View Full Version : Some love from the Eagles fans

01-14-2009, 10:53 PM
Pennsylvania dreams of Super matchup: Steelers vs. Eagles

PHILADELPHIA -- Jumping offsides in a way that would seem to tempt fate and rile the football gods, a lot of Philadelphia Eagles fans are already anticipating a cross-state Super Bowl matchup against the Steelers.

Of course, there is still this little matter of both Pennsylvania teams getting past their opponents Sunday, Pittsburgh facing Baltimore for the third time this season and Philadelphia facing Arizona for the second time.

Pittsburgh narrowly won both games against the Ravens. The Eagles trounced the Cardinals in Philadelphia two months ago (just as they beat the Steelers in September), but Sunday's game will be in Phoenix.

Both Keystone clubs are favored to win. A dozen Eagles fans randomly contacted along busy Market Street on Monday didn't have any doubt their green-and-white crew would be in Tampa for pro football's biggest game.

A Steelers-Eagles matchup "would be awesome," said Malcolm Jones, wearing a green Eagles jersey as he ran a popcorn shop in a Center City skyscraper's food court. "The whole state would be excited."

"That would be great. It would make the whole state look good -- especially Philadelphia when we win," agreed Obra Kernodle, who works in the register of wills office at Philadelphia's famous City Hall, with the statue of William Penn on top.

"I'm a Philadelphia native and an Eagles fan, but I think it would be fun to play the Steelers," said Philly native Bill Morlok, in the lobby of the city's tallest building, the year-old, 975-foot-high Comcast Center. "I've always liked the Steelers too, since they're a Pennsylvania team."

He said he probably should have rooted for San Diego last weekend "because obviously it would be easier for the Eagles to beat them. We beat Pittsburgh once this season but we'll be lucky to beat them again."

There was a surprising lack of animosity in evidence between the two fan bases, perhaps because the clubs are in different conferences and don't play regularly, as the Flyers and Penguins do in hockey.

Jake Reese, 39, of Bucks County, grew up a Steelers fan in Lewisburg and 15 years ago married Leanne, an Eagles partisan from Cherry Hill, N.J. They have three kids: one daughter is an Eagle fan, one a Steeler, and a 4-year-old son has both Troy Polamalu and Donovan McNabb jerseys.

"It's a lot more fun out here when the Eagles are doing well. I'm happy to root for them through this coming weekend," he said. He wore his Ben Roethlisberger jersey to the Eagles 15-6 win over the Steelers in September and was hardly bothered by the notoriously rough Philadelphia fans.

"I've gone to Eagles games against other teams where they're merciless. For the Steelers, there is grudging respect," Mr. Reese said.

Should the fan bases converge in Tampa, they would both draw from across the country, not just Pennsylvania. Both travel well and when home often share the same sports bars on Sundays.

"God bless [Steeler fans]. They're probably the number one sports fan club all over the United States," said Mike Kline, who co-founded Tampa's leading Eagles fan club, Philly of the South, in 1995.

Two teams from the same state have not played since Super Bowl XXIX between the 49ers and Chargers in January 1995. Mr. Kline was one of those hoping for a Keystone State matchup 10 years later, before the Steelers lost in a frigid AFC Championship game at home to the Patriots. (New England would then beat the Eagles, too, for its third Lombardi trophy.)

"There's not a whole lot of animosity between the two teams," Mr. Kline said. "It's more of a lovefest than a heated rivalry."

That is also the case at one of Pittsburgh's few bars that regularly televise Eagles games -- Cupka's II on the South Side. Eagles fans cheer for the Steelers and vice versa, said bartender Kristy Meade.

"It's crazy to say, but they're such nice kids and there's never any trouble. There's no fighting or nothing," she said.

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato got a good reception at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Sunday when he mentioned a possible Eagles-Steelers matchup.

"Everybody takes pride in their own areas ... but I will tell you, the entire state is pulling for a statewide Super Bowl. There's no doubt about it," he said yesterday.

Not that it's all sweetness and light. John Flanagan, 41, has two brothers-in-law who are Steeler fans, one of whom is living with his family in Villanova.

"Feb. 1st I'm thinking of making him get out of the house for the game. We have a huge Super Bowl party every year and I don't want anyone rooting against the Eagles in my house," Mr. Flanagan said in an e-mail.

"An all-Pa. Super Bowl would cause huge tensions in the house leading up to the game."

There are some hard-core Steeler fans in the heart of downtown Philadelphia.

"I'm a lifelong Philadelphia resident, but I've been a Steeler fan since the days of Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and Lynn Swann," said Virginia Hall, who works in the Mellon Building.

"I've followed the team for years. I just like the black and gold and the Steel Curtain defense. I don't like [Eagles quarterback] Donovan McNabb or coach Andy Reid. But it'd be great to have a Super Bowl between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia."

Iyad Alfrookh, a cabbie with PHL Taxi Co., said he wants an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl for selfish reasons -- because he's sure it will mean a lot of people needing cab rides to parties at Center City bars and restaurants. He said he made at least $900 during the million-person October celebration on Broad Street of the Phillies' World Series title, and wants to repeat that big payday with an Eagles celebration in Center City.

