In 1973, my family became Eagles Season Ticket holders. I was eleven, and had absolutely no interest in the game, except I did like the QB Roman Gabriel, who was handsome. It took a bit until I actually made Sunday viewing as obligatory as Sunday Mass, but by the late 1970s I was hooked. If someone invited me to anything that conflicted with a game, either on television or at the Vet, I politely declined. My social life as a teen and young adult was about as exciting as watching Rich Kotite breathe. But once you become a fan, you will always be a fan.

That does not mean that you are a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome. In other words, if you see your team playing poorly and you know it’s not because the refs are handing the other team the victory (I’m looking at you, Dak) you have every right to complain, in the most vociferous way possible. Extra points if you lace that lamentation with expletives. So it should not have come as any surprise that yesterday, after the Eagles basically rolled over and demanded that the Arizona Cardinals embarrass them on their own field, I took to TikTok and vented. I did not even remove the curlers from my head because there is no way that I could have humiliated myself any more than the way the Eagles humiliated themselves, and their fans.

Apparently, my screed made it all the way to Italy, where some Facebook friends wondered if I was filming my video from a mental institution. The screen shots of me, antenna-curlers waving and mouth wide open made it all the way to Milan and Sicily. And I have no shame for that, and no apologies to offer.

That is because I am not going to engage in that pretextual, faux cheerleader mantra of “It’s okay, we’re still in the playoffs” or “oh gosh I can’t be Negadelphia” or “we have to make them forget that we assaulted Santa.”

As I noted in my video, I don’t care. This was not a normal loss, where you look at the team and say they tried their best and were simply outplayed by a better team. This was not the case of bad weather conditions making it impossible to hold onto the ball or avoid sliding down the field. This was not even the case where one of your star players is sidelined with a season-ending injury.

This was sloppiness. This was horrific play calling. This was arrogance from the coaching staff, incompetence from the defensive coordinator, hubris from the folks who said “Arizona only has three wins under its belt” and a complete lack of organization. You do not go, for the second week in a row, to halftime with a twenty-point lead and think that you can just sit back and coast for the next two quarters. You only do that if you are someone whose dream is to play Canadian football.

After the game, some of the players agreed to be interviewed, although they looked pretty much like I’d expect someone to react in a hostage video. The platitudes were worse, even than the mediocre play. One person even suggested that the “wind” had played a factor in the defeat.

And I thought to myself, yeah, it was so windy there that people were comparing the conditions to Katrina, and having a hard time holding onto their small children. Give me a freaking (this is a G rated post so I can’t say what I really want to say) break.

About ten years ago, shortly after I broke up with a man who probably watched yesterday’s game and spouted the same platitudes of “at least we’re in the playoffs,” I wrote this in a column for the Daily News:

“This person also preferred to watch the game in the comforting confines of his basement instead of roughing it out at the stadium.

To me, this was unsettling. As a woman who had attended literally dozens of games in all types of inclement weather — including a Monday Night Special at the Vet when the wind chill was lower than Kim Kardashian’s IQ — I couldn’t understand how a man could actually prefer the crystal-clear reception of his hi-def toy to the fuzzy, alcohol-fueled maelstrom known as Eagles Nation.

Still, affection kept me holding on.

Then came the day that I learned he really didn’t hate Dallas.

At that point, the writing was on the cinder-block wall.”

I am quoting myself to show just how serious I am about this fan thing. I am, to be honest, a bit annoyed at everyone out there telling me to calm down, that it’s a game for zillionaires who don’t care about the fans, that it’s all a set-up, that it’s stupid to get that worked up about people who don’t know you exist, and that we look like fools for caring.

Caring is not foolish. Hurting is not stupid. Wanting the team that you love so deeply you can feel it in your lower intestine to actually do their damned job is not too much to ask.

If we had seen that the Eagles really tried to win that game against the Cardinals, and had fallen short, we would not be as angry as we are. But the team violated the unspoken contract with the fans, and that is their obligation to always try as hard as they could to win the game. As Robert Browning wrote, “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?” In other words, if you reach for the ball and it exceeds your grasp, okay. But if you don’t even make the effort, you are worthless, and we have every right to tell you that.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and lifelong Philadelphian. @flowerlady61

8 thoughts on “Christine Flowers: When the Eagles don’t care”

  1. At the risk of being blocked or unfriended by Christine Flowers on Facebook, here is my contribution to the Delaware County Times in December of 2015:

    My “not interested” in sports letter (Nov. 26, 2015) received a mixed reaction. My dentist, responding to my assertion that golf is the number one most boring spectator sport, informed me that he enjoys watching golf. I very much like my dentist so I do not want to hear any snide remarks such as: “I suppose if you spend your whole day looking at people’s discolored and decaying teeth, watching golf could be an enjoyable diversion. “

    My younger son who is very much into sports, and has season tickets to the Eagles, was not terribly amused either. In any event, since I had last attended a Philadelphia Eagles football game in the 20th Century, he decided I should go with him this past Sunday to see my first (and perhaps only) professional football game of the 21st Century. At the time I had agreed to go I did not realize that the game would not start until 8:30 in the evening. Nor did he appreciate that 8:30 is only about an hour and a half before my bed time.

