Philadelphia fans are, by necessity, a tough lot. As the home to the professional sports franchise with the most losses in history—the National League’s Philadelphia Phillies—Philadelphia has become accustomed to dealing with defeat. There has been a remarkable flow of teams who reached their final series only to fail spectacularly: the 1993 Phillies, the 1997 Philadelphia Flyers’ “Legion of Broom” swept by Detroit and the 2001 Sixers stand out as particularly glaring examples. In all of these instances, the city’s heart was broken. Each time the city went so far as to outfit City Hall’s William Penn statue with the home team’s cap, only to suffer prompt and devastating defeat.
And then there are the Eagles, losers of three straight NFC championship games. The Eagles are a team that has not always been great, but that has nonetheless been blessed with a fanatically loyal group of fans. Eagles fans are the stuff of legend; these are the people who have booed injured Dallas Cowboys, thrown ice balls at Santa Claus and necessitated the creation of an “Eagles Court” beneath the stadium to deal with rowdiness. Yet Eagles fans do have a softer and more civilized side to them. The franchise is one of the few remaining to have its own old school fight song: “Fly Eagles Fly,” is the defining chant of Philadelphia, and it is so far superior to the mean-spirited and vindictive “Yankees Suck!” of Boston as to make comparison between the two insulting. Eagles fans have remained unbelievably loyal over the past 44 years of disappointment since the Eagles last won the NFL title, a championship earned so long ago that the it was not yet called the Super Bowl.
By virtue of the Red Sox’s nearly century-long drought of World Series championships, Boston has claimed the mantle of the downtrodden sports town,—fallaciously. Despite their self-pity, Boston fans have often been spoiled: In the late 80’s they had the Celtics. Over the past few seasons they’ve had the Patriots, and this October they were blessed with the Red Sox. Philadelphia has had nothing. It is time for Philadelphia to stop losing. It is time for Philadelphia to claim the championship that has eluded its grasp over the past two decades, and on Sunday night it will be time for every true-blooded Philadelphian to scream at the top of his or her lungs, “Fly, Eagles, Fly!” as the Birds finally bring home a victory to the streets of Philadelphia.
Mark A. Adomanis ’07, a Crimson editorial editor, is a government concentrator in Eliot House.