Not America’s Team. Not a National Team. An International Sensation.
If you live in or around Philadelphia, loving the Eagles is not a choice.
When I was born, it was instantly obvious that I had no choice in the matter.
The mandate has been passed down through the generations like a family airloom.
Our Great-Grandfathers played hookie on warm afternoons to watch the Frankfurt Yellow Jackets at Frankfurt Stadium.
They saw Bert Bell’s vision of the Eagles become a reality in 1933. They perservered for a decade with only a few highlights like Davey O’Brien.
Our grandfathers saw the Eagles of the late 1940s almost become a dynasty with Steve Van Buren, Boss Pritchard, and Tommy Thompson.
They saw the Eagles win a World Championship in the snow in 1948.
And our fathers who watched Chuck Bednarik sit on Jim Taylor to win it all in 1960.
And then we were born (cue the drumroll.)
We began our infancy by watching Wilbert Montgomery and Ron Jaworski.
We saw Dick Vermeil cry on camera. Again, and again, and again.
We enjoyed a lights-out Eagles defense who brought body-bags and houses of pain. We saw Randall Cunningham at the peak of agility make five big plays to win a game.
We were at the peak of our Eagles addiction when owner Leonard Tose tried to sell the team and move it to Arizona in 1985. Our outrage knew no limits, even when we were too young to understand why we were angry.
Our younger siblings and cousins had it good, too.
They saw Andy Reid bring the Eagles back to the class of the NFC with Donovan McNabb and Brian Dawkins. They saw Terrell Owens run around in the Super Bowl with pins in his ankle.
The youngest generation has had it best. They get to see Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, and DeVonta Smith. But they also saw the Eagles first Super Bowl Championship ever, in a game where Nick Foles out-dueled legendary Tom Brady amid a timely fumble that was a rare Patriots late-game miscue.
To this day, we still check Wikapedia daily to make sure we didn’t dream it.
Over time, Philadelphia’s passion for the Eagles has spread far outside of the Delaware Valley.
The Eagles carry a 34.1% international fanbase according to gambling.com, one of the highest in the NFL. In 2022, they were the first NFL team in the African market. In May of 2022, the Eagles expanded marketing efforts and fan engagement to both Australia and New Zealand.
In the last three Super Bowls, Eagles fans flocked to see their NFC Champions, clogging Porta-Potty’s in Jacksonville, Minneapolis, and Arizona. Seas of green jerseys fill NFL stadiums at destination locations each Sunday from sea to shining sea.
Eagles fans travel as well as any fanbase in the NFL. Last week, Gillette Stadium was no exception.
On Wednesday, Danela Souza Cavalcante who had previously fled from authorities in the Brazilian Rain Forrest in 2021, led police on a two-week chase through Chester County’s urban landscape was finally taken into custody.
At a the news conference, Governor Josh Shapiro spoke about the capture of Cavalcante. “Folks, whoever had their Eagles hoodie stolen, he said. “If you could let us know. I’ll do my best to get you one of those new Kelly green ones.”
Cavalcante was apprehended wearing an Eagles hoodie.
See, I told you. Everyone is an Eagles fan.