Blog Entry

How did I actually become an Eagles fan...

Posted on: August 13, 2008 10:05 pm
 
I get this question rather often, You are from Baltimore, how on earth did you become an Eagles fan?

Yes, I am from Baltimore, born in the great city, raised in the suburbs. Ever since I can remember, I have been a fan of sports. Growing up in a major city such as Baltimore, we had the Orioles, the Colts, the Blast (indoor soccer) and the Skip Jacks (minor league hockey). My Dad taught me, that when you pull for a team, you do so for life -- no matter how poorly they perform. It's pretty simple, you stick with your team through the good and the bad. He also taught me to despise the Washington Redskins, they were probably the first team I loved to hate.

My changing from a Colts fan all goes back to a day where schools happened to be closed due to snow. We all had heard the talk that Owner Robert Irsay was saying, new stadium, stadium upgrades or he will pull the team. Mind you I was only in middle school at the time, but this is something I do remember...as I do rather vividly of the Colts leaving Baltimore for Indianapolis. On the evening of March 28, 1984, Mayflower trucks were moved in place at the team's training complex. Irsay snuck the beloved Colts out of Charm City at 3:00 am, in the middle of a snow storm. Now, my Dad has also told me that if you are behind a Mayflower truck on the interstate, it resembles a hand flipping you the bird. The next morning we awoke to the devastating news that the Colts had left in the middle of the night. And some 24 1/2 years later, I still see the footage that aired on my b/w 13" tv in my bedroom, over and over again...those Mayflower trucks leaving the complex...it was like Irsay was flipping off the city of Baltimore and the team's devoted fans.

I suddenly had the realization, that I could no longer pull for the Colts, as I could not pull for a team after the deceit they had pulled leaving town...they now became another team I loved to hate. I also realized that I needed a new NFL team. My decision was based on two things, definitely NOT the Redskins, and what was the next closest team geographically. That team would be my beloved Philadelphia Eagles. I pulled and still do pull for my Eagles, no matter if they are playing fantastic or hoovering rather badly. The Eagles will always be my favorite team. I wear my green jersey and my throw back jersey with pride here in the heart of North Carolina...in Panthers country.

People have also asked, why aren't you a Ravens or Panthers fan? You never changed your team. That would be correct, I was living in North Carolina when the NFL was looking to expand to Charlotte or Baltimore. I recall people saying why should Baltimore get a team, they already lost one...and other random things that were completely absurd. Then Charlotte was chosen over Baltimore, and I was devastated, causing me to dislike the Panthers, whom I lovingly refer to as the black kitty cats. As for me not being a Ravens fan, actually I am, how can you not pull for your team from your home town? But, I never converted, I was not living in Baltimore when the Ravens came, but I do pull for them, and like to see them succeed.

I am a die hard fan for all of my teams. I am a life long fan, and when I leave this earth, I will be an Eagles Fan. I have had people try to convert me to their team's, it simply does not work. I have a tremendous amount of pride and adoration for my teams. I wear my gear with pride, even when they are on a downward spiral that seems to never end, after all, they are my team, and I am their fan. This is for me what makes being a sports fan such a fantastic thing, I do not bandwagon, but I love to talk smack with you. And when my team is hoovering, I mouth off at the tv, throw things and criticize...but at the end of the day and game, I am still a fan.
Comments

Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: August 21, 2008 11:37 pm
 

How did I actually become an Eagles fan...

thanks falconfan! I love my eagles whole heartedly!



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: August 21, 2008 8:34 am
 

How did I actually become an Eagles fan...

Great story, dook. Here's to you for staying loyal to the Eagles ... no matter where you've lived.



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2008 9:27 pm
 

How did I actually become an Eagles fan...

The residents of Baltimore did not want to steal a team from another city, we knew how badly it hurt. But when Model brought the Ravens to town, they were welcomed.


Dook, I agree totally with you, although not all Clevelanders agree with us.  The fans are always an afterthought.  The deal was between Art Model and Baltimore city officials. 

Unfortunately the rights to the name colts was not left behind.

Right.  What happened in Cleveland with Art leaving the name and colors behind was unique.  Art did not do it out of the kindness of his heart.  The city used his broken lease at Old Cleveland Browns Stadium as leverage to retain the name and colors.  The City of Cleveland could have fought to force Art to stay (I think) two more years and complete the lease.  Personally, I'm glad the City did not pursue this course of action.  The team would have sucked those two years, and then Art would have left and taken our name and colors away too. 

Time heals all wounds.  I don't feel as badly about Art now as then.  Sounds like it's similar for you and Irsay.




Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2008 11:40 am
 

How did I actually become an Eagles fan...

Jelly,
The residents of Baltimore did not want to steal a team from another city, we knew how badly it hurt. But when Model brought the Ravens to town, they were welcomed.

Unfortunately the rights to the name colts was not left behind. In the 90's the city welcomed a CFL franchise, which originally called themselves the Baltimore Colts. After a lawsuit, they then had to change the name to the Baltimore Stallions. They do however still have the Baltimore Colts marching band.

It's a horrible thing when an owner senses greed and wants to pull the team and relocate. I understand sports is a money industry, but honestly, it's the worst thing that can happen. You then have fans becoming disenfranchised with the team that left, because of the greed and deceit.

I actually no longer hate the Indianapolis Colts, it's taken me a long time to get past what Irsay did, and honestly here recently the Colts have brought more fans into football...no complaints there.



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2008 10:57 am
 

How did I actually become an Eagles fan...

as I do rather vividly of the Colts leaving Baltimore for Indianapolis. On the evening of March 28, 1984, Mayflower trucks were moved in place at the team's training complex. Irsay snuck the beloved Colts out of Charm City at 3:00 am, in the middle of a snow storm

Dook, As I see it, you didn't leave your team, it left you.  An unfortunate reality that has repeated itself in other cities.  As Cleveland's Art Model returned a team to Baltimore for the 1996 season, I recal Baltimore fans quoted in Cleveland papers explaining that this isn't how they wanted it to happen.  They wanted an expansion franchise.  They did not want to steal a team from another city as was done to them some twelve years earlier. 

Many Cleveland fans were sceptical of the Baltimore fans sincerity.  Naa, these sceptical Browns fans thought. The Baltimore fans didn't care what happened in Cleveland, they wanted a team at all cost.  Not me.  It wasn't the fans.  What control does a fan have.  We just cheer and hope.  It was Art Model.  If he didn't move the team to Baltimore, he would have moved it someplace else. 

There were at least two huge differences between Baltimore's move to Indianapolis and Cleveland's move to Baltimore.  First, Art Model was under a lease at Old Cleveland Browns Stadium, and the city wasn't going to let him out....... unless he returned the name, colors, and memorabilia for future use in Cleveland.  Art didn't want the Purple Baltimore Ravens, he wanted the Orange and Brown Baltimore Browns, and was not a happy man that he couldn't get it.  Trust me, no tears were shed for Art in Cleveland.  Second, Cleveland was assured a team by the NFL in three years, expansion or otherwise.  Personally, I am glad it was an expansion franchise.  i didn't want to steal a team from another city. 

With the colors and team name safe and assurance from the NFL the Browns would return, it actually provided an opportunity for the city of Cleveland to build a beautiful new stadium at the site of the old.  This would have been impossible to do had the Browns remained in town seamlessly. 

So, I guess you look good in green dook, do you?  For the Dec 15 game, can I send you an orange scarf to go with your Jersey, just for color of course.  lol




Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2008 10:19 am
 

How did I actually become an Eagles fan...

this my Sports Appreciation Day submission, why does that spell out SAD?


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