The great philosopher Kermit the Frog once remarked that “it’s not easy being green.”
I have no idea what he’s talking about. In Philadelphia, it’s not easy not being green.
By green, I mean wearing green. Green and white. The Ron Jaworski, Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook, Carson Wentz green. Eagles green.
How do I know? I grew up in Pittsburgh. I came to Philly for law school, married a local girl, and never left. Fifteen years later, I have one of the coolest jobs (for a lawyer at least) in the city, working as the General Counsel for SugarHouse Casino. We’re raising two kids out in the suburbs, live down the street from family, and are definitely here to stay.
But even though I’ve been here for 15 years, I can’t be green. I’m black and gold. My kids are black and gold. My son has Mike Tomlin’s autograph framed in his room. He’s dressed up as Antonio Brown for the past two Halloweens. There’s even a Bubby Brister signed hat in a spare bedroom somewhere. The Philly transition has completed itself in a number of other respects (for example, it’s “water ice” not “Italian ice,” and Wawa is way better than Sheetz), but football allegiances die hard – or not at all – my wife’s best efforts notwithstanding.
It’s not easy being black and gold in this town. My son’s teacher had a choice remark or two when an AB #84 jersey strolled into the first day of school. The Terrible Towel hanging in my office gets a few scorns from passersby. Even my Mom caught some flak when she wore a Roethlisberger jersey around town a few years back.
You know what though? Deep down I think that Philadelphians respect transplants like me who don’t forget our roots. There’s nothing worse in this town than a bandwagon fan. (Aside from putting lettuce and tomato on a cheesesteak. Seriously, who does that?) You really want me to shift allegiances just because I moved 300 miles to the east? After all, let’s say that you took a job in Dallas. You might start wearing cowboy boots and ten gallon hats and saying “y’all,” but you’re definitely not wearing a Dak Prescott jersey anytime soon.
So keep up the smack talk. And remember, green or not, we’re all cut from the same football fan cloth. Except for Ravens fans. Those guys are the worst.