Two Dallas Cowboys Fans And Their Shared Hatred For The Philadelphia Eagles

michael irvin cowboys eagles

(Ed's Note: This is a two-part piece featuring the words of Kenny Masenda and Justin Tinsley, Cows fans unite, or something.)

This Sunday, there will be a matchup between two teams in the NFC East with the winner claiming sole possession of first place in the division. However, let’s not get this twisted. This is not a battle of superpowers. This is more like The Battle of the Beleaguered. Something like The Matchup of the Mediocre, or The Clash of the Confused. This football game is so frustrating, because both teams, record-wise, and performance-wise, are very average. With that said, it is still the Dallas Cowboys versus the Philadelphia Eagles which means two things: one, there is plenty of hate in the air, and two, the Eagles still don’t have any Lombardis.

Anyways my brother, Mark Trible, explained to the masses that there is nothing wrong with a little hate as a sports fan and even though I’m a Cowboys fan who hates quite a few Cowboys fans, we all can come together in harmony in our overall hatred for the Philadelphia Eagles. The only thing that saves the Eagles from me hating them as much as the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants is that three of my favorite players of all-time have played for the Eagles at some point in their careers: Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick. With that said, none of them will be on the field this Sunday, so fuck them.

One particular event took place nearly five years ago in what I like to call The Letdown at the Linc. To this day, The Letdown at the Linc has an effect on the way I view sports and the athletes that participate in them. On December 28, 2008, the final day of the regular season, the Dallas Cowboys took on the Philadelphia Eagles with the winner of the game earning the last wild card berth in the NFC. I was confident that the Cows would go up to Philly and compete and even with them making things harder than they had to be by not taking care of business earlier, along with some bounces going Philly’s way (the Bucs and the Bears lost earlier that day, setting the stage for Philly to earn the wild card), my love for the Cows and my hate for the Eagles made me think they had a chance.

I was wrong. I was undeniably, unequivocally and absolutely wrong.

The Cowboys got drilled in front of 67,000 screaming, rabid fans by the score of 44-6. It is impossible to adequately describe the feelings I had watching the Cows get steamrolled like that on national television with so much on the line. However, it was what happened later that night that really pushed me over the edge.

After the game, I sat in the dark for a few hours in my apartment, pissed off and hurt by the performance of my team. I was prepared to sit in silence all night long, but I decided to get up and meet my homies at the club. Surely, there were other people out and about on a Sunday night and going out would take my mind off of the trash I watched a few hours prior.

I got to the club, chatted it up with some folks, got a little loose and slowly started to feel better. It wasn’t too late; maybe around 11 PM or so, and I figured that as long as the climate of the club stayed the way it did, I would mess around and stay out all night…

…but then, I saw a player of the Dallas Cowboys in the VIP. Then another, and another, AND ANOTHER until there were about 6-7 of these bums all in VIP, and I am talking about prime-time Cow players, well-known players on the team. These fools had the NERVE to be in the club after getting blasted just a few hours before by the Eagles on national freaking television. I could not believe my eyes. Granted, they all looked pitiful as all hell, and maybe they were paid to be there before they even made the trip to Philly, but I could not, for the life of me, understand how anyone could show their face in public after being destroyed like that. Once I saw them all in VIP with a collection of people all around them, I got fed up all over again and bolted for the door. I left home to escape the odor of losing, and the stench followed me to the damn club in the form of some of the players who were a part of that ass-whooping.

As I was walking down the stairs and screaming into my phone at my best friend to tell him why I was leaving, another Cowboy was walking up the steps towards me to get to the club. I literally stopped right there and stared at him like he cursed out my mama, or he told my lil nephew he would not give him an autograph or as if he took the last piece of cornbread. Dude was 6’2 and 300+ pounds and I was 6’1, 180 so, on paper, it was a mismatch from the start. Luckily, he walked by without any potential incident.
That game, and the subsequent night, showed me as a fan that I can only take sports so serious and even though there have been other events in my sports fan life that have had an effect, the night of December 28th will always be remembered as one that added another layer to the rivalry.

michael irvin eagles injury

Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way first. Many of my friends are Eagles fans. Mark Trible, Danielle P. and The Rev are saints (no pun intended) in my eyes aside from their choice in a football team. My friend Lorenzo, who lives in Philly and who I damn near deleted out of my phone when he texted me “here comes the Romo pick” literally three minutes before it happened in the Denver game, is another. He’s a good person, and someone fun as hell to talk sports, music and life in general with. Same goes for Coop, Dot, Riquel, C-Lo, Cali, Corin, Mary and anyone else I’ll inevitably get cursed out by for not naming them.

