It’s Dallas Week.
“Go Birds” is the greeting an Eagles fan might use when seeing someone walking down the street wearing a throwback kelly green hat. “Dallas Sucks” is something more visceral. “Go Birds” is an uplifting motto perfect for a Saturday morning run to Wawa. “Dallas Sucks” is the collective id for Eagles fans. It’s a “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me” give and take.
I was thinking earlier in the week about the 2014 Eagles. That’s a season that haunts me. I was 20 and had grown up a crazed Philly sports fan, but I think that was the year my brain snapped in half because of the Birds and I’ve been sort of a different person since in a lot of regards. I thought to myself, “I hate Chip Kelly, but he did beat the Cowboys all three times down in Dallas.”
That’s where I was at: defending Chip Kelly in my mind because he at least beat Dallas on the road every season of his Eagles tenure and they were all memorable games. There was the 2013 de facto NFC East Championship Game. The Birds thumped them on Thanksgiving 33-10 in 2014. Jordan Matthews scored a 41-yard touchdown in overtime to give the Eagles the W in 2015.
Is this born out of a (misguided) inferiority complex? Of course. I’m deranged, but at least I’m a self-aware deranged dude. Part of the fun is just hating on the most famous and historically successful team in every sport. I love hating the Yankees. I love hating the Lakers. I love hating Duke. Who wants to hate on the Pittsburgh Pirates? Who wants to hate on the Minnesota Timberwolves? There’s no schadenfreude to be had with those teams.
What makes it even better is that the Cowboys have the long-running “America’s Team” narrative behind them and they haven't been good for more than a quarter of a century. You get to shit on them because they’re the team with the most brand notoriety and because they haven’t reached the NFC Championship Game since I was still in diapers. It’s the best of both worlds!
It’s a very specific type of hatred that seeps through me. I really don’t care much about Cowboys fans from the greater Texas area. That’s who they’re supposed to root for. It’s not their fault they were born into it. I posted a pic of my “Dallas Sucks” t-shirt on the Bleeding Green Nation Instagram page today:
Whoever runs the Instagram page for Blogging the Boys, SB Nation’s Cowboys site, commented “rent free.” I don’t know who you are, but, again, if you’re from Texas, you don’t exist in my mind. It’s the fans who are spread all throughout the country who are scum and make my blood boil.
I grew up in South Philly. As most people in the greater Philadelphia area can attest to, there are a ton of bandwagon Cowboys fans in these parts. These are just sad individuals to me. They played contrarian growing up because they were starved for attention. They fell for the glitz and glamor of a star on a helmet rather than connecting with people in their community. Maybe they were a bunch of horny freaks getting too worked up about the Cowboys’ cheerleaders. Maybe they wanted to piss off their family members. Whatever their reason, they continue to embarrass themselves on a daily basis.
My favorite line is, “Well, my dad is a Cowboys fan.” As Tyler Durden said in Fight Club, “Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God?”
Undeniably, my favorite part of being an Eagles fan is the communal bond. It’s tailgating with people from all walks of my life. It’s strolling into the stadium and screaming “E-A-G-L-E-S” a zillion times. It’s high-fiving strangers after a huge touchdown at the Linc. It’s walking to Broad Street on that fateful night of February 4, 2018 and seeing waves of people as if Jesus Christ himself had risen.
This is the week I channel all the fire and bask in the glow of hating Dallas.
Dallas Week, baby.
For those that wear an Ezekiel Elliott jersey, baggy jeans shorts, navy Air Jordans and a flat brim fitted every Sunday from Malvern to Margate and everywhere in between, I pity you.
You will never know the feeling of waking up on a Monday following a win and truly thinking you live in the greatest city on the planet.
No one will ever brighten your day with a “Go Birds” when you’re hanging out around Rittenhouse Square or East Passyunk.
Most of all, you will never let loose and have a momentary respite from all of life’s worries with a “Dallas Sucks” chant.