What's special about the Philadelphia Eagles?

One of the most disconcerting aspects of traveling to a country whose language you don’t know is how the most commonplace things become indecipherable. Ask a stranger for directions and she may think to explain tricky vocabulary but she’ll almost never think to describe whether the place she just referred to is a city, train station, library, cafe, or all of the above. The same is true for sports natives. A thoughtful sports fan should be willing and able to explain a rule, but he’ll almost never think of explaining who a particular team is, what sport they play, or the team’s history and characteristics. In this series, we’ll do just that — describe what is unique about each sports team.

Philadelphia Eagles – the basics

  • Sport – Football
  • League – National Football League (NFL)
  • Conference – National Football Conference (NFC)
  • Division – NFC East
  • History – The Philadelphia Eagles were created in 1933, two years after a previous professional football team in Philadelphia, the Frankford Yellow Jackets, had disbanded. They lost more than they won for each of their first ten seasons. Then, in 1943, they became part of one of the craziest, most likely to win a trivia contest moment in NFL history. Due to a dearth of suitable football players during World War II, the Eagles merged with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played as the Steagles for a year. That experience seemed to lift the Eagles and for about ten years, they were a winning football team, a time in which they won two NFL championships. Since then, the team has had its moments but has never been as successful as its divisional rivals.
  • Championships – The Eagles won three championships before the Super Bowl era — 1948, 1949, and 1960 — but none since then.
  • Rivals – The Eagles are rivals with their three division mates, the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and especially the New York Giants.

The Eagles are Philadelphia to the core. Their fans are infamous for having pelted Santa Claus with snowballs and cheered the injuries of hundreds of opponents. They love their team’s defense as much or more than they love their offense. The team also embraces the underdog philosophy of the city’s iconic movie, Rocky, probably a little too far. Not only are the Eagles perennially the underdog but they’re also perennially getting knocked out. The Eagles have never won a Super Bowl and at times, it seems as if they never will.

Here is the their winning percentage in each season since their inception:

Who are some notable players or figures from the Arizona Cardinals?

Chuck Bednarik is the Eagles player that all other Eagles players have to live up to. The last two-way player (meaning he played on offense and defense) in NFL history, Bednarik played as a center on offense and a linebacker on defense. A son of steel workers in nearby Bethlehem, PA, Bednarik served in the Air Force and flew combat missions over Germany before being drafted number one overall in the 1949 NFL Draft. An award named after him is given annually to the best college football defensive player.

Jim Johnson was defensive coordinator for the Eagles from 1999 until his death in 2009. During that time, he epitomized the spirit of the Philadelphia Eagles with his ultra-aggressive, blitzing approach to defense. His defenses were rough, surprising, and sudden. During his tenure, the team won five division titles and became only the fourth team in NFL history to go a full 16 games without ever allowing more than 21 points.

Where do the Philadelphia Eagles play?

The blind date test

Imagine you’re about to go on a blind date and all you know about the person is that he or she is a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Here’s what you can guess about that person. Remember that all fans are unique. We bear no responsibility for any misunderstandings we engender. Trust but verify.

They’re angry! No, just kidding, you don’t have to be angry to be a Philadelphia Eagles fan. In fact, if you’re still an Eagles fan at this point in the team’s history, you’re probably very slow to anger and slow to give up. Eagles fans are faithful and they have to be, given how much their football team puts them through.

What will make a Philadelphia Eagles fan squirm?

This one is easy. All you have to do is mention a decent quarterback’s name and even the most strong-willed Cardinals fan will begin to mutter to themselves and head to the library to learn ancient Macedonian conjuring spells.

Buy Philadelphia Eagles Swag!

What do the Philadelphia Eagles look like?

Team colors are Midnight Green, silver, black, and white. Their current uniforms look like this.

Eagles Uniforms

Current and recent teams

Coming soon — a post about the 2015 Philadelphia Eagles including an overview of their most interesting characters as well as what fans expect from the team this year.

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