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Breaking down the fan experience at SoFi

Worth the trip
David Hoffman’s iPhone

If you saw my story last week then you know I went to my first Eagles game in fourteen years on Sunday. The Eagles won which made it a great experience. SoFi was pretty snazzy and there were no hostile fans but there was some Eagle fan on Eagle fan crime after the game. Here are a few of my observations from getting back out there and seeing a game in person.

The energy was pretty charged in there. I don’t know if you could tell on TV but Eagles fans were really loud. The Rams got booed at their home stadium when they were introduced before the game. Booed loudly. Eagles got cheered. Loudly. After that the Rams fans showed some pride and didn’t wanna let us take over their stadium so they were screaming louder than they probably ever have for the rest of the game. That made us get louder and that made them louder and so on. I expected Rams fans to be a little more docile but they showed up. We just drowned them out for the most part. I got swept up in it and was high-fiving strangers, cheering so loud I lost my voice and clapping so energetically that I bruised a finger.

Every few minutes the PA announcer would shout, “Whose house is it?!” 75,000 people would shout back “Rams” and “Eagles.” Collectively, it didn’t sound like either. It sounded like “Hamshwoge.”

The sign was a prophecy. Hamshwoge lives on.

Between plays and during commercial breaks SoFi would play music. It was usually an instrumental beat with deep bass and I kinda liked it. It was a bit loud for this fan, but it kept everyone’s energy up. They also had a live mariachi band that would play every now and then. And sometimes the enormous screen would show Rams fans in the crowd (it was usually a tight shot otherwise they’d get Eagles fans in there). They’d do Tik Tok filters on the fans and give them long tongues or crazy eyes, or put a beard of fire on a little kid. I laughed a few times.

The jumbo screen would show celebs in the crowd. They showed Cedric the Entertainer and Anthony Anderson together. They showed Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, Kate Hudson, Dr. Dre and a few others I can’t remember. I think Dr. Dre was the only one openly rooting for the Rams. Everybody else wore neutral colors and gave no indication of where their loyalties lay. I respected Dre for that.

The 32 second TD drive at the end of the half was monumental. It was the turning point in the game and literally the winning TD. When the Rams went up 14-10 we were deflated. The Rams looked kind of unstoppable on offense and they were getting the ball first in the second half. And then the big A. J. Brown catch, and then the DPI and we’re at the one with time for one play. It felt amazing knowing that we had a guaranteed TD. Eagles fans were going nuts like we’d already scored. We knew! It was automatic. Brotherly Shove! We were so pumped at halftime and the Rams fans were deflated. It was over right there.

That’s me feeling it at halftime. The vibes were good!

There was a really nice ceremony for Dick Vermeil at half-time. I think. I love Dick Vermeil but I really had to urinate and it was a long line.

I had pretty good seats. Between my view and the big screen I don’t feel like I missed much. The biggest thing I missed was replays. Like every time the Rams had a catch on the sideline or an interception that looked close, they wouldn’t show a replay in the stadium so I didn’t know if I should be yelling for a challenge flag. On the 3rd and 26 facemark, I didn’t know who committed the penalty. I didn’t know who to be frustrated with. They didn’t announce it and didn’t show the replay. When I watched later I saw that it wasn’t even a facemark! But I had no idea in the stadium. When Morrow dropped that interception they showed it fifty times and it was overturned. I completely missed the Kelce outburst and Sirianni getting on Watkins. Had no idea.

After the second Reddick sack, the Rams fans cleared out. By the two minute warning it was only Eagles fans. The PA announcer still acted like the game was in the balance. As the Eagles were running out the clock up by two scores he was like, “Iiiiiit’s THIRD DOWN!” And nobody responded.

“Let’s hear it Rams fans!”
David Hoffman’s iphone

As I was leaving the stadium, I saw a group of guys quietly yelling at each other if that makes sense. There was a guy in a Rams jersey next to a guy in a Brian Westbrook jersey. They were friends and they were arguing with two other guys (one in a Rams jersey, the other in a Hurts jersey). These two were friends. So the argument couldn’t have been about the game. Hurts ended up knocking down Westbrook and then a guy in a headset came and broke it up. I wonder what they were fighting about.

My friend and I decided to walk far from the stadium to find a good spot to catch an Uber home. As we were walking with thousands of other fans we passed a few Eagle fans sitting on some low stairs. They offered high fives to every Eagle fan who passed. I gave the first guy five and we didn’t have a perfect connection so he swiped again and hit me in the face and his fingers went in my mouth. It was awful. His friend shouted, “Yo! You hit my guy!” Then he said to me, “ Are you okay man?” I gave a thumbs up as I kept walking, in search of some hydrogen peroxide.

It was great to see the Eagles in person again and it was much better than my last experience. I liked it so much that I’m going to another game this season. I met a guy on a plane a couple months ago who happens to own a suite at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. I told him how I feel about the Cowboys and he was good natured about it. He invited me to come to the Eagles/Cowboys game in December and sit in his suite. He said there was one catch: I had to have a shot of whiskey with Jerry Jones before the game. I told him I’d be wearing Eagles gear and he said that’d be fine. I was 75% sure he was serious about this invitation but it seemed too far fetched to be true. After the Rams game I checked in with him and he said he was serious so I’m going to the Eagles/Cowboys game in Dallas and will be meeting Jerry Jones in my Eagles gear. Stay tuned.

Were you at the game? Are you glad you stayed home and watched on TV? Are you going to any games this year?

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