Philadelphia Eagles fans should consider a new tradition in 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 08: Actor Sylvester Stallone attends a photocall for his movie 'Rocky Balboa' on January 8, 2007 at Hotel Ritz in Madrid, Spain (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 08: Actor Sylvester Stallone attends a photocall for his movie 'Rocky Balboa' on January 8, 2007 at Hotel Ritz in Madrid, Spain (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images) /

Philadelphia Eagles Fans Should Consider a New Tradition in 2018.

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Rocky Balboa Era

When the Philadelphia Eagles began using music from the Rocky film, it brought back  memories of tailgating on Pattison with my dad and brother. We’d bring three cheese steaks and a football.  My dad would quiz us about Eagles’ lore. “Who leads the Eagles with the most career sacks? What year?” I’d also think of my mother and the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey and her family traditions like the serving of seven fish Christmas Eve.

My mom is from Hoboken, New Jersey. She is a second generation American-Italian and proud of her family traditions, and the Rocky movies.  Rocky represents much more than boxing. He’s become an icon for an entire city:  blue-collar, hard-working cities like Philadelphia and Hoboken. These two places have closely knit Italian families where being the underdog is worn like a badge of honor.

When that familiar music from Rocky was first used by the Eagles, I would get goose bumps as Adrianna told Rocky, “I want you to do something for me.” Rocky leaned over and responded with a smile, “What’s that?” Adrianna emphatically answered back, “Win!”

The theme music would begin to pump through the stadium. You could hear Mick yelling, “What are we waiting for!” The crowd would go berserk as Rocky went through his training circuit. He’d  triumphantly end at the top  steps of The Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Eagles cleverly mixed current Eagles players throughout Rocky’s training session with their own triumphant run, catch, or touchdown celebration.

Related Story: Check out ‘Rocky’ posing with the Lombardi Trophy

The McNabb Era

When the Donovan McNabb era after the 2009 season ended some of the Rocky nostalgia died with it. I expected revitalization by the Eagles that didn’t involve traditions #5 had been part of. Carosn Wentz is the first franchise quarterback in Philadelphia since McNabb, yet in 2016 I was still listening to the same opening act. Is it time Eagles fans let go of Rocky? After all, it’s a fictional movie.

I believe, and this comes from a fan that wears the same Eagles’ shirt for Eagles games, that this Rocky tradition might be met with resistance now that the Eagles are Super Bowl champions.

More from Inside the Iggles

Traditions die-hard. In 2010, I would’ve settled for clips of Reggie White, ‘The Minister of Defense’, or, better yet, some of the crushing hits from past Eagle defenses: A menacing Jerome Brown sack, the Chuck Bednarik clothes-line on Frank Gifford, the gang tackles by Andre Waters and crew would have been better than the stagnant, overly used, Rocky theme song.

Now it’s 2018, the Eagles are Super Bowl champs, and I find myself wanting more, but what do I want exactly?

A New Tradition?

The Rocky tradition, like Christmas trees  or wine at communion, is a difficult tradition to replace. After all, Rocky not only represents  hard work, but also epitomizes the city of Philadelphia.  Have the Eagles considered using three minutes of the greatest moments in Philadelphia Eagles football with a song from ‘The Boss’ in the background?

Doesn’t Bruce Springsteen embody the same lunch pail mentality as the Rocky movies? Throw in Tommy McDonald, Norm Van Brocklin, Ron Jaworski (Jaws), Reggie White, Randall Cunningham, Jerome Brown, Donovan McNabb and now Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox, Jalen Mills, and everyone else. A new tradition is brewing.

I associate the Rocky song to Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber‘s pick of McNabb in the NFC championship game. This is one reason I’m ready to move on from Rocky.

Next: Eagles release a documentary of the 2017 season

In conclusion:

Philadelphia can’t let go of Rocky.  I can’t let go of The Grinch That Stole Christmas. The VHS tape was popped into the VCR, and the entire family would gather around the television the night before Christmas to learn how the Grinch’s heart would grow. Today, we queue up NetFlix.

Like Rocky’s uniqueness to Philadelphia, I want to hold on to those special events that are mine. I still cook fish the night before Christmas because I have memories of my large Italian family. Their voices still echo in the dining room.  These traditions make me feel safe and close to my relatives, even to those that are no longer with me.

That’s part of the reason Philadelphia can’t let go of Rocky. Over the years the fans at the Linc in our section have changed, but I haven’t forgotten any of them. They’re part of me. Rocky is and forever will be part of the city.