There was a little chatter over on Facebook after the Eagles victory in Dallas. One commenter asked, “How are you an Eagle fan? A kid from NY and live in CT. Shame on you. Lol!” Good question.
I lived in Philadelphia from 1975-80. This was a very important period of my life because it was during those years in Philadelphia I realized I was a grown-up!
Is that how it normally works? Probably not. Most people ease into being grown-ups. Not me.
I had my cathartic moment at a poker table full of friends. We were at Louie and Gloria Wuhl’s house in Cherry Hill playing our usual Thursday night game. It was just a bunch of guys having fun. Poker was necessary, but secondary. It was an incredibly good time.
Anyway, one Thursday I looked around at the other people at the table. They were all professionals. They were all grown-ups. Many already had the responsibility of a family.
I paused a moment.
They were treating me as an equal. Therefore I was an equal. If they were adults… holy crap I was too!
Seriously, it all came to me at the poker table at Lou and Gloria’s house.
Since that moment Philadelphia has taken on more importance than just the nearly five years I spent there would imply.
During my time in Philadelphia I was invited to attend an Eagles game. My friend Marlene’s father Frank had a bunch of seasons tickets. He didn’t want to lose them, but the Eagles sucked and not many people wanted go.
Marlene and I drove to the Vet in my little Triumph Spitfire. It was one of those days that still felt like summer though the calendar showed fall. The Sun was shining. I remember puffy clouds overhead.
We climbed the ramps at Veterans Stadium to Section 614 (around the 30 yard line, but on the shady side of the field). As we passed from the concession area to the seats I looked down. An American Flag was being held aloft by a small army of people. It covered the entire field! A chill went up my spine.
Though the Eagles went on to lose that game I became hooked!
Frank sold me two of his seats and I began to attend religiously, staying the entire game no matter what the weather or score. Trust me, both were often ugly.
Here’s the funny thing. Today a stadium is probably the last place I’d want to go to see a game. The view is better at home. The bathroom is closer. The food is more reasonably priced. Helaine can turn the sound down if things aren’t going right.
I’m still an Eagles fan!