National Media Takes Aim at Eagles Fans for Yesterday’s Boos

You had to know this was coming.

Immediately after Austin Collie was hit by Kurt Coleman and a penalty was called on the Eagles in the second quarter of yesterday's game, fans loudly booed the officials for the call.  The penalty was just one example of an NFL mandate gone too far.  Perhaps the play should have even been ruled a fumble, which would have given the Eagles the ball.  Instead, the Colts were awarded a first down, and scored a touchdown just a few plays later.

Chris Chase of Yahoo's football blog, Shutdown Corner, didn't like the boos.  Not at all.

Philadelphia Eagles fans are always complaining that their reputation as the most boorish fans in football is unjust and that a few unfortunate incidents over the past few decades have been blown out of proportion by the media. We're passionate, they claim, not impertinent.

But then a small faction of these same fans go out and cascade boos upon a field as a knocked-out opponent lies motionless on it, unintentionally reinforcing the stereotype they claim to be false. 

That's not the issue though. The issue is that some Eagles fans, given time to calm down from the initial displeasure with the call, continued to boo even as Collie lay still on the ground. He was out cold. He wasn't moving. And many idiots continued their complaints about the call, as if an automatic first down forPeyton Manning(notes) was infinitely more important than the immediate health of a man on the field.

Oh boy.

Without knowing the timing of the replays and how clear it was to those in attendance that Collie may have very well been paralyzed, it is hard to pass judgement on the boos, but CBS cameras showed Collie lying motionless on the turf, with arms at a 90 degree angle and crimped fingers.  I, for one, thought he might never move again and was rather shocked by the immediate reaction I was hearing on TV and seeing on Twitter.  Was it a bad call?  Absolutely.  Terrible, in fact (and we'll have more on that later). However, my first reaction as an Eagles fan and human being was, "oh my God, that guy just broke his neck."  I thought it was a little insensitive to bitch about a penalty, as horrible as it was.  

But that wasn't even the biggest issue.

The reaction of some of the Eagles players, specifically Asante Samuel, was uncalled for.  Watch Samuel at the 1:20 mark of this video, a full :70 seconds after the initial contact and flag.  It had to be clear to those on the field that Collie was in serious trouble.  However, upon seeing the replay, Samuel almost jumps into one of the trainers tending to Collie.  That is not cool.

Sheil Kapadia notes that Juqua Parker did try to quiet fans down after realizing how badly Collie was injured, but that still doesn't excuse the reaction of Samuel and some other players.

Now, turning attention to the comments from Chase…

While his argument has merit and he acknowledged that the boos certainly weren't directed at Collie, he makes the mistake far too many members of the national media make: he singles out Philadelphia.  Would this have ever been written if it happened in New Orleans?  I says no.

Were some of the players out of line in their reactions?  I think so.  However, fans in attendance may have had the worst view of all, not benefiting from the extreme closeups we are given at home, or the proximity to the situation that the players had.  From speaking to several people who were at the game and seeing the initial reaction from people in the press box, it seems as if it wasn't immediately obvious to those at the stadium just how serious the injury could have been. But since this is Philadelphia, one cascade of errant boos is just enough to sully our already poor reputation.

And Yahoo was first in line to throw a punch.

What are your thoughts?

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25 Responses

  1. Collie got a pretty good ovation as he was carted off the field. You know what,next time we’ll just stand there stoically, and when the jumbotron says “Cheer” we’ll cheer, when it says “Boo” we’ll boo. The national media pundits can control it from their Ivory tower upon high. And all will be right in the world.

  2. Are you fucking kidding me with these articles, I was there and they gave him a standing O when they actually started moving him off the field. Of course they don’t mention that. Don’t bother mentioning that it was a clean hit, and a forced fumble. I used to defend this town to the nine from people trying to say that every sports fan in this city is a lunatic, but I think I’m just going to start giving them what they want. We can’t win. We’re always the bad guy, so let’s have it. I got a pocket full of d-cells, who wants some!

