self-loathing nature of their psychotic fans.
Donovan McNabb was the best thing that ever happened to your miserable football team although you guys have great jerseys.
Someone please help the Eagles.
Random guy at last night’s game:
Don’t fuck it up.
And you know what, all that said, it could be worse. You could be a Cowboys fan.
Dayna Evans is a writer for The Cut. She is a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.
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