October 15, 2008
SI posted their NFL stadium rankings today. The Eagles come in at #10 overall. They are hurt by their #26 ranking on Atmosphere. I’ve been to a few Eagles games at the Linc, it has a great atmosphere. I clicked on the ranking and found out what they used to judge atmosphere: Fan IQ and hospitality offered to fans of the opposing team. Hospitality? Really? If I’m judging a stadium I’d look at it from the perspective of the fans of that team. Doesn’t really matter. The real greatness of these rankings are the stories shared by people have been to each stadium. There are two questions: What is the worst incident you have witnessed against an opposing fan or yourself at the ballpark? and What is your favorite memory from a game at the stadium?
I didn’t bother reading the responses to that second one. I figured it would be a lot of playoff memories or great comebacks. I read all the worst incidents, I couldn’t look away. Check them out for yourself. What I think you can learn from this is that almost every stadium in the NFL has rowdy, drunk fans. The Eagles aren’t any better or worse than the others.
Here are some of my favorites (with some of my comments) …
Eagles: “I saw a little girl, about 10, get put in a trash can because she was wearing a Giant’s jersey.” Honestly, this one sounds pretty funny. I can even see it happening.
Colts: “We booed a little girl in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition who was wearing a Patriots jersey. Parents should know better than to dress their children in clown clothes.”
Chiefs: “Somebody hit a Raiders fan with a car … I clapped.” This one took me by surprise since all the others were inside the stadium I pictured someone swinging a car inside the stadium and hitting a Raider fan.
Broncos: “A Cincinnati fan was severely bludgeoned with his own trumpet after playing Charge! for the Bengals for three quarters during a game at the old Mile High Stadium in the early ’80s. I do remember it being annoying, but still. I was 5, and that is my first Broncos memory.” I enjoyed this one for the imagery.
49ers: “Traffic! It took four hours to get out of the parking lot.” Life is so difficult in San Fran.
Bills: “A Miami fan came and didn’t get pelted with beer until the fourth quarter. That was really disappointing.”
Bears: “A guy wearing a Barry Sanders jersey (one week after he retired) slipped and fell on the steps. There was much pointing and laughing.” This one is just funny, no fan-on-fan violence. They should lose points for stadium safety. Someone should inspect those steps.
Giants: “Watching a Jets and Giants fan pummel each other rolling down rows of seats over people. The Giants weren’t even playing the Jets that day, they were playing Green Bay in Week 2 of 2007!” I must say, I enjoy fights over team loyalty when one of the teams isn’t even playing.
Chargers: “We play the Raiders every year … take your pick of any violent incident possible.” and # “A Raiders fan was caught on tape stabbing a Chargers fan once at the stadium. After that, they no longer sold single-game tickets to home games against the Raiders. Yeah, I still don’t go to those.” The poor people of San Diego. All the comments are about the Raiders fans coming to town. Every team near Oakland or in their division mentions them.
Detroit: “It is the best incident for the opposing fan and the worst incident for me — the Lions taking the field before kickoff.” This will be better one day.
Vikings: “Just giving obnoxious people the glare … remember, we have Minnesota Nice.”
Browns: “An idiot Broncos fan in the Dawg Pound wearing a John Elway jersey was pelted with batteries, dog biscuits, beer bottles and other objects.” Is there a bigger insult than being pelted with dog biscuits?
Rams: “The last couple of years, so many visiting fans show up, they end up heckling the Rams fans.”
Raiders: Worth reading all of them, but my favorite is “A Raiders fan had a sock full of loose change, used it to club a Broncos fan and knock him out.”
Dolphins: “One fan punched another for drinking his beer through a straw. Not manly enough, apparently.” I saved this one for last because after I read it, the others just weren’t nearly as good. I’m guessing this was Dolphin fan-on-Dolphin fan violence, even better.
Many of these instances happened because the fan of the visiting team was drawing attention to himself. In my experience if you just sit there and cheer an appropriate amount when your team scores, that’s fine. The only place I wouldn’t go and cheer for my team would be Oakland. That just sounds dangerous.