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August 15, 2023

Mt. Joy's Matt Quinn reflects on Eagles fandom

After playing two shows at The Mann Center that saw him gifted a new Kelly green Eagles jersey and Jason Kelce join him on stage, Mt. Joy's Matt Quinn is as 'addicted' to the Birds as ever.

On average, Conestoga High School in Berwyn produces more die-hard Eagles fans than folk rockers, but Matt Quinn is comfortable existing in both realms. Quinn, a vocalist and guitarist for Mt. Joy, is coming off back-to-back shows at The Mann Center over the weekend, playing for crowds sporting a healthy mix of tie-dye tees and Kelly green Birds merch. 

Before Sunday's concert that saw Jason Kelce join Quinn and his bandmates on stage for a rendition of "Fly Eagles Fly" in front of their adoring fans, Quinn spoke with PhillyVoice about his love of all things Eagles while finding success with Mt. Joy, who continue to tour after the release of their most recent album, "Orange Blood," in 2022. 

When asked about the earliest days of his fandom, Quinn looks back on a day that lives in infamy in Philadelphia, a fandom-shaping loss for an entire generation of Eagles supporters: a playoff matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2002 season. 

"The one that sticks out? I had a friend give me a ticket to that Bucs game, NFC Championship Game," Quinn said of the franchise's devastating loss in the final game at Veterans Stadium. "Dude, it was insanely bad. We were so excited, young kids. We were so pumped to be going to that game, then Joe Jurevicius. It all kind of sticks in my mind."

Quinn, 32, mentions memories of the Birds "sucking" before then, but things crystalized for him at the dawn of the Donovan McNabb era in 1999, "the beginning of when the Eagles were fun." Those were the days of Brian Dawkins, who Quinn calls "such a force," recalling his bruising hit on Falcons tight end Alge Crumpler in the 2004 NFC Championship Game. Quinn was in the crowd that day at Lincoln Financial Field, a far cry from the failures of two years prior at the Vet. 

The fandom holds strong through the present, ingrained in him since his youth, as Quinn says his family was "addicted to the Birds." The schedule of a touring musician is daunting, but Quinn says that for him and a lot of other musicians in the scene, following sports is "such an escape," a way to take his mind off work, the same as it is for a construction worker or an accountant back home. 

Watching the Birds while out on the road, however, can be a little difficult.

"Certainly it's a bummer to miss a game," Quinn says about an Eagles game overlapping with a performance or travel. "This year might be the year where I've convinced myself that Mt. Joy has reached the amount of success where it's worth to spend a gajllion dollars to get the League Pass or whatever it is."

Scouring the web for a stream of an Eagles game is a stressful endeavor for fans on top of the typical anxiety that comes with simply watching them play. 

"Every year, that's what I'm thinking about, trying to get a VPN so I can find a way through and crack the code," Quinn continues. "They're pretty good about it now though where the streams are wonky. That's the bummer when you're watching a game on a wonky stream somewhere in frigging Colorado or something because the f*****g Giants are the FOX game or something and it freezes up on third and two while you see that [Jalen] Hurts is rolling out and you're like, 'Did we get it? Ugh! Goddamn!' Then you're going on your phone to check."

Quinn, akin to many people out there across the Delaware Valley, probably isn't the most pleasant person in the world to actually watch an Eagles game with though.

"I'm the kind of crazy fan where I don't even like to watch the Eagles in a bar. It just stresses me out," Quinn says. "I need to be in front of the TV with maybe one other person who deeply gets it. [Guitarist Sam Cooper]'s from the Philly area too and he's a big fan, but the other three [members of Mt. Joy] aren't from Philly. I gotta be with someone who's screaming as a grown man at a referee in his own house as if they can hear me. It doesn't make sense to outsiders. It's almost like being naked or something. 'Don't come in here!'"

At least Quinn will be yelling about suspect defensive pass interference calls in style this season. Before Mt. Joy's concert at The Mann on Saturday, both he and Cooper were gifted the hottest fashion item in Philly: a brand-new Kelly green jersey. 

"Our day-to-day manager brought jerseys in. She had Kelly green in her hand and I was like, 'Where did you get that?' and she said the team asked if you could wear them on stage," Quinn said about his new A.J. Brown jersey. "Wear them on stage? I'm going to wear them a lot more than that!"

Getting down to real pigskin talk, Quinn ranks his top-five quarterbacks in the NFL, starting with Patrick Mahomes and then Hurts before continuing on with Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Trevor Lawrence in that order. Even with high hopes for the Birds this fall, a tinge of typical Negadelphian energy trickles into his big prediction for the 2023 squad. 

"I think there's going to be one patch this year where the doubt's coming because there's too much good. I hope I'm wrong," Quinn says. "I'll say 12-5. As long as Jalen stays healthy and the offensive line stays healthy, which are two big ifs, I think they'll make a run. This team just puts so much pressure on you in a playoff game because they can score and offense at this point wins." 

Hey, 12-5 is pretty good! Maybe a jump from selling out The Skyline Stage at The Mann Center to playing at a Super Bowl parade next February is in the cards for Quinn and Mt. Joy.

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