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Philly Fans Ranked 21st in NFL? You Gotta Be Kidding!

Eagles fans are throwing a flag on a new study that claims to show Pittsburgh has America’s best pro football fans, while Philadelphia ranks 21st — behind Las Vegas, who have hosted the Raiders for less time than Joe Biden has spent as president.

Say, what?

The analysis is from, which looked at measurements like attendance, ticket prices, and how much social media traffic teams generated. Pittsburgh sits atop the list, followed by Green Bay and Dallas. Kansas City, whose Chiefs will face the Eagles on Sunday in Super Bowl LVII, is seventh.

Whatever their calculation, Philly fans in the Delaware Valley say they fumbled it.

“I have been going to Eagles games since 1973 when my father got season tickets for the family,” said Christine Flowers, a local lawyer and frequent contributor to DVJournal. “Our seats were two rows down from the legendary 700 Section, and I have memories of drunken men rolling down the seats into my lap. (They were Eagles fans, so it was okay. It would have been a different matter if they rooted for Dallas).

“I have gone to Wing Bowls, frozen my digits off at Monday Night Games in December, dyed my hair green-on purpose — and offered my hypothetical firstborn to the gods of football in hopes of a Super Bowl win. Fortunately, it became unnecessary. And I am by no means the craziest fan around. ”

State Sen. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) agreed.

“You can’t deny that Philadelphia has some of the most passionate and loyal sports fans around. We were fortunate enough to experience it just a few months ago when the Phillies were in the World Series. It was electric. You can feel that energy and excitement again leading up to the Super Bowl. It’s a great time to be a Philadelphia sports fan,” Farry said.

Sen. Frank Farry in his district office in Bucks County, PA.

Eagles fans argue their passions run deep, forged by years of die-hard support for a team that often didn’t deliver on the field.

Paul Rhodes grew up in Horsham in Montgomery County rooting for some mediocre (to put it kindly) Eagles teams. He has lived in Arizona for 44 years, but his understanding of the mindset of Eagles devotees remains.

“We grew up in a blue-collar city,” Rhodes said. “We didn’t have much to be proud of. The Eagles were terrible. But, we were at the games. It was a badge of honor.”

Rhodes compares Eagles fans to those in Green Bay, another city with a passionate fan base.

“Green Bay fans are tremendously loyal,” he said. “They are a blue-collar town of 110,000 people. They bleed green.

“We are from a blue-collar town. Most people don’t move more than 50 miles away from the town they grew up in. They are proud of their team, good, bad, or indifferent.”

Ukee Washington has been at KYW-TV for 36 years. The Dover, Del. native has a deep understanding of Philadelphia sports’ mindset fans in general and Eagles fans in particular.

“Eagles Nation is second to none in my opinion,” he said. “We are a proud, passionate group, and that enthusiasm begins at birth.”

Like Rhodes, Washington cited the blue-collar mindset of the Eagles’ fan base.

“Philadelphia is a hardworking blue-collar town that expects our teams to work extremely hard,” he said, “With no excuses and owning up to the tough times, while at the same time learning from mistakes to make it better.”

Washington acknowledged that from time to time the passion of Eagles fans boils over.

“The passion and knowledge (of fans) can at times seem intimidating,” he said, “with a few fans on occasion maybe going overboard a bit, but it’s all part of the psychological warfare that’s part of the game.

“That’s the vibe of being a true fan. We absolutely love our teams and would go through a brick wall for all of them.”

If anything, Eagles fans have a reputation for being too passionate. In fact, those passions — on ugly display at a Monday Night Football game in 1997 — led to the creation of “Eagles Court.” A jail, a courtroom, and a judge, all open and on hand at Veterans Stadium at game time.

Montgomery County resident Phil Gianficaro doesn’t dispute that Eagles fans love their team. But he said outsiders find the self-regard of the team’s local supporters a bit galling.

“What (fans in other cities) don’t buy is Eagles fans’ insistence that their passion is unequaled anywhere in the NFL, and insisting otherwise calls into question one’s intelligence. Go to Kansas City. Go to Seattle. They are insanely crazy about their teams,” Gianficaro said.

And at least one Chiefs fan says Eagle supporters aren’t the out-of-control maniacs of the stereotype. Heather Whitten lives in upstate New York but is a diehard Chiefs supporter. In 2021 she attended a Chiefs-Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field attired in Chiefs gear. She says that other than some good-natured teasing she had no problems with the Eagles fans. (Then again, her Chiefs won 42-30.)

“In my experience, Eagles fans get a bad rap,” Whitten said.

Flowers was adamant, however, that when it comes to loyalty, passion, and commitment, Bleeding Green Nation is in a league of its own.