  3. That guy is an ass..obviously the fans are to far to see and thought it was a fumble. Calling the fans idiots didn’t help much. Im sure if that dummy was in the nosebleeds he’d thought it was a fumble and boo’d along. It’s a city that loves it teams My city at that and they believe calls should go their way just like every other city genius.

  4. first off the fans of philadelphia ARE passionate. the werent booing the player they were in fact booing the rediculous call on the play from the refs. the hit was helmet to helmet barely BUT…it was after intitail contact of another player AND the reciver did have possesion of the ball and braced for the hit. he wasnt defenseless the call is debateable but i will be shocked if someone gets fined for this. and i also belive a few plays should be under review like the manning fumble by trent cole later in the game. his hand grazed the back of his helmet attempting to get the ball. that call being unnessicary roughness hit to head of the QB is absolutely ludacris. NFL needs to lighten up on some of these calls.

  5. My first reaction was “are the fans really booing when this guy is hurt, that is just not right no matter how you look at it.” However, I get the point the fans in the Linc can’t really see what is going on and we at home get every angle. I do believe there are some fans out there who would boo anyway but you know what? they are everywhere in every sport in every town but we are the easy target.

  6. Most people who were there had their eyes glued to the giant screen behind the end zone showing the replays, not Collie on the field, thus the coordinated booing. The same thing wouldn’t have happened in Pittsburgh, Baltimore or New York just to name a few places? Please.
    The Samuel thing was insane and he should probably be fined by the league just to set an example, stay away from the trainers even if it’s to “help” or see what’s wrong and certainly don’t go jumping around the pile like an idiot. What if Collie actually had spinal cord damage and Samuel crashed into someone who was holding his neck still?

  7. No word of the ovation when the guy was being carted out on a stretcher? They were booing the call by the ref, not collie

  8. Philly is a tough town. If you can’t handle it then that’s your own problem. Writers will find the smallest thing to write about. The fans were not booing the player. They were booing the call. Do you see Yahoo or anyone else writing about the fact that most people in philly that pay any attention to sports actually know what they are talking about? Try finding that in any other city. Philadelphia fans are a unique bunch. We boo our own players when they don’t do what they are paid Millions of dollars to do. Love us, hate us. Whatever we really don’t care. Write all you want. We love our teams. We bleed green, red and orange every day of every year. If the officials didn’t think they had to call the games to favor a team then maybe the fans wouldn’t have booed. There is a reason the officials are called Zebra’s. Not the smartest of the pack are they? It’s amazing how the same Zebra’s will call the same game two different ways. Maybe if they would fine the officials for the bad calls ( in every sport ) the officials would stop with the BS calls and stop favoring certain teams. The Eagles proved yesterday that they have what it takes. If some people can’t take the truth. Oh Well. Do us Philly fans a favor, go stuff your face with a cheesesteak and some tastykakes. We’re sure you’ll enjoy them more then you do a game.

  9. Steve S., MD10, you are both right on. But it doesn’t matter because they are never going to let us live down our past rep (which I add is based on a few isolated incidents). Not just the fans from other teams, but also the media outside of philly, and yes the officials. You can’t tell me we don’t get the short end of the stick on officiating more often than most other teams in the league (last night a perfect example). So hell yea, let’s embrace it. MD10 give me a few D-Cells, and Steve see if you can find Santa Clause, and let the games begin. GO BIRDS!!!

  10. Plus in context it was a string of calls in few minute sequence that all had gone against them up to that point – late hit out of bounds on Vick not called, bogus roughing the punter call, questionable catch by Wayne ruling upheld, etc. It was a visceral reaction to another bad call and the feeling that the refs were trying to take the game away from them.

  11. C’mon people. Just admit it. It was wrong. Soon as the boo’s started, I shook my head and just thought… Here we go again. It’s one thing to boo immediately after the hit, when the yellow hanky was thrown. But the second reaction is what made it bad. By this time, everybody that cared for the health of the player was watching in shock. Then the boo’s started… And then Samuel’s reaction was even worse because he’s an actual player! All it did was incite the crowd even more.
    If this happened in New Orleans… It wouldn’t be talked about because it wouldn’t have happened. And of course they cheered when he was wheeled off. They better have. You expect credit for something that fans at a T-ball game are able to do?? You can’t get credit for doing something you should be doing..

