Fell: Winning with grace

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Philadelphia has seen a first this week. Their beloved Eagles NFL team won their very first Super Bowl. As is expected with any sports championship, their fans were elated. However, not all their fans reacted as a gracious winner should.

CNN reports that upon the announcement of the Eagle’s Super Bowl LII victory, their fans poured into the streets. What seemed at first celebratory quickly turned into something much darker. The fans, many of whom were reported to be under the influence, began trashing and vandalizing the “City of Brotherly Love.”  Videos surfaced across social media of fans starting trash fires and flipping a car, which led to several memes on Facebook. But this is not entertaining, especially for the owner. Another source shows fans eating horse feces in celebration posing a serious health risk to themselves. I highly doubt that these are the images the Philadelphia Eagles want representing their victory.

It has been a growing trend not just in Philadelphia or the NFL that celebrations lead to vandalism and other forms of property damage. Destruction is not a stranger to victory. The night that Detroit won the World Series back in 1984, the city burned. Back in 2008, when the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series, drunk and elated fans flipped and burned city buses. Pittsburgh Steelers fans went on a demolition streak after their team won Super Bowl 40. Denver Broncos fans also destroyed their own city in 1998 after their victory.

Needless to say, this is not an uncommon theme for victories to lead to the rampage of ecstatic fans. Cities burn and property is destroyed. Then, the victory parade comes later right? That should not be how this goes. People, during these demolitions, loot and vandalize. They do not understand the repercussions of these “celebrations.” Business owners, especially small ones, can lose their businesses due to these fires. Their property is destroyed and it could take years to recover their losses. City transportation is often a target, and that leads to delays the next business day due to lack of transportation. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it will cost the city and its taxpayers to repair what has been done.

It is not rocket science to practice common courtesy and decency when your team wins something huge like a Super Bowl or a World Series. Do not get overzealous and intoxicated, it is okay to want to celebrate but know your limits. If you want to celebrate do so in a classy manner. It is okay to flood into the streets with noise makers and congratulate one another, but property damage is never okay. Winning with grace is knowing how to celebrate appropriately. It’s a symbol of maturity and involves being a decent human being. I am not writing this to bash all Eagles fans. There are good fans and bad fans with every team. I wish to extend my congratulations to those fans who stood up cheering in their living rooms, hugging their friends and family with joy over this victory. To those who wrecked the city and ate things they shouldn’t have, please read this and think long and hard about your behavior.

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