Monday, July 18, 2011

Kornhole's Alley: Eagles vs Fightins edition

Hello everyone and thanks once again for coming hard into my Kornhole. I have pretty much busy as hell this week working on another project so I asked Eugene to step in and do my dirty work inside the Kornhole. So, without further adieu.


This is Eugene again. I’m the guest columnist for Kornhole’s Alley this week. I was sitting around yesterday watching the Phils unravel against the Met’s when Korhan asked me if I’d be interested in doing it, because he had a 5pm liason with his favorite hooker on the Ave. I know he waited forever for this meeting with Bruce so I decided to help him out. Anyway down to business.

When I was a kid, I believe the Eagles were Philadelphia’s team. Now the Phillies are Philadelphia’s team. This isn’t to say people weren’t Phillies fan before or aren’t Eagles fans now. I’m saying the passion level is what has changed. It would be easy to say that the Phillies 2008 World Series title is the reason and that is probably the major reason it changed, but I believe it started when the teams moved into their new stadiums, or quite possibly their move out of the Vet could be what started the pendulum swinging the other direction.

I remember when I was a kid and during the fall on Sundays everyone would wear their Eagles Jersey, Jackets, hats or hoodies. I would go outside and there would be barely any noise unless it was coming from the bar when the Eagles did something good or bad. Even today most people wear their Eagles gear on game day. The only difference between now and then is that the other six days of the week everyone is wearing their Phillies gear. Back then the only time most people wore their Phillies gear was when they would go to the Vet.

Why did this start to happen? Both teams were moving into two beautiful state of the art stadiums to move out of the concrete jungle that was the Vet. The Eagles were one of the top teams in the NFL and had just been in their second consecutive Conference Championship, and the Phillies were beginning their climb to be a capable Major League Team. Both teams moving out of the Vet and into new stadiums and the future was looking bright for both teams.

When Veteran’s Stadium closed its doors for the final time on September 28, 2003 the Eagles were already out of the stadium for eight-months, and had already opened Lincoln Financial Field. The Vet held lots of memories for both Phillies and Eagles fans. The difference was that the Vet earned it’s stripes during Eagles games. Eagles fans took pride in the fact that the stadium was a tough place for visitors whether they were on the field or in the stands they displayed passion and even criminal behavior all for the name of their team. This isn’t to say that Phillies fans didn’t make some noise because we all know rowdiness happened during baseball season as well.

When the Vet was all sealed off and being dismantled the Eagles wanted nothing to do with the stadium. Whether it was because at the time their season was in full swing or they just wanted to distance themselves from unwanted memories of road flares, snowballs and rowdiness. The Phillies did all the leg work in auctioning off the seats and everything else that was auctioned off. They did more to recognize the Vets demise than the Eagles did, and some Philadelphia fans took note of this. I don’t believe that this is what swung the pendulum, but I believe it put the Phillies in the good graces of the fans.

So now we’re several seasons into the new stadium era and here’s what the teams have done. The Phillies have developed players and still had a few more key pieces coming up in the minor leagues and really didn’t do anything to get the fans behind them except for be patient and wait for the winning to begin. Eventually they would fire Larry Bowa and hire Charlie Manuel to give the team guidance. The Eagles are still using the same playbook from Andy Reid’s first season, but they have a catchy slogan. ONE…ONE CITY…ONE TEAM….ONE DREAM. ONE GOOD IDEA TO SELL MORE MERCHANDISE. On the bright side they made it to the Super Bowl, where they eventually lost, on their fourth trip to the NFC Finals. So that’s what they did after the stadiums opened.
Slowly fans took notice of the Phillies slowly emerging from behind the shadow of the bigger team from the bigger league with the bigger pay roll. The Phillies players all seemed to enter their prime and the emergence of players like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels and the sting of defeat made the Phillies team not want to repeat their playoff performance of 2007, and go on to win the World Series.

After the Phillies won the World Series, it seems as if both the Phillies and Eagles have developed their own separate fan bases. I know many people who didn’t like the Eagles for years, and people who just despise baseball so much they don’t care about the Phillies. I’ve gone to message boards where I’ve seen Phillies fans trash talking Eagles fans. When did this become a White Sox and Cubs type of rivalry? Is it Eagles fans bitterness to no longer being the top team in town? Or is it Phillies fans in their Philadelphia best attitude talking trash for surpassing the Eagles.

Eagles games still sell out and fans still wear their Sunday’s best during football season to show their support of the Eagles, but the rest of the week people are about the Phillies even when it’s not baseball season. A friend of mine commented about his son’s daycare the other day that when they go outside during the summer all the children need to wear hats. Every child wore a Phillies hat.

If you follow pro athletes for their witty comments and have the ability to stalk them like I do you would know even other pro athletes in town know that CBP is the place to be. On Twitter, I stalk…er follow James van Riemsdyk of the Flyers and Evan Turner of the Sixers. This past week, I saw a twitter conversations where they were catching up with each other, and at the end of it JVR said he and Turner should catch a Phillies game together.

So basically, I just threw a bunch of letters and words together and said what we already knew. Citizens Bank Park is the place to be and the Phillies have surpassed the Eagles and Philadelphia’s team. Now it’s up to the Eagles to start trying to win a Super Bowl and recreate the excitement and keep themselves in the running for Philadelphia’s team. And do away with their new motto of 25/8. They should concentrate on the right mix of players and try and earn the chance to sell Super Bowl Champions shirts, and stop trying to sell catch phrases to get our money.


Thanks Eugene for adding your hand to my Kornhole. I’ll be back next week with my usual rumblings. Until then I’d like to receive my FIRST EMAIL. Even if it is spam or some doctor in Africa offering to pay me millions if I give them my bank account number. So email me


  1. i agree, the eagles botched the closing of the vet, the phillies really prospered because of that. i had season tickets and it seemed like every sunday i was getting some kind of souvineer.i remember taking my dad to the closing of the vet and it was AWESOME!! in a way i miss the vet those memories of walking up the ramps forever and getting those awesome dogs!!!! the eagles only care about one thing, raping their fan base of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$! the phillies on the other hand still put out good promotions which keeps putting fans in the seats.

  2. HouseOfFunkhausersJuly 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Funkhauser was just talking about this recently. I can sum up the Eagles downfall in one word...arrogance. Mind you, this is coming from someone who split their allegiance equally between Eagles and Phillies. However, I am so disgusted with this entire current regime from Lurie to Banner to Reid.

    They run the organization like it's some gdamn CIA Black Ops where nobody needs to know anything except where to send your money. There has been a serious disconnect between the Eagles and the rest of the city in the last 10 years where as the Phillies have done just the opposite. People feel connected to the Phils in this town. ALL you see young kids wear anymore is Phillies gear. Never Eagles. I guarantee you that this is going to seriously bite the Birds in the ass in about 10 years or so when the youngsters in the Philly area become income earning adults who just don't feel the same about the Eagles as their fathers and grandfathers did.

    The Eagles have NOBODY to blame for this but themselves. And kudos to the Phillies for not taking their fanbase and their consistent sellouts for granted.

    People want to feel connected to their teams. Whether or not its all bullshit is irrelevant. It's about the perception. Instead what do the Eagles give us? Some bullshit, trite, generic slogan. 'One City, One Team One Dream' = 'One Pissed Off Funkhauser'

    Whew, I'm exhausted. Good topic Eugene.

  3. Nice work Eugene. I really enjoyed this weeks piece. And Funkhauser, you need to get a 'Spot Start'. Glad to see you back.

  4. Thanks for the positive feed back everyone.