The Difference Between a Steelers Fan and an Eagles FanOctober 3, 2012
The Steelers and Eagles face off this Sunday afternoon for a battle of Keystone state bragging rights. The last time these two played in the regular season was in September of ’08; an Eagles win at the Linc. As an Eagles fan, I had dreams of Super Bowl XLlll being an all-Pennsylvania affair, but Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and the rest of the Cardinals thwarted that in the NFC Championship Game which ruined my MLK Day and Inauguration weekend. The Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl 27-23, claiming their sixth Lombardi Trophy. The Eagles (and their fans) hopes of their first ever Super Bowl victory were destroyed once again. There are very few similarities between Eagles fans and Steelers fans, just like there are very few similarities between Philly and Pittsburgh, so let’s talk about how there’s something more than Super Bowl victories—or lack thereof—that separate the two.
Alright, let’s get the joke out of the way: The biggest difference between Steelers fans and Eagles fans is that Steelers fans have celebrated 6 Super Bowl victories. That’s hilarious, and congratulations. Dating all the way back to the ’70s, the Steelers have been one of the NFL’s most lauded franchises, while the Eagles have been, for lack of a better term, runts. Despite their success under Andy Reid which includes a string of consecutive NFC Championship game appearances, they’ve only played in two Super Bowls since 1980. The real kicker is that they lost both, the last one against the Patriots where Donovan McNabb allegedly vomited during the huddle (that’s been hotly contested over the years). The Steelers have been to three Super Bowls since 2005 alone, winning two of them. It’s more than just the teams, it’s the organizations. As an organization, the Steelers have displayed a commitment to winning, while the Eagles have seemed to just be content with making the playoffs and a shitload of money—until now, via Jeffrey Lurie. Now that we have that out of the way, the most obvious difference between being a fan of these two franchises is constant post-season disappointment. We don’t know what that level of success feels like, despite being almost there.
Both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are blue-collar cities, but that’s about all they have in common. Despite being admitted to the University of Pittsburgh, I’ve never been to Pittsburgh once in my life. It’s on the other side of Pennsylvania, which, as far I’m concerned, is another universe. Could that have something to do with the differences between Steelers fans and Eagles fans? I’m not sure, but some (read: the completely clueless) might say that the difference between the two cities is responsible for the behavior and consequential reputation that Eagles fans have. Steelers fans have the Terrible Towels. Eagles fans, in the eyes of the public, are just terrible. My allegiance to the Eagles is drenched in bias, but I’ve never fully understood the bad rap that Eagles fans have been branded with. Maybe that’s because I’m not a dickhead. Yes, I obviously know about some of the ugly moments from our past (key word, past), but do a few isolated incidents define a whole group? Absolutely not. I didn’t boo when Michael Irvin got injured, and I hate the Cowboys.
When you get right down to it, Philly and Pittsburgh are two blue-collar cities with successful football franchises and fiercely loyal fans. Steelers fans support the blue-collar champions. On the other hand, us Eagles fans support the chip-on-the-shoulder bearing underdogs. We’re still fighting for respect, because no matter how many times we dominate a team in the regular season (*cough* Giants *cough*), someone will throw out “but how many rings do y’all have?” Personally, I can say that despite the Steelers success, I have no hate for them. All of my hatred is reserved for the other 3 teams in the NFC east and their fans, especially the Cowboys faithful who have seen one playoff victory since the mid-90s. Yes, it was against us, but fuck y’all. I have no beef with Steelers fans, but maybe that will change come Sunday afternoon. That’s exactly why I’ll be watching the game in a controlled environment—a struggle barbecue with other Eagles fans.