Forget the Pro Bowl let’s talk about something worth talking about. Defending Eagles fans.

Yeah I said it.

So this topic has been on my mind all week and a little bit of discussion about it happened in the comments of the last comic, but I wanted to address it with a little more “officialness”, and if that is not a word it is now. After the NFCCG I ventured around the web reading forums and stuff because I’m always curious how fanbases are reacting to both losses and wins. I saw a lot of hate from Vikings fans complaining about Eagles fans. I read stories about rude Eagles fans. I saw uploaded videos of Eagles fans being dickweeds. I saw a lot of confirmation bias.

Eagles fans aren’t any worse than any other fanbase on any meaningful level. If you think they are, get your biased head outta your ass.

I take a lot of cracks at fanbases here. I dump on Pats fans, Hawks fans, all of them. I paint with broad strokes and make broad jokes. For the most part I think most people generally get that when I shit on a fanbase, I’m not really shitting on the entire fanbase. I’m shitting on the bad representatives of said fanbase. Frankly, most fans of every team are completely reasonable people. Eagles fandom is mostly completely reasonable people. My interactions with Eagles fans online and in-person have been the same as my interactions with all other fanbases. Most are fine. Some are assholes.

We tend to associate an entire fandom with the worst representatives of said fanbase. Videos of that Eagles fan crowd throwing beer cans at the bus, or wrecking property…other fans are using that to further stereotype all Eagles fans as the same group of rowdy jerks who threw batteries at a pitcher and boo’d Santa. The problem is nobody is uploading videos of the completely normal Eagles fans just wandering about or being a little fun or even friendly. I bet those fans didn’t even register to the Vikings fans crying about it. It reminds me of an argument I had with an old schoolmate. She would occasionally get on facebook and bitch about cyclists and how they were ruining the road and acting like the worst. As a cyclist myself, (and also knowing she was a hyper aggressive bad driver) I would politely let her know that she was letting the bad cyclists represent all cyclists in her brain. You don’t notice the good cyclists who follow the rules of the road. When you drive home after work, who do you remember? The hundreds of cars who drive normally like you? Or do you remember the BMW that cut you off? You remember the bad guy, and then use it to confirm some stereotype in your brain, like BMW drivers are all assholes. There is probably a psychology term for this phenomenon. Might actually be confirmation bias.

All the different fanbases are the same (even outside sports). They may have slightly different seasonings due to geographical location and team history or whatever, but ultimately all fanbases are the same. We’re all mostly reasonable people being brought down by the worst of us. When you see an asshole Eagles fan, remember that this person isn’t an asshole because they root for the Eagles. They are just an asshole who happens to root for the Eagles. If you see an asshole fan, chances are they are just an asshole. Lots of assholes like to use fandom and such as an excuse to get away with being an asshole. It’s like those stupid youtube dipshits who don’t really understand what pranks actually are, and just act like a dick to people and try to use the “It was just a prank!” to somehow deflect blame for being a dipshit. Fans who act like assholes aren’t “passionate”, they are just assholes. And they are the worst.

It’s always going to be a slightly blurry line between what makes an asshole and what makes a passionate fan, but generally my line is “do your actions harm another person, physically or emotionally, and you have no regrets about it”. Talking some smack? Fine. Hurts nobody. Putting a jersey on a statue? Hilarious. Throwing a beer can at someone? Asshole. Getting up in someone’s face when they don’t want you there, yelling at them, sticking your middle fingers in their personal space? Asshole. If what you are doing could be considered harassment in a neutral context, you’re a piece of shit. No one else deserves to be harassed because they root for a different team.

Making a “Fuck Millie” sign and parading it around? Fine. Although jeez, deciding that hating on a sweet 99 year old woman who just wanted to see the Vikings win the focus of your jubilant celebration is kinda weird to me. Like, celebrate the win, but ragging on the poor old sweet lady is bizarre.

It also must be noted here that this was the NFCCG between two starved fanbases, emotions and reactions here always going to run a little higher than average.

I would also like to note a lot of people who despise entire fanbases tend to live among or near the enemy herd. I have to imagine being surrounded by fans of a team you don’t care for constantly talking about them would get trying sometimes. I experienced this with Seahawks fans for sure.

So yeah. Eagles fans? You guys are basically fine. Sports and fandom make people stupid. I know most of you are normal and fun. I may wish your team nothing but hellfire, but that’s just the Giants fan in me. The person in me is actually happy for you, and I have delighted in watching the more amusing ways Eagles fans have celebrated. When I dump on you, it’s out of rivalry love, and I would gladly have a beer and talk football with most of you. The assholes? Fuck them.

Cowboy fans are all scum of the Earth though.