Last Sunday, we had the very rare opportunity to watch an Eagles game in Lincoln Financial Field. It was our first time, a dream Perze’s had since he fell in love with American football. I remember conversations we had early in our relationship, ones that began with “one day”. I remember our drives in Philly that sometimes would circle the arena, and he would just admirably glance at the sight. I’ve seen that look before. It was the look of love and hope.
Ten years later, after he had taught me the rules and excitement of football, he had free tickets in his hand, after a healthy handshake from someone who thought he deserved them, a man from one of the vendors he worked with from Viacom. Perks of his job. You see, after ten years, after meeting me, Perze has this amazing professional testimony, and I’m at the sidelines as his #1 fan, his #1 cheerleader, and my Jersey of his name never comes off. Throughout the years, he has made a name in his career and people tend to flock to him, respect him, and vouch for him, trying to get him on their team or trying to get in his team.
So he was invited to watch the game with this company he worked with, and he thought of me…scoring another free ticket.
So as newbies, the experience of just getting onto the field was an adventure- finding parking blocks away underneath the Walt Whitman Bridge in a dark muddy “garage” that we paid for; going through a hole in fence to climb a short hill; and walking blocks to get to the stadium, only to meet the biggest green swarm of family, profanity, absurdity, and camaraderie. Navigating through the masses to find our “go to guy” for tickets was probably the worst part of the night, worse than the freezing temperature and the night’s loss to the Seahawks.
I also learned some valuable lessons for the noobs, if you’re planning on going to a game. Clap your hands. Let’s break for a list.
- girls, you can’t bring in bags unless they are see through, so get a good one from Zara (hahah). I had to empty my bag. Thank God for huge pockets.
- girls, don’t try to be cute. Long warm coat to cover the toosh. Insulating socks (doubled). Thick scarf. Snow boots…not even sneakers. You need coverage. So that cute little outfit you wanted to wear? Ya, not gonna show and no one cares.
- girls, no need to do hair. You know what’s a good look? A thick hat. Your hair? Ya, not gonna show and no one cares.
- extremities matter. Hands, face, and feet. Prepare most for those.
- don’t drink so much before and during the game. Sucks to have to “say excuse me” every now and then for a bathroom break.
- be prepared to stand. Even though we had such comfy seats close to the field, for some odd reason, everyone still wants to stand. In my mind, I questioned, “really? for 3 hours? we all can’t just sit and boo and heckle and just jump up during touchdowns?” Worse than a concert! IT’S 3 HOURS LONG! Ya, I took a seat. I took a hotdog, I took me some DD coffee, I took a seat.
- brings me to my next point. But coffee. Heat up your body by eating a lot. You’ve earned it just by getting to the game and standing for 3 hours.
- asians, now is not the time to be timid. You need to let your inner white frat party girl out and let loose, scream, high five strangers, dance during the extremely loud musical numbers, put your fists up, grunt against the ref, and yell “DEFENSE” every time opposing team has the ball.
- bring a blanket, a snuggie, a down comforter.
Watching the game was exciting. We were like kids. Being part of the accepting crowd, all bleeding green, it’s like everyone was your friend, even the guy behind you spewing whale chunks of profanity and death threats. You couldn’t contain propriety and meekness. They brought you to church- and not the church who keep quiet and still during praise songs, the church that sings to the top of their lungs, put out their hands to bless Jesus, and say amen without being asked to say amen. The game took you out of your comfort zone and put you in a more comfortable zone. We also had amazing seats, at the lower level of the stadium, so I never really looked at the screen unless they were replaying a flag. I would definitely go again, do things differently, but like always, it’s important to step back and be a fan.
After all of it was said and done, after the Eagles jersey came off, underneath was my jersey for my husband as his #1 fan.