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September 27, 2023

Eytan Shander: Eagles fans can't be stopped from traveling and taking over

Eagles fans are everywhere.

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1342_09142023_Eagles_Vikings_fans.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 14: A photo from the Philadelphia Eagles game against the Minnesota Vikings on September 14, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. (Photo by Kate Frese/PhillyVoice)

Philadelphia fans did it again.

No, this isn’t a typical fandom column where smaller groups of belligerents are used to take down an entire fanbase. This is something different. Something massive in the making. 

The NFL might be tempted to curb Philadelphia Eagles fans taking over stadiums — as witnessed once again on Monday night. This isn’t just a road trip. This isn’t some planned trip that coincidentally has multiple groups coming together. This feels like half the city relocated to Raymond James Stadium.

Joe Buck had to raise his voice whenever the Eagles did something good in their 25-11 win in Week 3. One time during the game, I turned my head to talk to my wife and heard the crowd noise as Buck was talking. It sounded as loud as any game in Philadelphia. 

Eagles fans have always traveled and showed up on the road, but this season feels different. It feels like a weekly invasion where opposing fan bases and media alike are left shocked as people in green jerseys arrive in droves. There’s just no way the NFL will allow this to continue so enjoy this as much as you possibly can. 

The No Fun League finds ways to curb good things and it’s not just relegated to on field stuff. Fan behavior is already under a tight spotlight, so don’t be surprised if one bad incident is used to blow up something larger, like road fans taking over stadiums. 

But much like trying to outlaw the “tush push,” it’s a fruitless endeavor because nobody can truly cap the amount of visitor fans in a stadium. If any fan base is creative enough to skirt around those rules, trust me, it’s Eagles fans. That’s what’s so unique about this time around and something that has staying power. 

Nick Sirianni even took time to thank Eagles fans who made the trip. It’s a tradition that will continue to grow as more stadiums are taken over each weekend. Jalen Hurts and Jason Kelce acknowledged just how loud it gets for them when they are on the road. The Bucs were even unable to roll out a flag in the stands! 

Eagles fans are loud, they are obnoxious but fun. They keep coming in waves like an army from a Game of Thrones battle scene. It’s scary for fans used to a more subdued environment to see thousands of bodies screaming their heads off for the other team. 

Oh, and the Eagles are really good. 

This is the one factor that’s lacked in prior years, partly because 2017 hadn't happened yet, and also how much easier travel has become. It’s cheaper and more accessible than ever and Eagles fans are making serious sacrifices to trek all over the country. 

Fan bases around the NFL are taking notice to how effortless it is for Philadelphians to take over opposing stadiums. Bucs fans sat in horror as they saw their team destroyed on the field combined while being drowned out in the stands. 

This is a total takeover. The fact that these are not planned by an organizing body makes it even more impressive. 

No team has fans like the Eagles. No city travels like Eagles fans. No stadium will survive so long as the Eagles keep winning games. 

What’s truly insane about all of this is the added advantage the Eagles have with this (somewhat) new dynamic. For years the Birds and their fans have boasted about how loud it gets in south Philly, and how tough of a home field advantage the Birds have each week. That may still be the case as things are certainly not easy for any visiting team, but the Eagles have a rare advantage not seen, possibly, anywhere else in sports.

No other team in professional sports has the combination of skill and fan behind them like the Philadelphia Eagles. No other team in sports has a true road field advantage like the Birds. 

Take a bow, Philly. You crushed it.

Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

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