I love my friends who are Eagles fans. I love the city of Philadelphia. I simply loathe that God-awful excuse for franchise both represent.

Travel back in time to October 14, 1999. Just another regular season meeting between the Cowboys and Eagles at the trash dump known as Veterans Stadium. After landing awkwardly on his head, all-time Cowboy great Michael Irvin lay motionless on the ground for 20 minutes. Normally, when a player’s down for an extended period of time, the general feeling of everyone involved – players, coaches, fans, announcers – is the guy’s health is most important factor, not the scoreboard.

The paramedics came and quickly removed Irvin’s facemask, a tell-tale sign things were taking a turn for the worst. And here’s where the crap figuratively hit the fan, Eagles fans cheered. And not in the way of, “Hey, Mike, we hate your team and everything you stand for, but we honestly hope you’re ok.”

Nope. They cheered he was injured, a direct violation of Fan Law Rule #1, “Thou shall not pray or celebrate an athlete’s injury…because it’s never that serious you worthless piece of excrement.”

Here I was, a then-13 year old wide-eyed, horrified kid watching one of my favorite players of all-time, paralyzed for all I knew, and fans were cheering. I never liked the Eagles to begin with, but the afternoon of 10-14-99 was the birth of a hatred that exceeds any and every team or player in modern professional sports. Here is the list of things I’d do before EVER donning anything Eagles-related:

1. Willingly catch a CURABLE sexually transmitted disease
2. Openly support the Tea Party
3. Throw shade on Kim Kardashian for the heavenly Instagram photo she uploaded yesterday
4. Get in a joking contest with @DragonflyJonez or @IAMKRIS24 on Twitter
5. Bet against Floyd Mayweather
6. Call LeBron James the most overrated basketball player ever
7. Wear jean shorts
8. Discard of all of my Martin DVDs
9. Buy a RiFF RaFF CD
10. Walk through Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a “Lil Boosie Ain’t Shit” shirt on

October, 14, 1999, provided me everything I needed to know about Eagles fans. My only consolation prizes are that Irvin turned out to be fine and, prayerfully, every fan in that stadium who longed for The Playmaker’s downfall stubbed their toe on the side of the bed each morning for the next seven years. The legendary act of ignorance was so appalling even the then-mayor of Philadelphia, Edward Rendell, was flabbergasted, “This, in terms of bad taste, was as bad as it gets. There is no excuse for what we did.”

And Donovan McNabb, booed himself when selected second overall that very same year?

“I couldn't believe they cheered when Michael Irvin got hurt. You don't know what to expect from them."

Actually, Donovan, we kind of do. There’s a long track record of vitriol. It’s the same city that booed third basemen Mike Schdmit a good chunk of his career, threw batteries at J.D. Drew when he didn’t sign with them after being drafted by the Phillies in 1997 and, infamously, booed Santa Claus in 1968 while heaving snowballs at him. You know how much of a cold piece of work someone has to be to boo St. Nick?

If nothing else, celebrating Michael Irvin’s injury was par for the course. Fourteen years later, the play and jeers from the Philly faithful still ring in my head like a teacher dragging her nails across a blackboard. If the Cowboys win Sunday, it won’t be for a divisional championship. Hell, the loser still has more than a healthy chance to win the division. This isn’t a “win or go home situation” (something Cowboys fans are all too terrified of). What it is is personal.

But I’m a Cowboys fan who lives in Virginia, so perhaps these words don’t hold any weight because I’m “one of those fans.” Sign this permission slip for me saying it’s acceptable for me to root for the Cowboys from my Virginia apartment. And do me another favor, after doing that. Kiss my ass.

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