While the Philadelphia Eagles were bolstering their reputation as a team that can't put it together in the playoffs, the team's fans were bolstering their own rep as "all-around sore losers," according to a Pennsylvania newspaper.
A college professor who attended the game with his father to root on his hometown Green Bay Packers returned to the parking lot after Green Bay's thrilling 21-16 wild-card victory to find his car vandalized. Craig Coenen, who teaches at Lehigh University, said he suspects the damage was done by six men in their 20s who were tailgating out of a pickup truck nearby.
Another car was also damaged during the game. Both owners filed police reports.
From Lehigh's Morning Caller:
His son's Toyota Camry had been stomped on, kicked and beaten (kind of like the Eagles). Fans tore out the windshield wipers and motors and used them to scratch the paint, broke off the side mirrors and left footprints and dents on the hood, trunk and roof.
"It was just drunk, obnoxious Eagles fans," Craig Coenen said Monday after getting a repair estimate of $2,163. "Philadelphia is notorious for this, but hopefully the fans who did this are the exception, not the rule."
More likely, it will go down as another example of Philadelphia sports fans at their worst and add to their reputation as out-of-control, violent, destructive drunks and all-around sore losers.
Ouch, that last paragraph is harsh. Not only are Philadelphia sports fans drunks, they're destructive drunks to boot! My email inbox often informs me that I'm hard on Eagles fans, but I'm a mere amateur compared to that paragraph.
I've attended an Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field as a visiting fan wearing the jersey of a division rival and I had no problems other than a few requisite catcalls and some barbed comments while walking out the stadium a victor. (Coenen says his experience on Sunday was mostly the same. He had a good time at the game with the majority of Eagles fans he encountered.) I got no worse in Philly than I received during a Giants game at the old Meadowlands and far better than when I wear my Wake Forest sweatshirt to a Maryland basketball game. So let's not lump all Philly fans into the actions of a few.
But to those Eagles fans who like to act as if stories like this are an example of the media piling on innocent fans for the actions of a few, get off your high horse. There's a reason these stories are out there: Because they happen. It may not be you or your friends or your family participating in them but these aren't fantasies conjured up to badmouth a fanbase. A bunch of idiot Eagles fans bashed in this guy's car, that lout at the Phillies game last season vomited on a girl, people threw snowballs at Santa Claus and booed Michael Irvin when he was on a stretcher. The reputation is well deserved.
Nobody should think that all (or most, or even 5 percent) of Eagles fans act this way. But as long as a rotten few continue to engage in behavior like this, it besmirches the reputation of the vast majority of good fans who don't.