A Tale of Two Cities: Comparing Super Bowl Fanbases
With the matchup for Super Bowl LII set, February 4, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN should be an exciting day, especially for fans of the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. While there will be plenty of articles comparing the two teams on the field, we thought it’d be fun to see how these two fan bases stack up against each other. Let’s take a look…
Super Bowl Appearances
As we all know, New England fans have seen it all when it comes to the Super Bowl. They’ve witnessed two heartbreaking losses to the New York Giants, an interception thrown by Seattle at the one-yard line, and a 25-point comeback just a year ago. In the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era alone, the Pats have won five Super Bowls. In franchise history, the team has made 10 appearances.
On the Philadelphia side, the fans haven’t had as storied of a Super Bowl history as New England. The Eagles have appeared in the Super Bowl just twice (1980 and 2004). Actually, 2018 will be the second time that the Eagles will face off against the Patriots, as Philly lost to New England 24-21 back in 2004 (Super Bowl XXXIX).
Going the Extra Mile
It certainly seems like both Philly and New England’s fanbases are willing to do whatever it takes to help their teams win. On the Patriots side, the fans have become notorious for finding an opponent’s hotel and pulling the fire alarm late at night before the game. This happened back in 2004 before a divisional playoff game against Tennessee and it happened a year ago before the AFC Championship against the Steelers. Would you be surprised if it happens to the Eagles on February 3?
Like it or not, the Eagles fans are just as dedicated to their team as Patriots fans. Sometimes, they’ll use just as shady and destructive methods to “help” their team. They’ll also, without a doubt, berate anyone not dressed in Eagles’ colors. There’s a well-known story that says in 1968, Eagles fans threw snowballs at a Santa Claus that was hired for the annual Christmas show. In another moment in 1999, fans cheered what ended up being wide receiver Michael Irvin’s career-ending spinal injury. Philly has shown that, if you’re not 100% with the Eagles, then you’re against them, even if you’re simply a man dressed as Old Saint Nick.
“Fly, Eagles Fly.” Known as “The Eagles Victory Song” to outsiders, you’ve likely heard it being sung outside Lincoln Financial Field, inside Lincoln Financial Field, at bars throughout Philadelphia, or even by random Eagles fans walking down the street. You’ll absolutely hear this belted out at U.S. Bank Stadium when the Eagles score a touchdown.
What makes the Patriots fanbase fascinating is that their traditions aren’t nearly as unified as most teams. With the exception of the traditional tailgating, New England fans often find their own rituals and superstitions that may be different from other New England fans. For example, I know quite a few Patriots fans who refuse to watch big games like the Super Bowl with other Patriots fans. “It’s too stressful,” they’ll say.
Regardless of which team wins, you can expect some wild news stories about the post-Super Bowl celebrations. If the NFC Championship was any indication, Philly fans have some crazy ideas about how to celebrate a big win. For example, someone in a car decided to take a nice, little drive up the stairs from Rocky. I bet you can figure out how that turned out. Fans lit old Christmas trees on fire to keep warm and others found their way up telephone poles despite them being greased with Crisco to prevent climbing.
Patriots fans would like you to understand that they’ve been in this position before. They seem to keep things a bit more subdued in recent years, despite having some wild finishes to celebrate. After last year’s historic comeback and overtime victory, fans took to the New England streets in droves to drink, party, and celebrate the team’s fifth Super Bowl victory. Don’t expect fires and drives up iconic landmarks from films, but do expect massive amounts of partying, New England style.
Come February 4, we’ll find out which fanbase gets to celebrate and which has to mourn a season that almost was. Whether Philly or New England wins, you can bet that fans will have different ways of spending their hours post-Super Bowl. Here’s hoping, regardless of what happens, that fans of both teams have fun and stay safe.
(Image courtesy Freepik.com.)