What I’ve learned from being a Philadelphia sports fan

Margaret Dougherty, Editor In Chief

If you’ve been following sports news in the past couple of months, odds are you’ve heard a lot about Philadelphia. From the Phillies’ improbable World Series run to the Eagles’ excellent start to the season, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding Philadelphia. As someone from southeastern Pennsylvania who grew up in a sports-loving family, I’ve been enjoying this streak. It has also made me reflect on everything I’ve learned from being a Philadelphia sports fan.  

If you’re unfamiliar with Philadelphia sports or Philadelphia fans in particular, here’s a brief explanation. The genuine devotion that Philadelphians have for their sports teams is unrivalled. I always knew Philadelphia fans were passionate growing up, but I never thought any differently. It wasn’t until I came to New York that I realized not every city experiences that sort of love. In the sports world, Philadelphia has a reputation for being one of the rowdiest sports towns with the most cutthroat fans. The fans are also known for being some of the most hated. Sure, some may argue that this negative reputation is warranted in some cases. For example, in 1968 a Christmas-themed halftime show didn’t go as planned when Eagles fans started pelting snowballs at Santa Claus. However, I’m sure this Santa wasn’t putting on a good enough show. 

That leads me to my first lesson: it’s ok for not everyone to like you. Simply rooting for a Philadelphia team earns me plenty of haters, but that’s okay. Likewise, in life you aren’t going to be able to please everyone. It’s impossible. The most important opinion about yourself is your own. 

The second thing I learned is that you need to have thick skin. When people criticize you or your team, you need to learn how to let it go in one ear and out the other. Most of the time, it reflects more on how they think about themselves than how they think about you. For instance, if I was a Cowboys fan, I can imagine I would want to put others down as well. 

The third lesson I learned from being a Philadelphia sports fan is that you must be loyal. As fun as it is to celebrate the highs, we also need to be there for the lows. Stick with your team through all of their phases, regardless of their performance. The same goes for the people you love in life. You can’t feel the pride and joy that comes with their success unless you were there for them through their rough times as well. 

Lastly, being a Philly sports fan has taught me patience. As the 76ers so eloquently put it, “trust the process.” It took the Eagles over 50 years to win a Super Bowl, but when it came it was one of the most magical moments of my life. I’ll never forget the pure elation I felt when I attended the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade in 2018 after years of waiting. Sometimes the best things come to those who wait. 

All in all, I hope some of these lessons ring true to sports fans and non-sports fans alike. As for the current state of Philadelphia sports, time will tell. No matter what happens, I’ll be following along, enjoying every moment of being a Philly sports fan.