    As we drove down to the game I had him go over the player positions for me. I remembered from my high school days that there were fullbacks, halfbacks, and quarterbacks. So I was guessing that there was one fullback, two halfbacks, and four quarterbacks. What were the other four positions, I asked. When he stopped laughing, he informed me that I had it wrong, and then he proceeded to explain in excruciating detail what the various positions were and how they lined up on the field. One of the positions he told me, and I am not making this up, is the Tight End. Frankly, I couldn’t imagine the guy walking, let alone running, in that condition.

    He then told me about other players who make up the “offensive line.” I was rather surprised that in this day of political correctness when team names are called offensive, that they would allow players onto the field who were offensive.

    When we finally got to Lincoln Financial Field we had to go through a security check before they would let us in. I was made to remove my knit cap, empty my pockets, and submit to a full frontal and rear body scan. I was grateful that I did not have to drop my pants, turn my head, and cough.

    Once we got inside and made it to our seats I was pleased to see that we would be sitting in real seats, and not wooden bleachers. And at each end of the field there was a huge television screen upon which I would be able to watch the game much like I could if I were home which I was wishing I was. Since we left home before dinner, we had to buy some food at the stadium. Once I looked at the prices I realized why they had an ATM and a loan officer who could help you arrange financing for your hot dog and beer. Since I had an excellent credit rating I was able to get a very low rate on a six month loan with no interest for two months. Really, $9 for a beer! I usually don’t pay that much for a six pack.

    Fortunately, the game started right on time. Or at least I think it started since I could not see, because everyone else in the stadium was standing up. I could understand that for the National Anthem, but after that I sat down. I had a seat after all. But so did all those other people in front of me. What is the point of buying a seat if you aren’t going to sit in it? Besides, when they stood up I couldn’t see the television screens to watch the game. I had to stand up too.

    To make matters worse it was cold. It was so cold that the cheerleaders were all bundled up in sweat suits. Even during half time. Who wants to watch beautiful cheerleaders in sweat suits? The only thing even slightly sexy was how they whipped their heads to make their long hair flip back. I kept thinking that if I did that I would need a neck brace before the third quarter began.

    As it turned out, the Eagles were not doing very well. The game was only 30 seconds into the fourth quarter when the score was such that, regardless of the theoretical possibility, it was practically impossible for the Eagles to win. At this point the fans began a massive evacuation of the stadium. Indeed, the score was such that I began to wonder why the Eagles players bothered to stay for the rest of the game. I could understand if the Tight End wanted to stay, since he probably had a hard time walking.

  2. Next year, Christine Flowers is not going to care about that football game. However, 100 years from now, her screaming screed, along with any obscenities and hysteria she puts out will live on the internet forever. It’s a time capsule of her life. I just don’t understand why people aren’t more careful on social media. I’m an Eagles fan, too. They don’t rule my life. They certainly would cause me to scream at the sky in Times Square. I don’t know anyone that obsessed with a game, thankfully.

  3. Wow. Christine managed to go almost 3 sentences before telling us that she is Catholic. That may be a record! Her profound anger / hysteria / rage at something as unimportant as football is quite typical of someone as 1 dimensional as Christine. Someone for whom everything is black or white. There is never ANY variance. In her last paragraph, she literally says that the entire team – every member is of zero worth. Can you imagine seeing through eyes where everything is that stunningly un-nuanced? It does match with her near complete lack of self-awareness though. I say “near complete” because if you watch one of her videos where she lip-syncs to some song she claims means so much to her AND you can still see the screen as you squint from the involuntary cringing, you can actually see her glancing around to see if anyone is watching her. So there must be at least a tiny amount of potential embarrassment. I don’t know a word stronger than pathetic, but I wish I did.

        1. Not really. Your logic is flawed.
          I’d still be here reading her articles, as well as others.
          I enjoy her articles, but admit that I am amused by your exclusive Pavlovian negative and personal attack comments.
          Consider it my fascination of a disturbed and injured individual who grinds an axe in public.
          Why all the hate? Who did a number on you?
          You don’t have to answer.

    1. Ma’am, I see you post on everyone of this lady’s articles, always with the negative stuff. Reminds me of those crumb-bums at the Philadelphia Bulletin. Lighten up!

  4. Since when is disagreeing with someone a bad/negative thing. Ms. Flowers chooses to write and publish these columns, the only time she gets to live in a echo chamber is on social media when she can block/ban people from commenting.

Leave a (Respectful) Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *