I’m pleased to announce the two winners from my recent contest to win Philadelphia Eagles Academy tickets. They shared a quick story about their best memory of attending an Eagles game and both capture aspects that one can only get by actually being there with 65,000 of your closest friends!
Thanks to everyone who responded!
Also, at the end, I shared a few of my memories of attending Eagles games back in the Veterans Stadium days.
Sean C’s favorite memory…
It was January 2004, and the streets of Philadelphia were covered in snow. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it down to the Eagles-Falcons NFC Championship game. I had to though because I had a unique opportunity. I was in the Air Force at the time and I was going down on the field before the game to hold the giant American flag.
We walked onto the field in full dress uniform while AC/DC sang “For those about to rock, we salute you.” Before we left the sideline, a crazed Brian Dawkins slapped our hands. As the national anthem came to a close, F16 fighter jets raced across the sky while I was surrounded by all 60k plus fans chanting “USA.”
After that I watched the Eagles beat the Falcons and go to the 1st Super Bowl of my lifetime. It was the most amazing experience of my life other than the birth of my son.
I can imagine the energy level at that time must have been beyond intense! Down on the field, listening to “For Those About to Rock”, high-fiving a hyped-up B-Dawk and playing in the NFC Championship Game? Awesome!
Mike O’s favorite memory…
23-20. The Eagles win on a last second 4th quarter field goal by David Akers as time expires. Their opponent that night, the New York Giants. The date, January 7th, 2007. Playoff football at the Linc! A moment that I normally would’ve witnessed in the comfort I my own home.
As Akers was lining up for his potential game winning kick, I actually had my face in my hands. At first, I couldn’t watch. But then my common sense actually kicked in for once! It said: “you’re at your first ever game, a playoff game against your teams biggest rival. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!”
So I watched as the ball was snapped, kicked, and sailed through the uprights! IT’S GOOD!!! THE EAGLES WIN!!!
I started high 5ing and hugging random strangers. But in the moment, they weren’t strangers, they were family and friends! I remember exiting the Linc, grinning from ear to ear, and singing Fly Eagles Fly with the rest of the crowd, as the fireworks put the exclamation point on my greatest Eagles experience ever!
That’s one hell of a first game to attend! I think we all can relate to that feeling when everyone sitting around you in the stands all of a sudden becomes like family after an exciting and thrilling win like that.
That was also the same season when Jeff Garcia made his best-ever quote by saying “Merry Christmas, Philadelphia” after crushing the Dallas Cowboys and clinching a playoff spot on Christmas Day.
Thanks to Sean and Mike for sharing your stories and I hope you enjoy Eagles Academy!
As for a few personal memories of Eagles games, I decided to just recall a few that have just stuck with me over the years. They’re not related to exciting victories or actually anything regarding the football game and whether we won or lost.
More-so, just random things I remember as a teenager/young adult when I used to attend games at Veterans Stadium. I hold “the Vet” near and dear to my heart when I think of going to Eagles games.
Those were the days that Philly really built it’s reputation as being the most raucous fan-base in the NFL. And yeah, I sat in the 700-level, where all the “rowdies” were!
Anyway, I won’t go strolling down memory lane here too much, but here are some random things I remember about going to the Vet…
The bathrooms at the stadium were horrible. For one, there weren’t enough of them, and for two, they were small. The sinks were commonly used as urinals so washing your hands would have been the opposite of sanitary.
I have a vivid recollection of seeing a drunk woman squatting on top of a sink in the men’s room and doing her business. Not the kind of woman you take home to mom, that’s for sure.
In another memory involving urination (good memories, huh?), I witnessed an Eagles fan urinate on a Redskin fan who was sitting in his seat.
It amazed me because it was right in the stands. The guy just whipped it out and starting peeing on the other guy’s Redskins parka. Needless to say, a fight ensued.
While heading back to my car after a painful loss to the Cowboys, there was a Cowboy fan sitting in his car and waving a Dallas pennant out of the window. An Eagles fan walked by, snatched it out of his hand, and broke it across his knee.
The look on the Dallas fan’s face was priceless.
Most of all, I remember how LOUD that place was. The acoustics in the stadium were far better than those at Lincoln Financial Field. When the crowd got into it, the roars were deafening.
Many teams commented on how difficult it was to hear in that stadium. I left there many times with my ears ringing and without a voice because I had to yell just to talk (not to mention cheering).
Lastly, just to set the record straight, I was at the game where Eagles fans supposedly cheered the injury that ended Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin’s career. That’s something that has always bothered me because we really get a bad rap on that one.
The truth was that fans cheered because it was a third-down play that was stopped and forced the Cowboys to punt.
Once Irvin’s injury was apparent, the stadium got quiet. The cheering everyone heard came as he was being carted off the field, which is customary in just about all NFL stadiums for encouragement of an injured player.
Perception is a funny thing.