Abominable Philly fans explained? Here’s a try! Being a part of a team can be seductive even if you’re not into the sport! In this post, I share 5 ways I’ve noticed Philadelphia preparing to win a Superbowl for the first time in NFL history. I also describe what a real win could mean.
Be very superstitious
#1. Quite a few Philadelphia fans prepare by doing nothing. To be more clear, they do nothing differently. In a town that stands still for its St. Patrick’s Day Parade, it should come as no surprise that some fans take superstition seriously. Some eat the same meals at the same times while wearing the same lucky shirt on every game day. Others yell at the TV screen after every Eagles penalty, send out a boastful text with each interception, or sing the Eagles Fight Song every time we score. Whatever the ritual, it must be done in the exact same way throughout every single game in order to prevent a loss.
#2. Attend or host a Superbowl party? There may be less of this than you’d think, for superstitious reasons of course (see #1).
I’ll sing the Eagles Fight song with the best of them and I’ll be hoping for a big win that greases, instead of poles, the way for a women’s basketball team.
Retain the underdog status
#3. Eagles fans continuously assert that they did not experience the game leading up to Superbowl LII (Eagles, 38; Minnesota Vikings, 7) as a landslide victory. Instead, they’ll share stories about how they sat on the edge of their seat for nearly the whole game. Why? Because dumb things happen–injuries, interceptions… just look at all the other season outcomes. Taking the underdog status seriously is as important as staying true to all (superstitious) rituals leading up to and during the game.
Philadelphia is a major city that shares a corridor with New York and Washington, but it seems to sit under their shadows. Along with hosting the Democratic National Convention, hosting the Pope, and having been selected for Amazon’s short list, having a chance to win the Superbowl could mean coming out of that shadow. This could jinx everything (again, see #1)! By contrast, being an underdog is more of a Philly tradition and more motivating. If you still don’t get the underdog thing, go watch Rocky.
Pledge allegiance to the Green
#4. On the Friday before the Superbowl, Students and others everywhere gathered to meet a local TV station’s challenge–submit videos of groups singing the Fight song. Some Philadelphia high schools played the Fight Song instead of ringing the usual bell to mark the change of classes. Students were encouraged to and did engage in a Green Out! They wore Eagles gear instead of the usual uniforms required by many local-area k-12 schools. And when classes were dismissed, the streets ‘bled Green.’ In short, in addition to Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, folks here are coming together over the Eagles winning (finally) season.
Prep for the best of times and the worst
#5. Local police want an Eagles win, but they also want to keep the peace. More officers will be out on patrol and less will grease light poles. Yes, this really is a city tradition to prevent, ah, happy fans from climbing (and falling off of) the poles. Let’s also hope the increased police presence can help decrease all acts of violence, including domestic violence which unfortunately can increase during football season.
The winning outcome I really want
While I’m more of a Philadelphia than a football fan, I’m amazed by how passionate fans are here. It’s fun to join in. So, I’ll watch. I’ll cheer. I’ll sing the Fight Song with the best of ’em. And, I’ll wish for the day when our city realizes a hole in its roster of teams: no professional women’s basketball team. Title 9 got boys in K-12 and men in college to “let them play.” What’ll it take to get professionals to do the same? What’ll it take to amass resources needed to form a women’s pro team, build up another passionate set of fans, and give our girls a new path? Doing so would likely make Ora Mae Washington (Philadelphia Tribunes, 1932-1942) and Dawn Staley (Philadelphia Rage, 1996-1998) proud. I cheer and ask such questions in my continued work toward positive change. And, all the while, I meditate.