May I call you Carson, as if I knew you? As if I'd even heard your name before a few weeks ago? And pretend that you are a long lost part of the family who just came home? Well, that's what I will do, because that's what happens here in the football world.
Welcome to Philadelphia. I'm sure many people have shaken your hand at this point and told you just how glad we are to have you here. I, also, happen to be glad you have come to be part of the Eagles' franchise. I am an Eagles fan, which means a lot of things. (You will find some of them here.) I won't expect you to be a savior, but I can't promise the same of many others in this town.
Also, so that you know, I am not a current resident of Philadelphia, though I was born within the city limits. At this time, I live about 60 miles outside of Philly, and the fan base is just as strong out here. Just thought you should know. Your fans are not limited to the 2 million or so that live in the city. Philly personality extends far. A lot of people are pulling for you!
Although your honeymoon here will probably last until about the first time you step on the field during a regular season game, I thought I would write to prepare you for what comes next. Even though you are from North Dakota, you may already have an idea what it's like in Philly, and as smart as you are, you have probably been studying a little bit about us lately too. But I want to talk to you as an insider here, so you don't get blown away the first time a snowball or rubber bracelet gets thrown your way.
Some things you should know about us in Philly:
1. We haven't won in a long, long time.
I bet you already know that. But we're not Cleveland - we're not okay with losing. We want to win in the worst way. (And we want to win every year in every sport.)
It's been a bit of a dry spell. Last championship we won was baseball in 2008. Last FOOTBALL championship that we WON was in 1960. Even I wasn't alive then. The Super Bowl hadn't been invented then. We are starving, man!
So, Philly fans might sound angry, but really we're just frustrated. Don;t take it personally. If you can be part of the solution, we won't complain about you as part of the problem.
2. We have a lot of heart.
As long as you do too, you'll be fine. We love animals. We're looking for someone to tear up the field and feast on their opponents.Tell us you hate the Cowboys, even if you don't. It will feed our fire. And you'll win a place in our hearts forever. (Unless we catch you talking about hoping for a trade there or something. That would be unforgivable.)
You can probably understand this, after reading number 1. We have come just close enough to winning the Super Bowl to make us hungry. We've seen it, and we want it. You might or might not help get us there, but you just better look like you're trying!
3. We don't put up with big shots who can't back it up. (Sometimes we don't even put up with big shots who CAN back it up.)
We dealt with T.O. (Terrell Owens, in case you are too young to remember.) We just got rid of Lesean McCoy, whom we loved while he was here, but when he left, well, we didn't want to put up with that kind of talk. There will be no badmouthing this city or its representatives on our watch. Ask Johnathan Papalbon how we feel about that.
We love our athletes. We expect them to work hard, and not run their mouth about it. So the Cowboys can have their rock stars and cut-off fashion divas . We don't care if you wear knock-off Nikes, as long as you put some hustle in them. From what we've seen of you so far, it doesn't look like we're going to have a problem with you at all. Weigh your words, and don't let us down!
4. Consider us fans your big brother.
Philadelphia means, as you may know, "City of Brotherly Love." So, we're going to love you like a brother. It might look like hate when we're beating on you, but deep down, we want to see you succeed. You will have a bad game somewhere along the line, and you will hear about it from us. We are quite unforgiving, especially in football, where we have a whole week to ruminate on a single game.
But, you know how it is when a brother can say anything he wants about his sibling, but watch out if anyone ELSE starts knocking on him? Yeah. Like that. You're our man. We're keeping you, and we'll defend you to the death (of our reputation) as along as you follow what I said above.
5. Sports is all we have. And Cheesesteaks.
Yeah, there's all that history and stuff, but the Patriots have that too AND they have Tom Brady.
So, we are glad to have you here. The whole reason the organization decided to trade up 6 spots to make sure we could get you is because we need some rock solid shoulders on which to rest our dream of a successful football future. We want our future now, and you will hear us begging your coach to start you in Game 1. As I mentioned, we have run low on patience. But, if he's smart he'll wait and give you a little time first. (Coach is new too, so we're not sure what he'll do yet!) In the meantime, keep working hard. Show up (on time) to all meetings and practices, because we're even taking note of that kind of stuff. Be smart, watch what you say, and no one here will have anything bad to say. We're a tough crowd to win over, but once you have, we won't give up on you. We really want to see you win, because your win is our win, and we want it! Just like the little brother we never had.
Wishing you all the best,
Eagles fans everywhere
T.C. Slonaker, Eagles fan
Sports Made Simple!