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Philadelphia Has the Greatest Fans on Earth … Let the Haters Hate

This is OUR time.

On Sunday, led by their backup quarterback Nick Foles, the short-handed Philadelphia Eagles defeated Tom Brady and the Patriots to win their first Super Bowl.

Hundreds of thousands of fans poured into the streets, including myself. Cottman and Frankford Avenues as well as Broad Street were flooded with fans. 99.99% were dancing high-fiving, hugging each other, and being part of the moment. Kids were on shoulders taking it all in as grown men embraced and broke into tears. I can only imagine that this is what it would have been like if World War II ended.

Maybe two dozen out of those hundreds of thousands act like an asshole and someone with a camera phone records it. Just like that, the “Philly Fans are Savages” narrative continues. It’s media sensationalism at its best.

Our city’s fine … and, in celebrating, we have nothing to apologize for or be ashamed of.

Regardless of whether their team wins or loses, historically there is something that has attracted fans to get rowdy and light stuff on fire after championship games. NPR listed various reasons suggesting why people are compelled to riot, including alcohol, police presence and sports culture in general.

Here are scenes from notable riots after other championship sporting events and Philadelphia doesn’t hold a candle to any of these:

 

2014: San Francisco Giants win World Series

Some San Franciscans decided to light a couch on fire in the middle of the street, while this car was clearly wrecked in the mayhem. The riots resulted in a number of injuries and arrests.

 

2011: Vancouver Canucks lose Stanley Cup

Vancouver Canucks hockey fans took to the streets with torches after their team’s loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Royal Canadian Mounted Police and riot officers were called in from as far as 40 miles outside the city using tear gas to quell the violence as jersey-wearing rioters lit overturned cars, lit fires and looted stores for four hours, reports The New York Times.

One of the most iconic moments of 2011 was snapped in Vancouver, British Columbia. The city was in total chaos as the unrest led to nearly $5 million dollars in damage.

 

2004: Boston Red Sox wins the ALCS/ World Series

A police officer aims a pepper-pellet gun at the crowd celebrating outside Fenway Park after the Red Sox defeated the Yankees (via WBUR)

Vancouver isn’t a “big market”? How about Boston? Red Sox fans had to wait 86 years between World Series titles, so naturally they took that bottled-up emotion and rioted after Boston defeated the Cardinals for their victory. As a result, 37 people were arrested.

Less than a week before that, a 21-year-old student was accidentally killed by a police projectile fired to disperse a crowd celebrating a Red Sox victory over the New York Yankees.

 

1998: Denver Broncos win Super Bowl

Numerous arrests and millions of dollars in damage occurred after the Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. Oh and by the way, another riot occurred in Denver the next year after Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.

 

1992: Chicago Bulls win NBA Championship

After the Chicago Bulls defeated the Portland Trailblazers in the 1992 NBA Finals, Chicagoans took to the streets and celebrated. The ensuing riots resulted in more than 1,000 arrests and $10 million in damages.

 

1984: Detroit Tigers win the World Series

As the Baltimore Sun noted, eight rapes were reported, one person died and 80 were injured after the Detroit Tigers won their first World Series in more than a decade.

 

1999: Michigan State loses to Duke in the NCAA Final Four

fans

As ESPN noted, “Michigan State students have rioted numerous times in East Lansing in recent decades, most notably after NCAA tournament losses in 1999, 2003 and 2005. The worst of these came in ’99, when 132 people were arrested and $250,000 in vandalism damage was incurred.”

 

Philly, you’ve waited 58 years for another NFL Championship. Find the people closest to you and remember everyone that couldn’t be next to you. Soak it in and enjoy every moment of our celebration. Don’t let anyone dampen this for you.

Say it again to yourself … We’re the defending Super Bowl Champions.

Let’s all grab our complimentary Bud Light on Thursday at our victory parade and toast this moment together.

We all bled green together our whole lives.

This is OUR time.

Fly Eagles Fly.

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