It’s no secret that the worst fans (and/or human beings in general) to deal with as an opposing fan (or human being in general) are the fans in Philadelphia. They are infamous for being the only team to have ever booed Santa Claus, but I believe that their behavior before the Vikings/Eagles NFC Championship easily trumps their behavior towards Santa. They crossed the line from being just dicks, in general, to literally being criminals, in that they had the riot police intervene in the parking lot of Lincoln Financial Field before the game because a fight had broken out, which made sense because there are countless videos and pictures of Philly fans doing stuff like this:
Eagles fans pelting a Vikings bus with bottles, cans, whatever they can find to throw (la410rod_official/IG) pic.twitter.com/CmOWV5iZA2
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) January 22, 2018
Beyond that, they were pelting Vikings fans with beer cans and batteries, and even Vikings quarterback Case Keenum said that his family was threatened while watching their family member in his most important game ever. Now some people are defending the Eagles fans by saying that it’s “Just Philadelphia” and that warnings like that from the owner of TicketKing (who literally had to tell people not to wear any Vikings jerseys or colors to the game because of the violence) are just part of what it’s like on the East Coast. Now, I’m all for the s*** talking that comes with football, I enjoy it and it’s actually part of the reason this site exists (as I’ve been run out of a few message boards myself, which is actually a great opportunity to plug our brand new message board! By “shit talking” I really just mean debating and doing it in a respectful non-personal way, so we’re looking for people who like to talk about the team and get into day(s) long debates with people about a draft pick or really, a situation like this!), but this goes beyond that.
The NFL has a lot of problems right now but it really needs to address the fact that some stadiums apparently aren’t places you can represent your team or god forbid bring a child. I’d always said, pre-US Bank Stadium, that I’d never bring my non-existent kid to a Vikings game as the environment is just insane. There’s a ton of booze, testosterone and just nonsense going on and that’s part of the charm of the NFL and I’m not sure if I want them to go the Disney route and take that away completely, but there is a limit to it and it’s clear that Philly went way over that limit.
Now that they’ve won and they’re in the Super Bowl they’re apologizing and basically copying the Vikings’ fans move of donating money to the Saints Punter’s charity by putting $7,000 (as of the writing of this piece) into Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s charity/foundation. $7,000? The Vikings fans cleared $200k and also didn’t pelt the punter with batteries/beer. It’s just such a classless move from a classless group of people that clearly seem to revel in their reputation as what they think is the “toughest” group of fans in the league when the reality is that they’re actually just the most white trash fans in the league. They feel powerful because they have strength in numbers but they’re all just a bunch of cowards who get liquid courage and because they were underdogs in that game, were angry that their team was probably going to lose and were angry that they’re stereotypes living in Philadelphia.
That didn’t end up happening, but if I were Zimmer, regardless of what the charity is for, I’d return that money (and match it myself to make sure that the right people get the right money), because unless they’re actually going to change, then they can’t get the satisfaction of feeling like they made up for the above behavior by sending out some guilt money that they wouldn’t have sent had the Vikings done their job(s) and won that game. Sure, I’m salty that the Vikings basically imploded in front of fans who were all capable of breaking a breathalizer (and IQ test) and this is coming from someone who really isn’t for smoothing out some of the rough edges that the league possesses (although that’s where it’s headed anyway). But at this point, I’m just so angry that a lot of those fans will be able to watch their team play in a Super Bowl in our stadium and get treated with respect and kindness from the people of Minnesota they interact with when they don’t deserve it on every single level possible. None of the sloping browed parking lot people are going to be here for the game, they can’t afford name brand batteries to throw so they’re not coming here in an airplane, staying at a hotel and paying thousands of dollars for a ticket. But still, it’d be nice to return the favor and take the paltry $7,000 they mustered up between the thousands of them from whatever they pawned and use it to make it rain over the unconscious body of an Eagles fan who got hit right in the temple by a C-battery that was purchased at the dollar store. That’d be my Super Bowl.
If you can’t tell. I’m still upset about the game and I’m not sure these feelings will ever truly go away. Sure, I’ll be less upset in a few months to a year or two, but really I don’t think that I’ll ever really let this go or believe in this team should they make another run in a year or two. I look at teams like the Giants, who weren’t great teams (despite winning two championships) but were able to capitalize on their shots and win when they had the chance. The Vikings had a great opportunity this year with all the injuries to important players (or suspensions, per Elliot) and also the chance to play a Super Bowl at home, to play in the NFC Championship against a team with a backup quarterback, and they blew it. You can check out this week’s purpleJOURNAL Podcast to hear why we believe they blew it (whether it was Zimmer, the players, or both), but the reality is that this team isn’t going to make it to the Super Bowl next year, as they’re clearly weak when it comes to their mind(s) and I think that they could start the season 0-4 after playing the worst six quarters of the season in a row between the second half of the Saints game and the entire Eagles game.
I don’t want your apologies, Philly, I don’t even want to relive the disaster that was that game. But, it’s my job, so I have to but don’t expect any Minnesota “Nice” from me and I’d love it if people returned the favor to the fans that came here. I’m not advocating for violence against the Eagles fans, but I am saying that perhaps we need to toughen up as fans and hold our teams/players accountable like they do on the East Coast. Seeing the Vikings players laughing and joking around at the Pro Bowl this week, days after they broke the hearts of the entire state. Days after people went out and spent tons of money on food and booze for the game. Days after people who have been fans for decades literally wept over this team completely imploding… In a way that was so unexpected. Was so difficult for me to swallow… I know that they have to get over games like that so they can continue to play and that not dwelling is something that is pounded into their heads, and I’m not really angry at the players personally, but it was just really hard to see that while I’m still very, very upset about Sunday. So, Let’s let them know next season that this isn’t okay and that we’re not going to let things slide from now on as fans, while they have to let things go, we don’t. We can hold them more accountable than we have and while some may say that it makes no difference it could really motivate someone to not want to get booed or get harder questions from the media. Maybe that’ll help them avoid that 0-4 start. Maybe that’ll toughen the team up mentally so that when they travel to the NFC East for an NFC Championship, they won’t get blown out 41-0 or 38-7. Or maybe I’m just grasping at straws and attempting to find a way to turn my rage into something positive. Or really, find a way to stop this from happening every single time this team has reached the NFC Championship in my lifetime.
Either way, F Philly. They can keep their blood money.