Living in Southern New Jersey my whole life, you are prone to seeing something (at least in the off season) of the Philadelphia Eagles. Growing up with two older brothers (one of which was a hardcore Eagles fan) had rubbed off on me at the age of 5. When I was 7 years old, he brought beer (for him), pizza, wings, hoagies; you name it, it was there. I said to my brother “It’s just me and you, why all the food?” He told me that this is Sunday, football, beer, good food and time to enjoy some good ol’ football. Growing up with that motto for all sports, it left a taste in my mouth of this is how you enjoy Sundays and Mondays during football season. It didn’t matter if your team was on, you just sit watch, have some laughs, and enjoy.
I have always watched the draft with my brother but never fully understood it. He would try to tell me stuff but he would get frustrated when teams made bad picks. April 2000 was the first draft that I watched and took serious notes. Being a female, I didn’t want to ask anyone because I didn’t want to get made fun of. I also had witnessed a girl talking to guys and apparently to the guys she had “no idea” what she was talking about. So at the age of 14, I wanted to know what each call was, stat and the players bio before I opened my mouth.
Being an Eagles fan, I also grew attached to the New York Giants. From the draft of 2000, I started to grow a liking for the New York Giants. In 2000, Kerry Collins led the Giants to the Super Bowl. Even though they lost 34-7 to the Baltimore Ravens, I seemed to grow with them. Ever since 2000, I was hooked.
All of my friends, family and just about everyone I seemed to come in contact with was hardcore Eagles fans. So, I said to myself that I plan on enjoying both teams but to not get bullied, made fun of, or bring more attention to myself, I supported the Eagles.
“There is no rule in the books of only being allowed to like one team.. is there?” I cannot remember how many times I have said this not only to myself but to others as well. When friends and “some” family found out how I truly loved the Giants, I was called unfaithful, not loyal, and the list goes on and on.
My first Giants game I attended was at Giants Stadium in 2006. Thanks to an ex’s connection to a season ticket holder, I attended over 20 games there. Not only did I attend many games there, the seats were incredible. Being able to sit 15 rows back from the 30 yard line, the only word that comes into my head was, “Wow.” The first game I attended was The New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles. In every movie you see the women take forever to get dressed, for the first time in my life that was me. Due to social media, two rival teams playing each other and not wanting to get beat up for wearing something green, I was going to stick with wearing something sexy and girly. Low and behold my ex came with girly items and his jersey to wear. So from head to toe I was geared up for the Giants game.
Arriving at Giants stadium, we hit a grid lock due to lack of parking and the new stadium, Metlife Stadium, being built. Once we parked, we took a bus to bring us closer to the stadium. I have two words for you, seriously relaxed. There was a guy next to me who told me he was only there for his girlfriend, I asked “You an Eagles fan?” He then said “Yes but I do love the vibe up here.” Boy was he right. Everything from getting off of the bus, to going to buy something inside of the stadium, people were so nice offering food from the tailgating, even a beer, it was just a totally different vibe then what I was used to dealing with.
Once we got to our seats, it was really surreal not only to be at my first professional football game, it was against my two favorite teams. Hearing the roar of the crowd and how our section was so happy, it reminded me from a scene from one of my favorite movies, Fever Pitch. Not only were the fans nice but the vendors that walked around were very cheerful. I got a cotton candy and a beer – yes, I know, a weird combination.
Before the vendor gave me back my money he said to me, “Give me a high five.”
“Ok.” High Five.
“Ok, Hon, now scream, Go Big Blue.” I did, not so loud, mind you.
He said, “Oh come on beautiful, get a roar going.”
“GO BIG BLUE!” ”
“There you go, I knew you had it in you. Have a great day.” Our whole section (followed by others) erupted into “Go Big Blue” chant. To seal the deal the Giants walked out of that game with a win. Every single game after that was just a great experience and tons of fun stories.
I do not sit here bashing the Eagles, or even the fans. I just did not have a great experience. I accidentally knocked over someone’s beer (for which I offered to give him $20, enough for at least 2 replacements) and he stood up wanting to fight me. Then to top it off, I’ve seen 2 cars broken into, and a car set on fire. That was just completely over the top for me.
You go in with friends and family and come out to a complete headache by having your car vandalized or even set ablaze. Something no one should experience. This was just for winning the NFC East in a game against the Washington Redskins. Imagine if they had won the Super Bowl. [Editor’s note: Can’t see it.] To top it all off, I got a mild case of food poisoning. The only good thing was the Eagles winning the NFC East that year.
The Eagles Organization I feel does not do enough for not just the players but for their fans, “There’s next year.” If you are an Eagles fan, or even follow the Eagles, you know what that saying is all about.
Loving the game of all sports is something that describes me. A lot of my friends have crossed over (from many different teams) to be a part of the Big Blue family. People have sat there and called me unfaithful, not loyal to the Eagles and believe it or not cuss word after cuss word. I have lost about 5 friends for even marrying someone of who is a diehard Giants fan. My husband and I have made jokes about my ex and thanks him for “Breaking me in.”
After 15 years, I don’t care what anyone things. In my book, everything from the organization to the fan base sets a great tone with me with the Giants. Things change among people and loving who you love is not a crime. Loving the Giants is something that has been a part of me for 15 years and will stay a part of me forever. I have also convinced my husband to look into being a full season, if not, partial season ticket holder.
Just remember you can’t spell Elite without Eli.