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This past weekend, I watched as my Birds put away the Cowboys to win the NFC East. It was a classic NFC East matchup, during which I turned to Al Michaels’ soothing voice to keep my blood pressure from climbing too high. I can’t stand the Cowboys and I was relieved that Big D wouldn’t have bragging rights for the next year (get bent, Cowboys fans). Anyway, as I was watching, I couldn’t help but notice how many crazy rituals my family had. I mean, we’ve always had pretty ridiculous rituals surrounding the Eagles, but it wasn’t until I was a little older that I noticed just how insane they were. I mean, these things can’t be made up.
I try and explain my families antics to others, but people often think I am exaggerating. I kid you not, these are some of the examples of our sacrilegious practices:
When I was younger, I gathered a collection of ticket stubs, footballs, game day rally towels/magazines, a piece of fireworks that had fallen right near our feet at a game, etc. One game I decided to set these items up in a shrine, hoping to please the Eagles gods. We ended up winning the game, and the shrine was set up every Sunday from there on out.
You would think that type of blasphemous behavior would put us in hot water with the big man upstairs, right? Not even the worst of it. The day of my older sister’s confirmation should have gotten us all sent straight to Hell. It was another big game against the Cowboys and it was during the 1 o’clock service. Nothing was going to stop us from getting the updates to the game. So my older brother ended up going to church more wired than Leonardo Dicaprio in The Departed. Any time there was a score or a big possession change, my brother would relay it to my father and me. Nothing like a tailgate spread full of the sacrament, amirite?
If you aren’t judging my family enough yet, I will leave you with one final example. This is one of the more enduring practices we have. If any member of the family leaves the room and the Eagles score, that is where you remain. Had to pee and Foles bombed it to DJax for a TD? Have fun trying to stream the game on your smartphone from the bathroom. It’s a cruel practice that I found myself on the short end of the stick for during the “Miracle of New Meadowlands” in 2010. I watched the historic comeback by myself on the third floor of our house. The central heating unit doesn’t reach the third floor and it is drastically colder than the rest of the house.
I often find myself trying to justify our crazy ways. I’ll tell you one argument that usually keeps my mind at ease: a win. However, I can’t help but wonder if there are other families out there like mine. Do others find themselves exiled from the living room in Napoleonic fashion? This article is an ode to all of superstitious fans out there. Keep knocking on wood, crossing your fingers, wearing unwashed fan gear, burning a Brett Favre jersey in the front yard as your neighbors look on in horror, etc. Whatever helps your team get the W. Don’t let the haters keep you from engaging in your unhealthy and psychotic behaviors. Look at Bradley Cooper; he was batshit crazy and still managed to land Jennifer Lawrence. Do it for your team, do it to win the parlay.
P.S. It’s time to relinquish some of your control in Dallas, Jerry. You are a carbon dated pterodactyl that keeps Jason Garrett from escaping your shadow.