A cross-state game might seem to pose a problem for Gov. Ed Rendell, but he doesn't hesitate to say he favors the Eagles. He was Philadelphia mayor in the 1990s and still works as a commentator after each Eagles game. Ever the politician, he's quick to add that the Steelers are his second-favorite team.

"The governor is certainly looking forward to an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl," said spokesman Chuck Ardo.

If the two teams do face each other, he'll make a bet with himself, since he won't have the governor of another state to bet against. If the Steelers win, he'll send Philadelphia's famous cheese steaks to a senior center and a homeless shelter in Pittsburgh, and if the Eagles win, corresponding institutions in Philly will get lots of Primanti Bros. sandwiches.

Mr. Rendell also spoke to The New York Times about the enthusiasm that a possible Steelers-Eagles matchup would generate.

"Eagles fans and Steelers fans are such enthusiastic, blue-collar rock 'n' rollers, there may not be much left of Tampa when they get done with it," he said. Referring to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Mr. Rendell said, "I will offer to send the Pennsylvania National Guard down to help."

Pennsylvania Turnpike officials are getting in on the excitement. They'll program electronic message signs along the 294 miles of roadway between the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia interchanges reading, "Go Steelers, Go Eagles, Turnpike Super Bowl."

In Eastern Pennsylvania, the "Go Eagles" will be listed first, for obvious reasons, said turnpike boss Joseph Brimmeier, who is a Steelers fan.

"There's a lot of buzz out there about the chance for an all-Pennsylvania game," he said. "It's not often that you'll see two teams from the same state competing for a national title."


I know some of you guys can't stand the Eagles fans, but this is some great stuff to read. This Sunday, Go Steelers & Go Eagles? :wink02:

tony hipchest
01-14-2009, 11:11 PM
its very rare i root against the eagles.

if we meet up in tampa we wont have the same homefield advantage we had in detroit.

phily fans easilly outnumbered patfans in their last sb.

on the flipside is ravens and cardinals who would look like the road teams.

01-14-2009, 11:16 PM
I want nothing more than an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl. They were right... both teams would be well represented. As bad as Philly fans can be, I have respect for them and their team. Anyone that follows their team as well as we do is alright in my books. :tt02:

01-14-2009, 11:21 PM
I don't know about you fellas but i have a good feeling about the cards in this game. They kinda remind me of when we won the SB in 06 and when the giants won last year.!

01-14-2009, 11:34 PM
I don't know about you fellas but i have a good feeling about the cards in this game. They kinda remind me of when we won the SB in 06 and when the giants won last year.!

I have a good feeling about them too. That still doesn't mean that I'm not pulling for an all-PA Super Bowl. The Cards have former Steeler Coaches... of course they have a good chance! :flap:

quadruple yoi
01-14-2009, 11:51 PM
i work next to the cardinal training facility and i can tell you that they've been outside practicing their asses off. they need to win this game for the sake of the fans and the city.

01-14-2009, 11:51 PM
I don't know who I would want to face. The Whiz beat us last year, and Philly's defense is pretty fierce and already beat us this year. I'm not going to worry about either for now, it's still too early for that.

01-15-2009, 12:05 AM
If it is a all Penn. SB I say move it to Beaver Staduim. 100,000 people screaming their heads off. That would be awesome!!! Screw Tampa its not football weather to us.

01-15-2009, 12:30 AM
I would freakin' love for it to be at Beaver Stadium. That would be totally awesome. But, as was just stated, let's worry about the Ratbirds first.

The Duke
01-15-2009, 12:39 AM
I find myself rooting at times for Philly's teams. But not so sure this time

If the oline can handle the ravens then I believe they can beat the eagles.

01-15-2009, 12:56 AM
I'd rather see the Cards make it. Andy Reid has had his shots and blew them, give the old Whiz a shot. Phoenix needs a championship.

01-15-2009, 01:02 AM
nepasteeler-you said just what i was going to write on here,isnt there a saying about counting your chickens?....one game at a time,lets concentrate on the ravens....it isnt going to be a cake walk people....:tt:.....I would freakin' love for it to be at Beaver Stadium. That would be totally awesome. But, as was just stated, let's worry about the Ratbirds first.

01-15-2009, 01:37 AM
I fear the Eagles passrush, it destroyed us the last time

01-15-2009, 02:22 AM
if we meet up in tampa we wont have the same homefield advantage we had in detroit.

I've lived about 40 miles due-East of Raymond James Stadium for over 2 years now, and the Steeler Nation is strong here in Florida, easily out-numbering Iggle fans.

My Dad isn't doing-well, but it'd make him happy to see the Stillers beat-up on the Philthadelphians (if they can get-beyond the RatBirds this weekend), because if the Iggles win, Rendell would raise everybody's taxes to put an addition on their Super Bowl Trophy Case if they'd win.


01-15-2009, 06:09 AM
lets not get too over confident and start talking super bowl opponents...we have one hell of a tough game on sunday first, one week at a time