The most anticipated day in every child’s life is Christmas morning. The most anticipated day in every Eagles fan’s life is the day they play the Cowboys at the Linc. Dallas Week gets my juices flowing because I hate Cowboys fans and the way that “America’s Team” has brainwashed people all across the country.
There’s the cliched fan of the Cowboys, Yankees and Lakers that exists nationwide. Congrats on growing up in the ‘70s or ‘90s and having no backbone, guys! Those fans are terrible, but in a sense, I get it. Those people just like every single good team from their youth and never grew out of the bandwagon stage of fandom as they became adults. There is a worse version of that fan though.
We’ve all driven behind them during gridlock traffic on I-76: Pennsylvania or New Jersey license plate, Dodge pick-up truck, suspension lift, truck nuts and then there’s a Cowboys star magnet on the back of the tailgate. My blood boils as I wonder how that person lives with themselves every day as they rep the antithesis of what makes Philadelphia the special place that is. I don’t care if your dad liked Roger Staubach growing up or if he liked the cheerleaders or the star on the helmets or the silver pants and he passed his disease of front-running onto you.
To be a true sports fan in Philadelphia is to love the Eagles. To love the Eagles is to hate the Cowboys.
It’s as simple as that. Being a Cowboys fan from Philly is just standing in defiance of all those hard-working, blue collar stereotypes of Philadelphia that have been ingrained in me my whole life. It’s taking the easy way out. It’s preferring the style of Michael Irvin or Ezekiel Elliott over the substance of Brian Dawkins or Malcolm Jenkins. It’s rooting for Darth Vader to slaughter all the Jedi.
Taking the easy way out hasn’t even worked out for them because that never works out in life. The Cowboys haven’t been consistently good for two decades. Dallas has won two playoff games since 1996. The Eagles have won 13, including one Super Bowl (Nick Foles caught a touchdown in that game in case you forgot).
What do these people even get out of being Cowboys fans? Sports, at its simplest level, is for civic pride. I’m not just rooting for the Eagles when I watch them play. I’m rooting for Philadelphia and the other people in this city. I’m rooting for us to feel vindicated about overcoming the rest of world’s negative perception of Philly and its people.
I can’t imagine there being a more blissful, uniting moment in Philadelphia’s modern history than when the Eagles won the Super Bowl. It felt as if every person in the city poured into the streets as they hugged strangers and cried with their families about the impossible finally happening. The victory parade felt like Philadelphians let out a collective sigh of relief and partied their way through the city’s most mythologized day.
Every dude from Grays Ferry or Roxborough who has never stepped foot in Texas and never will, despite worshipping Emmitt Smith and his mediocre 4.2 yards per carry, didn’t get to join in that euphoric celebration. I’ve hated these people my whole life and now I’m not sure if it’s hate as much as it is that I pity them. What are they going to do if the Cowboys win the Super Bowl? That’ll never happen while Jerry Jones still runs the team, but are they going to hang out on South Broad Street with the other bandwagon frauds from the neighborhood? I’d pelt them with tomatoes while riding in the back of my dad’s F-150.
I can’t wait to see these Dallas “fans” at The Linc Sunday night though. You’ll be able to easily spot them with their patchy chinstrap beards that don’t connect to their moustaches and flat brim Cowboys fitted hats on, all while wearing a Dak Prescott jersey that will be selling for $11.99 at TJ Maxx in 2022 because he’ll be playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
The Eagles will win on Sunday because Jason Garrett would be underqualified to even be the offensive coordinator at Bishop Eustace. When I see the rows of Zeke and Dak jerseys heading towards the exits during the fourth quarter, I’ll just laugh. They’ll go back home to Mayfair or 2nd Street, where they’ll spend their rest of lives not knowing what it’s like to really be from here.
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