New Jersey is an interesting state in that we have a division of loyalties. Those living in the northern half of the state often cheer for New York teams and those in the southern half cheer for Philly teams. And I live in central Jersey, right in the divide of these loyalities.
My dad grew up in South Jersey so I’ve been a Philly sports fan my whole life. His side of the family still all lives there. My husband grew up in Bucks County, PA, also Philly sports territory so we are all in on Philadelphia sports teams.
But it’s more than just geographical location that leads me to root for a Philly sports teams. I can identify with them and their fan base. We are passionate and intense fans, crazy at times but there’s no letting up. We are all in. We appreciate effort and hard work and will love any player who hustles all the time.
Philadelphia is mainly a blue collar city which is another reason we appreciate the hard worker. Much of the fan base puts in the hard work daily for their living. We like gritty, scrappy players who mirror the city.
And that is why I love the city and team. I don’t come from money and have had to work hard my whole life to have success. I’ve always had a strong work ethic in all I do including sports and my job and I’m very passionate about things I believe in.
All of this is what fits into the what I’ll call Eagles “slogan” for this season, “it’s a Philly thing.” I’ve seen several meanings but ultimately it means we are who we are and if you’re not from Philly you won’t really get it. We appreciate grit and hard work. We still love Jason Kelce’s epic speech after the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018 where he said/sang “No one likes us, no one cares.” We don’t care if you don’t like us, we will continue to be loud and passionate and brash and it’s just who we are. It’s a Philly thing.
This is not the case in this Super Bowl with the Eagles being a slight favorite but Philly is often an underdog. Why do you think we have an iconic statue of Rocky? We are used to being disrespected and overlooked and we don’t care. It’s a Philly thing.
We are loyal, diehard fans who rise and fall with our sports teams and we are not fair weather or bandwagon fans. We cheer for our teams no matter what.
And that’s why I love being a Philly sports fan. It’s because of all the things that make it a Philly thing. I feel like I was born with a chip on my shoulder and have had to work hard for everything. I get being under appreciated and overlooked. It just motivates me to work even harder.
That’s why I am so so excited that another Philly team (the Phillies made the World Series this fall!) is in the championship. We aren’t gifted many championships in Philly sports which makes us appreciate any time we reach the title game that much more.
I will never apologize for being a diehard Philly sports fan and for the passion I have for my favorite sports teams. It’s an identity that goes beyond the playing field. It’s a Philly thing. And if you don’t like us, we don’t care.
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