If Football's a Religion, Why Don't We Have a Prayer?: by Jere Longman
By Jere Longman
The final time a Philadelphia specialist activities workforce gained a championship, Ronald Reagan used to be within the White residence and go back of the Jediwas #1 on the field workplace. No urban with all 4 significant activities -- soccer, basketball, baseball and hockey -- has long gone longer and not using a championship. The neighborhood NFL franchise, the Eagles, has no longer gained a titlesince 1960, placing its committed enthusiasts via many years of futility and heartbreak.
But eventually, in 2004, following 3 consecutive wrenching losses within the NFC championship video game, the beleaguered Eagles eventually had a shot. After celebrity huge receiver Terrell Owens injured his ankle, the fanatics reacted with a unusual mix of wish and dread, yet caught by way of the staff. And whilst Owens back for the tremendous Bowl, the town sat poised, in the end, at the verge of carrying salvation.
In the culture of Fever Pitch and Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, and peppered with riotous anecdotes in regards to the superfans, grandstand brawlers and soccer lunatics who make Philadelphia essentially the most pleasing areas in the USA to observe a online game, If Football's a faith, Why do not we've got a Prayer? is the hilarious daily account of the operatic ardour of Eagle lovers, because it threatens to spin uncontrolled within the dizzying buildup to the team's first visual appeal within the great Bowl given that 1981. From the city's annual Wing Bowl, a near-mythological gastronomic fete within which contestants try to consume their weight in chook wings, to oversize and outlandish Eagle garden undefined, to hygiene-defying contests for playoff tickets, Eagle enthusiasm is raised to a weird and wonderful new point. Even Pennsylvania's governor, Ed Rendell, a season-ticket holder, will get in at the act, splitting his tasks among the nation residence and an area activities cable channel, the place he spends hours interpreting every one Eagles game.
With unheard of aspect and firsthand reporting, New York Times sportswriter and longtime resident of Philadelphia Jere Longman finds what occurs whilst the losingest activities city in the USA ultimately has a shot at successful it all.
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Additional info for If Football's a Religion, Why Don't We Have a Prayer?: Philadelphia, Its Faithful, and the Eternal Quest for Sports Salvation
The mayor urged fans to let the Eagles know they favored Williams. They did so with such rapaciousness that it overwhelmed the team’s phone system, leaving Eagles officials incensed. This was a team with the sense of humor of a potato famine. Cataldi, the radio host, gathered a rowdy group called the Dirty Thirty for a bus trip to New York for the NFL draft. They planned to protest Philadelphia’s selection if it was not Williams. Cataldi said the protest was Rendell’s idea, and Rendell said it was Cataldi’s.
Leaving the press box, I got on an elevator packed with fans, none of them yelling “Dallas sucks” or even talking excitedly of having beaten the Cowboys. The Eagles had won yet another title in the NFC East and had clinched home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs, but no one celebrated. The outcome of the game did not matter nearly as much as the severity of Owens’s injury. ” I asked the group of fans as we descended to the ground floor. Several shook their heads. Then, finally, a season-ticket holder named Mary Ann Haggerty nodded.
There could be no more astringent disloyalty. Eagles fans wore “Dallas sucks” T-shirts and ranted against the Cowboys on the radio and cheered when receiver Michael Irvin lay motionless on the Veterans Stadium turf with a career-ending injury in 1999 and even chased after Dallas icons with power tools. On September 30, 1996, before a Monday night game against the Cowboys, cousins Steve and Dominic Yanni arrived at Cataldi’s pre-game radio show outside the Vet with an inflatable sex doll. The doll was draped in the jersey of Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman.