Dear Minnesotans, Philly-haters, and most importantly Jim Kenney:
In the days following our NFC Championship victory Eagle fans have been vilified in the media. And with the game being hosted in the city that seems to be crying the loudest — Minnesota — it doesn’t look like that hate is slowing up anytime soon. Criticism has poured in from all over the country, and partial fans moan, “I can’t believe I’m rooting for the Patriots, I just won’t support those [insert desperate insult] Eagle fans.” While that response isn’t new coming from outsiders, it seems like our Mayor Jim Kenney has taken a similar stance. He recently released a statement responding to a Minnesota news outlet expressing his ‘disgust’ and ‘regret’ over our fans ‘knucklehead’ behavior. If you haven’t seen it, here it is in its entirety:
“I find the actions of those fans disgusting and regrettable. We’re certain they represent a small portion of the team’s loyal and passionate fan base, but the simple fact is that no visiting fan should have to put up with such treatment. I don’t think these knuckleheads are necessarily even from the city – some of the few who were arrested were from the outlying suburbs. But I realize that is no consolation to those who were treated poorly. I want them to know that I don’t like what happened. These clowns need to learn how to act like adults.” ~ Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia, and spineless Eagles fan
I – I don’t know where to start. I know some people will look at this and think it’s a rational statement. And maybe that’s the litmus test for being a real Eagles fan; because anyone who truly bleeds green would find those comments treasonous.
My problem is two-fold.
For starters, why apologize? Did Philly fans do something blatantly illegal? Were Viking fans held hostage or physically harmed en-masse? It doesn’t look like it. Best I can tell Minnesotans and Mayor Kenney are bent out of shape over hurt feelings.
Apparently they expected to be welcomed into our city and The Linc with open arms. After all, we are the City of Brotherly Love. But my definition of the word “Brother” only includes Philadelphia Eagle fans – and I’m fairly certain that was also William Penn’s interpretation when he coined the phrase. (Check the history books)
What’s weird is it’s not like this was unexpected behavior. It’s been well documented that opposing fan experiences in Philly are closer to that of a political prisoner than a guest at an Air BnB.
My favorite part is when Kenney writes, “I realize that is no consolations to those who were treated poorly.” Shit – if you wanted a heads up on how you were gonna be treated all you had to do was ask. “Treated poorly” might actually have been an understatement. Minnesota TV stations likened coming to Philly as entering enemy gang territory in the wrong color.
Maybe I’m just swept up in the hysteria of this playoff run but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think our cities elected Mayor be Eagle fan first, city official second. Ed Rendell certainly embodied that identity.
If Philly fans are “clowns” who need to “learn to act like adults” as the Mayor and Viking fans suggest, then I’d assume we would have heard these same complaints from Atlanta fans. But we didn’t. Which would lead a sensible observer to conclude that the problem isn’t Philly fans intrinsically poor behavior, but rather Minnesota fans fragile emotional state desperately looking to deflect attention from the embarrassing effort their team put forth last weekend.
This week the kind people of Minnesota will watch their city fade from purple rain to a midnight green, and that’ll be a sad site for them to see. It’s already depressing enough to live in the siberian-abyss of a city that is Minneapolis – imagine how bad it’ll be when the city’s streets start flooding with the supposedly morally bankrupt fans from Philly.