If I used profanity, and were a less cultured sports fan, I’d probably use this space to refer to Philadelphia Eagles fans with a verb that rhymes with ‘pluck.’ But while I don’t subscribe to such clownish behavior, I fully and whole heartedly endorse it.
With that in mind, let the countdown begin to the Philly invasion of Charm City.
Ravens fans are a rather tame bunch. They don’t thrive on the suffering of opponents or their fan base. Yes, they want them to lose badly and possibly sustain injury in the process, but you aren’t likely to brawl with a Ravens fan on Pratt Street, or have crab cake sandwiches lobbed at you in the stands.
But that could all change this Sunday, because Eagles fans are likely to travel south for the Eagles-Ravens game ready to break open all kinds of hell like so many cans of Coors. They’ve seen the city on COPS, they’ve watched ‘The Wire,’ they look at the defense and assume that Baltimore is the jealous and bitter cousin of Philadelphia, aggressive and addicted to animosity. They could easily think that there will be a fight waiting for them when they exit onto Martin Luther King Blvd this Sunday.
In actuality, there’s too much to be concerned around this team for Ravens fans to be fighting drunken idiots who have nothing better to do than long distance antagonizing. The Ravens have yet to beat a team of note. The offense whimpered last week against the New York Gians after roaring in the weeks prior. This is a must-win game for both teams, primarily because the Ravens aren’t lame enough to play someone to a tie.
But most importantly, Baltimoreans don’t want to hurt anyone. But they will. The last thing Philly fans will want is to drive an a little more than an hour to Charm City, piss off a Ravens fan or group of them, and leave the stadium the way Donovan McNabb is likely to exit Sunday’s game; limping. A spitting contest with locals is never a good bet, because they’ll usually bypass the spitting and just throw a punch.
That’s not what anyone wants. Having a good time should be the objective, particularly since the biggest source of animosity between the two teams left when Terrell Owens left for Dallas some years ago. Besides, Ravens need to rest well for the Redskins game in a few weeks.
So, hooligans to the north and south, take caution. It’s better if everyone is on his best behavior this Sunday, because the game just isn’t that serious for Ravens and Eagles fans to act the way they think they should act. There is no requirement that says you have to live up to a level of obnoxiousness to be a real fan, the only requirement is that you can still walk straight and make it back home with a smile on your face.
And its even better if you have all your teeth in your mouth for that smile.