“Anyone who thinks that the Eagles fans are not head and feathers above any other sports creature, including the Steelers, is as crazy as the guy who hired Chip Kelly as head coach.”

Charlie O’Neill, a local GOP consultant, blamed “anti-Philly bias.”

“But like the song says, ‘No one likes us, we don’t care.'”

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As March Madness Begins, DelVal Fans Ranked 7th For College Hoops

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has been contested since 1939 but it has become known as March Madness in the last three decades or so (complete with a trademark).

For the next three weeks, that began with the announcement of the tournament field on Sunday, March 13,  March Madness will captivate rabid basketball fans and intrigue many others who may not follow college basketball at all.

In short, the tournament has become a cultural phenomenon. The primary reasons for this are the power of television and the growth of the sports betting industry.

It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the tournament was televised nationally and then only weekend games. In 1980, ESPN televised first-round games on a Thursday and Friday and received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response as workers took time away from their jobs to follow the action. The early-round telecasts became a television staple.

The tournament field gradually expanded from 25 teams in 1974 to eventually 64 teams in 1985 to 68 in 2011. The expanded field meant more games were available to television, and today every tournament game is televised live. Games are shown on as many as four networks (CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV) simultaneously via a contract that pays the NCAA nearly $900 million annually in rights fees and runs through 2032.

The tournament’s expansion brought the exponential growth of the Final Four pool both online and interoffice. The participants run the gambit from basketball experts (or think they are) to those with only a passing interest in the sport and may pick a team because their son or daughter goes to school there.

Unsurprisingly, passions for college basketball burn hottest in cities and towns with successful major college programs.

Philadelphia is certainly a college basketball mecca with five Division I teams within its borders (Pennsylvania, Temple, La Salle, St. Joseph’s, and Drexel) and Villanova situated just outside the city.

Yet, a survey by WalletHub ranking the ‘Best Cities for College Hoops Fans’ ranked the city of Brotherly Love seventh (see below).

It should be noted that the six cities ranked above Philadelphia are all home to institutions with hugely successful college basketball programs. The roll call includes Durham, N.C. (Duke), Storrs, Conn (Connecticut men AND women), Lexington, Ky. (Kentucky), Lawrence, Kan. (Kansas), Los Angeles (UCLA), and East Lansing, Mich. (Michigan State).

With the exception of Los Angeles, all are cities without a major professional sports franchise, and fans of Duke and Kentucky are as passionate about their Blue Devils and their Wildcats as any Philadelphia Eagles devotee imaginable.

So, what makes a great college basketball college fan? Passion is undeniably part of a fan’s DNA. But Brian Hofman, an associate professor at Ohio Northern University, notes that passion must be accompanied by reason and good behavior.

“First off, they have to be knowledgeable,” he said. “They need to understand the game, so they can heckle the officials or players when questionable calls happen or do not happen. Being knowledgeable also means they can appreciate an opposing player’s great coaching job or effort, even if it means their team may lose. Second, they respect the game and those involved in the game. While it is okay to heckle opposing coaches, players, and even officials, good fans know there is a line that is not crossed. Swearing at the opposition or using racist or derogatory language is never acceptable.”

Hofman says the true fan will support their team, win or lose.

View of Celebration Parade for Villanova Men’s Basketball Team, 2016 NCAA Champions on April 8, 2016

“A good fan of college basketball is always loud and supportive of the team, even when the chips are down,” he said. “Their passion for the team runs deep and does not waver.”

Hofman is also of the opinion that the true fan will deck out attire that will show their support for their favorite team.

“A great college basketball fan is all in on game time gear – whether it be the team-colored game bibs, facial or body paint, a wild wig to match, crazy accessories, or signs that get you on TV or Sports Center highlights are a must.”

For college hoops enthusiasts in the Philadelphia area, whether they be true devotees or the drive-by fan who tunes in only during this time of year, we offer these informational tidbits to enhance your experience:

  • Villanova is the only Delaware Valley team that made the tournament field. It is customary for Philadelphia area fans to support ANY Philly team during the tournament, even if their true alliance lies elsewhere.
  • The first two days of the tournament, Thursday and Friday, Match 17 and 18, are the busiest, with 16 games each day. Game times will run from just after noon until late evening. We suggest office managers not schedule important meetings on those two days.
  • If you’re asked to be part of a pool, but you don’t know basketball, you can still have fun. Look at how the teams are seeded. The #1 seeds are the favorites and base your selections on them. But be sure to toss an odd selection. Upsets happen and are one of the big draws of the tournament Don’t overlook your favorite team because they’re a low seed.
  • If your bracket blows up early, remember you have lots of company.
  • Have fun.


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