A while back I wrote about my difficulty getting Eagles tickets & mentioned that the only way to get them is to spend. So I spent. I spent a lot. But… I got to see the one football game that I’ve been trying to see for many years – the Eagles vs the Dolphins.
Back in May when I bought the tickets it looked like a good match-up. The Dolphins had made great strides last year and sported one of the better defenses in the NFL. The Eagles returned most of their starters & are a perennial powerhouse. Yeah, on paper it looked great! Then the regular season started. Players dropped like files and both teams disappointed their fans. Oh well, at least they were pretty evenly matched and it would be a good game!
The weather report the day before said “Cloudy” but they decided that “Cold and raining” would be more fun for us so that’s what we got. The four of us arrived via car-pool (parking is $20) at about 11 AM. We setup the grill, fought the lighter, the wind & the drizzle and eventually managed to cook up some tasty burgers & dogs. We eventually made our way into the stadium and found our seats. I managed to get section 104 – Row 3! It’s a nice experience to walk down… way down… to your seat past all of the season ticket holders & people that got lucky (but not THAT lucky) the day tickets went on sale. Its even nicer to realize that you are seated right in front of the cheerleader station. Sweet!
The rain came and went throughout the afternoon. Corey had the foresight to grab all of the rain-ponchos he had – 3 – which left one of us wearing a trash bag begged from one of the Linc’s Sanitation Supervisors. Necessity… mother of invention… yada yada. If Dry is the bottom line it’s all good. The rain came and went throughout the game but it never rained hard enough to really mess up the game or turn the cheerleader’s outfits transparent so it was basically a wash. I was even able to take the poncho off towards the end of the game.
Speaking of the game… it wasn’t a great contest. McNabb got knocked out in the 2nd quarter and the rain already slowed down the offenses. The Dolphins rookie QB had a typical “First NFL Start” kinda game – it was horrible. They usually are so I’ll withhold judgment on his future in the league. The only big play excitement came on a kickoff return by the other Dolphins rookie of merit Ted Ginn. His TD was the only score the ‘Phins could muster. Brian Westbrook for the Eagles did most of the damage for his team and had a huge day running the ball despite the less then optimal conditions. There was plenty of near misses & action to go around and one thing can be said of a low scoring affair – it keeps the game clock moving. Before I knew it the final whistle had blown and the game was over. The final score was the Philadelphia Eagles 17, the Miami Dolphins 7.
We hung out while the crowds dispersed and watched the final game interviews being conducted by the Eagle’s locker room tunnel. When the crowds died down we shuffled out of the stadium. I said goodbye to the Linc. I’ll most likely never be back considering the price of admission. The other thing that bothered me was all of the empty seats. I couldn’t believe that people would have the ultimate honor of just being here and still desert their seats before half time. I cursed them for not being real fans but what I was really thinking was that they just didn’t pay as much as I did. I though the same thing when I heard all of the bickering and complaining (“What happened to McNabb?” “He hurt his #$%&* vagina again.”). I know that for the past 75 years of Eagles football history the “fans” have measured themselves by the level of their own self-hatred but it just didn’t sit right with me this time. It was as if nobody was even having a good time. Know how many “Fly Eagles Fly” chants I heard? Only one. I must have heard it a dozen times the last time I caught a game here. No, I saw more spirit from the smattering of Dolphins fans and it’s sad really. So I said goodbye to the Live NFL experience. Even if I could get tickets for $90 I don’t think I’d be back. Maybe after a few losing seasons the “fans” will be humbled but by then the cost of admission will be too high for me to even give a shit. The NFL is no longer an option for the average man.
After fighting to get out of the parking lot (Tip: Park RIGHT by the exit. Worked very well for us) we made our way down the road to [local eatery] where we partook of some heavenly Philly Cheese Steaks. We sat in the impromptu Dolphins section and I got to commiserate with my fellow Phins Phans. Good grub too though I think I still prefer Pats. So the day ended on an up note. We drove back to Reading with minimal difficulty. That night a blanket of snow fell across the town. Snow is pretty rare in mid November but it was somehow fitting. I had schlepped two cameras to the game and eventually had the film developed. The result of said development is seen throughout this entry. Click on any of the pictures to see the full version or click HERE to jump to the full gallery. Check back here in 3 years when the Eagles play the Dolphins again – but in Miami this time. Maybe I’ll try to get tickets to that game. . .
Here’s a few more random pictures. Click HERE to jump to the full gallery.