Who’s ready for Sunday’s Philadelphia Eagles home opener against the Los Angeles Rams?
OK, Sunday NFL games just don’t have the same buzz this season thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic. As far as Lincoln Financial Field goes, fans are not permitted to attend. Of course, there is no rule against birds landing in those seats.
Seriously, when Philadelphia says there will be no fans, it means stay far away from the stadium.
City announces road closures to prevent tailgating at Lincoln Financial Field https://t.co/9mM67IoItZ
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) September 16, 2020
So fans watching at home or at a New Jersey sportsbook of choice will be practicing safe, socially distant cheers. Elbow bumps are permitted.
This scenario got us thinking: What five things are Philadelphia Eagles fans going to miss most about the Linc on game day?
1. Absolutely no tailgating is a buzzkill
Talk about deflating the hype of the first home game of the season. The Philadelphia Eagles have a passionate fanbase that arrives hours before every game, setting up the grills and coolers. It’s the warmup before kickoff.
The pregame behavior tends to get a little rowdy. So with fans not being permitted to enter the stadium complex, the parking is going to have a deserted-island-type vibe. By the way, no matter how tempted you are, we strongly advise against leaping over the police barricades.
Instead, since the Eagles-Rams game kicks off at 1 p.m. EST on Fox, try re-creating the perfect tailgate scene in the backyard. As a Plan B, simply put your feet up, check out the Eagles odds, and if you’re feeling it, place a wager.
Yeah, it won’t be the same. But there are 18 NJ sports betting apps to choose from. It’s a nice distraction from the lack of tailgating. Maybe.
2. ‘Fly, Eagles, Fly’ will sound off-key
Any Eagles fan knows the words by heart. We’ll put them here, though, just because we can:
Fly, Eagles, fly!
On the road to victory! (Fight! Fight! Fight!)
Fight, Eagles fight!
Score a touchdown 1, 2, 3! (1! 2! 3!)
Hit ’em low! Hit ’em high!
And watch our Eagles fly!
Fly, Eagles, fly!
On the road to victory!
But when you’re not singing along with 69,000 fans screaming at the top of their lungs, the fight song, uh, loses something.
There is no way of getting around the fact that the singing will be off-key and muted. So those watching with fellow Birds fans at home should consider pumping in background noise.
Another option is playing a YouTube clip on repeat.
3. Are TD celebrations still celebrations?
No matter what NFL game you’re watching, players enjoy leaping into the stands after scoring a touchdown. The celebration routine loses something when those fans sitting in the seats are replaced by cardboard cutouts.
Who is going to pat Miles Sanders or Jalen Reagor on the back?
Sure, the players will likely strike a pose after crossing the goal line, as the TV cameras will be recording every play. And there will be some celebration for any TD — pats on the back or helmet from fellow teammates; the occasional hug.
However, the lack of a live audience at the stadium will definitely take something away from the performances of the past.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 24, 2017
4. Loud, cheering, booing, celebrating, crying, happy fans
Eagles fans are still reeling from the devastating Week 1 loss to the Washington Football Team. The Birds took a commanding 17-0 lead with 6:54 remaining in the second quarter. DraftKings Sportsbook customers who took Philadelphia minus the 5.5 points were feeling pretty confident that they had a winning ticket.
Then Washington went on to score 24 unanswered points, and Eagles fans from around the Garden State were, without a doubt, yelling at the TV.
If the same thing happened at the Linc, the boos from fans would’ve echoed throughout the stadium. And many of the side comments would need to be bleeped out.
And speaking of fans, let’s not forget the many characters who shout and scream and sing along with passionate enthusiasm at every game.
Oh, and this guy. We’ll miss him most of all:
5. Can’t check out the new Fox Bet digs
Fox Bet and the Philadelphia Eagles announced a multiyear partnership, with the centerpiece of the deal being an interactive studio. It’s being billed as “an unprecedented way” of entertaining Eagles fans.
The exclusive studio content will be shown across multiple platforms, all of which will be presented by Fox Bet.
The deal also includes a Fox Bet Lounge where 380 fans will be able to enjoy all-inclusive food and beverage options. Plus, they will have premium access to watch player arrivals and postgame press conferences. The space includes a fully branded Fox Bet interactive activation room.
And none of that can be experienced this year.
The good news is the 2021 season is now less than a year away.
Until then, sorry, Eagles fans. This is the new normal for now.