  12. I absolutely. ripped Shutdown corner on twitter for that writeup, calling him a disgrace, and making the point that he wouldn’t have said a word if it happened in any other stadium

  13. Most of the calls came very late from the most unexpected Refs too. They tried to hand the colts and win and it didnt happen. I was convinced that they had money on the game.
    From someone who was there in the nosebleeds, i could tell he was knocked out immediately, but lord knows i wasnt booing an unconscious person. my friends father mentioned mid boos that this would get mentioned by some idiot writer the following day. Sure enough…

  14. I was at the game. The refs were taking over the game and we were making sure they heard us. We all cheered and applauded when Collie was being taken off the field because you never want to see a player get hurt and be taken out on a stretcher. We booed when we seen the flag and booed when they showed the replays because it was a catch, a fumble, and a good hit. The only person that should be fined in all this is Samuel because his actions were the ones that were uncalled for.

  15. don’t you think that there could be some sort of policy imposed by the nfl that as long as there is a player being tended to on the field (no matter how serious the injury seems to be), no announcements should be made? i mean i thought it was absolutely ridiculous for the refs to announce a penalty when collie was lying there motionless. it was a truly frightening scene and if the refs had simply waited to make the call until after he was carted off, not only would the boos have been more appropriate, but also cbs’ coverage team wouldn’t have been debating whether it was a penalty while collie was still laying there, nor would samuel have freaked out as immaturely as he did.
    i think the nfl should make some sort of rule to address this. as soon as somebody goes down like collie did, the game should become secondary until he is off the field (and probably even longer–until he is deemed to be all right) and i don’t think the way the nfl handles these situations properly reflects that.

  16. Anybody in their right mind would understand where the boos are coming from. That being said, some Yahoo blog is not “national media.” If you go through every damn article on the internet on Monday morning you are bound to find AT LEAST one mention of how shitty Philadelphia fans. In fact, while I was watching the EMTs work on Collie and heard the booing I turned to my wife and said, “How do you think they’ll spin this into Negadelphian fan behavior tomorrow?” If I would have heard Mike and Mike bemoan the subject or read some SI blog about it then I would get the “here we go again” mentality. But I’m not going to sweat some yahoo writing for Yahoo. Sorry, I just don’t have time for these nerds.

  17. I was at the game – with people huddled around it was impossible to see what was going on. It took a few minutes for people to even realize there was an injury due to the all-around commotion. Once the back-board came out, it quieted down even more.
    It was unfortunate timing due to the injury, no doubt, but when the ref announces the penalty while replays are being shown on the board, and then the boos start back up – it is obvious what people are reacting to (hint: not the injury).

  18. willy- as much as i’d like to agree, unfortunately A TON of people read the yahoo NFL blog. not ness. traditional media- but a very powerful platform nonetheless.
    don- me or the yahoo guy?

  19. I knew immediately when this happened what the story would be. You shouldn’t dare call us out for a poorly timed boo if you won’t give us credit for standing ovation of him being okay walking off of the field.
    It’s a good thing that Collie is okay. I was very scared for him. Overall, this season is starting to show why I like football less and less. The purpose of this sport is not to hurt or cripple people. The NFL is taking almost no actions to solve the root cause of all of this. Players are playing faster and harder than they ever had. All the NFL thinks it has to do is call 15-yard penalties and behavior will change. Simply, it will not. Between Jackson getting laid out against Atlanta and Collie laying motionless on the field, isn’t there something real that can be done to protect players?

  20. Peter has a good point. If it’s inappropriate to react to a bad call, why is it OK for the refs to even make one when a guy is prone like that?

  21. I’m with the early poster who suggested we just give up and throw batteries. Mob action on giants fans in two weeks.

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