Hosting a Super Bowl party is always challenging, but every now and then — four times in history to be exact — the Philadelphia Eagles represent the NFC in the big game, introducing a next level complication: namely, Eagles fans.
As a lifelong Birds fan, this comes from a place of love — brotherly love even — but let’s face it: we are jerks. As such, if you have invited any Eagles fans over to watch their team play for a ring, there are some things you should know and be prepared for.
I know what you’re thinking: Debbie, and Joe, and Hakeem, they’re really nice people, how bad can it be? That isn’t how this works. Oh sure, at work or in the pick-up line at school they’re lovely, but put them in front of an Eagles game and that goes out the window. It’s not our fault; it just changes us. Think Lou Ferrigno. You’ll see their eyes tighten, their jaws clench, a coil spring just waiting to snap.
First some good news. You don’t have to worry about seating for the Eagles fans: they won’t sit much. Mostly they’ll frantically pace and occasionally drop suddenly to their knees, either in prayer or disappointment. This is normal and to be expected. There are documented cases of Eagles fans so out of their minds that they get close to one edge of the television and try to peer downfield, out of camera view, for flags.
Now for the bad news. It’s no accident that Philly fans are consistently, actually almost universally, rated the worst fans in sports. We cheer injuries to the other team, throw snowballs at Santa, there’s a jail in our stadium, you know the spiel. And as Han Solo said to Rey, “it’s true, all of it.”
First off, if you have protected your young children from effusive cursing, that’s over now. And I’m not talking about an “F”-bomb muttered under the breath, I mean long, almost poetic outbursts drawn from a thesaurus of vulgarity you cannot imagine. And that’s when we score.
When, although let’s be honest with this defense, if the Chiefs score, you’ll witness a frightening display as your friend’s face goes through all if stages of grief in about fifteen seconds. At this point the safety of your pets cannot be assured. Maybe best to leave them upstairs.
It’s very likely that your Eagles fan friends will have been pregaming with Yuengling and Irish Car Bombs, so be sure to offer them plenty of “wooder.” On a related note: try not to make a face when they pronounce KC QB Patrick Mahomes’s last name. There is no way to express it in written English, but you’ll know it when you hear it.
There’s going to be a lot of complaining about the anti-Philly bias from the announcers. Much of this will sound like Alex Jones-level conspiracy theories. But do keep in mind that half the time we watch our team play, there is some hated, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback like Troy Aikman or Tony Romo doing color. Not exactly fair and balanced!
Assuming you have no dog in the fight on the field you should probably root for the Chiefs to win. In this instance, your Eagles fans will put on a brave face, mutter something about being happy for former Eagles coach, and current Chiefs coach, Andy Reid, and sulk off into the late evening’s darkness. Your real problems start if the Eagles win.
Be warned. At this point anything could happen. They will quite possibly run through every room in the house singing “Fly Eagles Fly,” opening drawers, throwing clothes in the air to fall like Super Bowl confetti. By the end your place will look like Mar-a-Lago after the FBI tossed it.
These dear friends might inexplicably begin a friendly fist fight with each other: do not be alarmed. Obviously any flag poles or drain pipes should be greased beforehand — scientists still struggle to explain why an Eagles win leads to their fans developing a deep desire to start climbing things, but until they know, better safe than sorry.
Don’t worry: for all the danger of it, watching this Super Bowl with Eagles fans has much to recommend it. Short of actually playing nose tackle, there’s no more intense way to experience America’s biggest game. Marvel at the mental breakdowns, wade into the whirlwind of joy and despair. You will witness the most primal depths of humanity and be better for it.
So enjoy your party, and one more thing: go Birds!