Going knee-deep in beer and bones to boo T.O.
In the sports complex parking lot grown men are wearing makeup, smoking meat, throwing a pigskin and adjusting their televisions to protect them from the sun's brutal glare. Others are playing the Eagles fight song on a standup bass, banjo and saxophone. They'll even play "Happy Birthday" upon request. Accommodating chaps.
Terrell Owens jerseys can be found--soiled and crumpled--littering the ground every 30 feet or so. Men take a break from their beers and meat-smoking to encourage passers-by to "stomp on it!" "We're going to burn it later," says a man with no shirt.
This wild-eyed pyromaniac is the perfect candidate for the dozen or so T-shirt vendors on site. Several different varieties of Ts are for sale, all with pretty much the same message: Life in Dallas is not the least bit pleasant, and we, the fans of Philadelphia, hope to see T.O. succeed ... the next time he tries to kill himself.
There are visible signs of T.O. hatred everywhere, from the aforementioned jersey stomps and T-shirt taglines to a spray-painted bed sheet hanging on a fence that reads, "HEY T.O.! REMEMBER IRVIN? U R NEXT ASSHOLE!" For those unaware, this is a not so subtle way of saying, "We hope to see your career ended today, Mr. Owens. Furthermore, when it is, we will cheer and throw beer on you as you're wheeled out on a stretcher. Asshole!"
Speaking of assholes, after some time I spy a man nonchalantly draping his bare buttocks over the railing that surrounds the lot. Casually, I try to take a picture. It's through the viewfinder of my company-loaned Nikon that I realize, yes, he's taking a shit.
I hoof it up the street to Chickie's & Pete's, where the fans are no less rabid, but at least have access to plumbing. Inside is a crush of people all dressed in Eagles gear, defaced T.O. jerseys and homemade shirts. "I can give you 81 reasons why Dallas sucks," reads one.
When the game begins the Chickie's soundtrack of Dexy's Midnight Runners and Neil Diamond is replaced by the voices of Troy Aikman ("You suck!") and Joe Buck ("You are slightly more tolerable!"). The game begins on a sour note. Eagles fumble, crowd moans. Shortly after: Dallas fumbles, crowd cheers wildly. Westbrook trots in for an easy six, and soon strangers are hugging one another. High-fives are also in the mix.
Soon the Iggles tack on more points. A man behind me seems to be hyperventilating. He's wearing a necklace adorned with prescription bottles. His T.O. jersey has a duct-taped "X" over the numbers and Owens' name has been crossed out. It reads instead "Ohh Dee."
Throughout the first half are many ups and downs, but one thing remains constant: Ohh Dee hasn't caught a pass. At halftime I stumble to the bathroom and wait in line. A young lady offers a complimentary Michelob Ultra. Not having a vagina, I decline.
At the head, dick in hand, many feel the need to discuss how the game is going to play out. "If we can keep T.O. contained blah blah" and "If we can get our rush game going blah blah" are the two most popular. Chickie's has bathroom attendants. In lieu of game theory, they offer a squirt of soap and paper towels. Accommodating chaps.
The second verse is same as the first. More moans, more wild cheers, more hugs, more high-fiving, more dicks being held. The crowd hasn't thinned a bit, and people are standing up eating baskets of wings. The floor is awash in beer and bones.
The last few minutes of the game--you know this--are gut-wrenching. Pill Bottle Necklace nearly has a heart attack. But in the end, the E-A-G-L-E-S have, just as their fight song suggests, flown down the road to victory--which, if you think about it, doesn't make much sense. Whatever. Dallas sucks!