For most of my life, I’ve loved the Eagles. I cannot remember a Sunday between September and January, from 1970 until roughly 2018 when I didn’t spend three hours obsessed with who was kicking what, where.
There was a relatively short period when I abandoned them. That was when Malcolm Jenkins was still on the team. I do not like Jenkins. He does not like me. In fact, he started a bit of a firestorm with a tweet that called my Daily News column excoriating Meek Mill as, and this is a quote “the dumbest shit I’ve ever read.” Malcolm’s tweet got 5,372 “likes.” Which means I got a lot of the “dumbest shit,” because the sort of people who like Malcolm Jenkins generally hate me. And that’s why I stopped watching the Eagles because I felt as if they’d personally insulted me. Of course, they hadn’t. They probably didn’t even know who I was, even though my family had paid them the equivalent of a small African country’s gross national product since we purchased season tickets in 1973.
When Malcolm finally left, I returned to the fold. Yes, they are still a bit “social justicy” with those stupid slogans on their uniforms and the rhetoric about equity and fairness and blah blah blah freaking blah (translation, just throw-and catch-the damn ball.) But I can overlook that schmaltz, since most of the other teams do it too.
Ironically, one that does not do it with the same level of frequency are the hated Dallas Cowboys, which puts me in the untenable position of having to choose between my politics and my soul. I choose my soul. Yes, the Cowboys are closer in spirit to my view of the world, at least as far as Jerry Jones is concerned, but I cannot fathom supporting the Cowboys even if it means I have to spend at least part of each game rolling my eyes at the pandering.
This Saturday, the Eagles will be playing the other hated team in our division, the New York Giants. To be honest, we really should hate New York more than Dallas. Dallas is in Texas, which has a great governor who shows more class sitting in a wheelchair than most of the feeble men-including our current President-who stand over him. New York has a woman who wears a “vaccinated” necklace from the new “Virtue Signal Jewelry” line at QVC and hates anyone who believes that unborn babies deserve respect. Dallas is filled with accomplished equestrians, while New York is filled with men who push you off of subway platforms. Dallas is…well, I don’t want to turn this into anything resembling an ode to the hated Cowboys. It’s just that in the grand scheme of things, we have more in common with New York, which means it’s like the sister with whom we always had to share a bedroom growing up but who our parents liked better, treated better, gave more attention to, and let get away with a lot more shenanigans than us.
In other words, we can legitimately resent New York, which knows we exist and resents it, unlike Dallas which might on occasion remember we’re breathing, and doesn’t actually care.
All of this is to say that now that Malcolm is gone, and now that Jalen is here, and now that we don’t need to worry about Dallas (yet,) and now that Eli Manning is no longer a threat, and now that the 700 Section which for years produced the most hopeful, hops-filled losers in the history of Philadelphia (at least the ones not named Mayor Jim Kenney,) was imploded into a sticky, stinky little memory, I intend to spend my Saturday rooting for my heart and my soul.
And alongside of me, just slightly above my shoulders, will be my brother Jon who treasured his 1970 era flag, my father who paid more money than a wise man would have for the last nine years of his life to give us seats in the 630 Section and, sometimes, miracles, and my mother, who thought God must have sounded like Merrill Reese.
Since August of 2014, I’m betting she’s found out the truth of that statement, and that my brother and dad are right beside her screaming obscenities. That’s how Eagles fans show love.
Go Iggles, beat the (effing) Giants!
Christine Flowers is an attorney and lifelong Philadelphian. @flowerlady61