You’ve heard it said that the enemy of thine enemy is thine friend.
And so it is that Pittsburgh finds itself in the unenviable position of backing the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
The End. Thanks for reading.
Actually, there’s a bit more to it, or maybe not. Either way, Pittsburgh Steelers fans will be swallowing a bitter, bitter pill en masse on Sunday as we reluctantly cheer on the Philadelph— *retches.
Let’s try that again.
… as we cheer on the Philadelphia Eag— *retches louder.
Hold on. I have an idea.
… as we cheer against the New England Patriots.
There we go.
Anyway, as Pittsburghers back cross-state rivals in a game we wish the Steelers were playing for a prize any good yinzer feels the Steelers deserve and with a rapidly aging quarterback to boot, there’s only one thing for sure: Hatred of the Patriots trumps all — even this:
It has nothing to do with Keystone pride: Isn’t Philly technically part of Jersey?
It also has nothing to do with the Eagles being underdogs: No one outside of Philadelphia — and Dongguan, China’s suddenly booming dog mask industry — gives a shit.
It’s about the Patriots and the Patriots dynasty. It’s about Tom Brady’s 11-2 lifetime record against the Steelers.
It’s about former Steeler James “Judas” Harrison’s defection to join the Evil Empire.
It’s about this fucking guy:
In short, there are lots of reasons to hate the Patriots — and the Eagles will surely enjoy the support of football fans nationwide as a result.
But here in Pittsburgh, there are even more reasons to back an Eagles win.
1. Number of Super Bowl wins
Even if Philly wins, the Steelers will still have more Super Bowl championships — six to one to be exact. So….
Related: We also still have the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins, and Philly has the Flyers. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
2. The economy, stupid
Listen, it’s not the same impact that a Turnpike Tussle™ between the Steelers and Eagles would have had, but Philly’s inclusion in the big game could have big economic benefits for the city and less directly for the state.
Daniel Funk, professor and Washburn Research Fellow at Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, explained in an interview with the Philly Voice:
“The city will get a destination image bump when a team goes to the Super Bowl. The increased level of publicity and exposure along with related news coverage on the team and event will spillover and provide some destination branding for the city. This can create interest in visiting the city at a later date which could bring new money into the local economy via tourism.”
That could mean millions in both state and local taxes and thus a boon for both the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
3. Pittsburgh becomes the largest city in Pennsylvania.
This one is really pretty simple.
The Eagles win, Philadelphia riots, and the city is buried under a tidal wave of Crisco (now with fewer trans fats) like a modern day Pompeii.
Pittsburgh becomes the largest city in Pennsylvania and the first stop on presidential campaign trails. (Is that something we really want, though?)
Future generations will also learn about the brave souls lost in Philadelphia and about how Nick Foles was cut from the team and then re-signed and how he, against all odds, carried the team to victory after coming off the bench halfway through the 2017-2018 season. Eagles Nation was a proud people, they’ll say.
4. Related: Sheetz becomes the official gas station of Pennsylvania.
The whole Sheetz Vs. Wawa thing is inconsequential, we know, and a symptom of regional preferences. But since we’re on the subject …
Sheetz is clearly the better option. Clearly.
It’s time to bring Pennsylvania’s Great Gas Station War to a merciful end once and for all.
5. Nick Foles did not have a cameo in the Stormy Daniels transcript.
And just think, even if these reasons don’t compel you, and even if you’re still resolved to root against the Eagles, it could be worse. You could be Minnesota fans who, after losing to the Eagles, now have to host their illustrious fans for the big game.
And if nothing else, the narrative arc of the Eagles season has been a glorious, plucky thing to behold. And as football fans, maybe that’s reason enough to cheer them on.
If not, just remember: They’re playing the Patriots. #FlyEaglesFly