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Guest Column: J.L. Arehart on Eagles Season

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:57am


Here We Go Again By J.L. Arehart

Football season, eh? No, no. Eagles season. A whole different beast.

The beginning of football season started out well for me - I am home alone tonight as Terry is out eating pizza and watching the game at his cousin's house. Men must come together at this time as in the yesteryears of hunting; like the cyclical rise and fall the tides - it's magnetic. Yet unlike hunting and gathering, or the beauty of tidal force, the pull of football season consists of scratching and belching and that yes, we women must expect our men to return to the home covered in Cheetos dust.

Oh, fleeting peace! A night all to myself to lie around in my robe and curl up with Portnoy's Complaint! Wrap up my night sighing and shutting my eyes with the satisfaction of reading the latest New Yorker fiction section. Peeing with the door open! No blaring TV, which still does not seem to penetrate Terry's stale and deaf ears!

Quiet. Quiet.

And then the game started - I have to presume the game started - all of my neighbors are suddenly screaming, "NO!" and "Fuck yeah!" "Go, go GO!" "You fucking douchebag!" and such. Oh, the raw sound of the Northeast accent! There are horns blaring, babies crying, animal-like screams cut through the night!

Testosterone is palpable, wafting in the air, seeping through the air conditioning system. There is no escape.

Philadelphia is like a puddle of water that is still standing, exquisitely covered by moss and trash, sad, forgotten and contaminated. And yet when Eagles season arrives, it's as if a dinosaur is walking nearby, the puddle ripples, boils, then just turns into a volcano and fucking explodes. Eagles season is like Pompeii - out of nowhere, lava, screaming, running in the streets and after the Superbowl, it is eerily quiet, burned confetti settling in the cracks of the streets.

Case Study: There was a photo in the Philadelphia Inquirer of people AGAIN burning effigies of Terrell Owens. That's another thing – Philadelphia holds a grudge. You double cross this city and you will be hated forever. They will burn your fucking EFFIGY in the streets and hold parties at lunchtime – across businesses downtown – to celebrate your suicide attempts. There will be an official day off to celebrate anything that brings you and your family pain. Don't you dare cross this city or you will be tortured for life!

Philadelphia during Eagles season: ball sweat, leg tattoos, Miller Time, unapologetic hatred and rage, rabies-like symptoms, kielbasa.

This year, I am going to give in on day one – there is no escaping it. Like the sport itself, during Eagles time Philadelphia is masculine, short-tempered, unwashed and violent. There is no hope for a girl like me. All I can do is turn the Puccini high, twist up the fans, turn the sleep machine up, up – drown out the noise! And hope I make it out alive.

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