Philadelphia Eagles fandom goes beyond sports. We truly love our athletes, especially ones with tremendous character on top of talent, known as the “Philly attitude.”
We love hard workers with gritty attitudes that remind us of ourselves. We love athletes who are good people and give 100% on the field and in their lives.
Philadelphia Eagles legends like Randall Cunningham, Brian Dawkins, and Jason Peters come to mind. We are blessed with multiple beloved Eagles on the roster in this current regime as well. Jason Kelce and Brandon Graham in particular are two that have stolen our hearts.
Beloved Birds To Pass The Torch
For many fans, the love for Jason Kelce really heightened in the Chip Kelly era. For me, it was instant in 2012. Kelce won me over, back when he had his first Twitter account. Like many frustrated Eagles fans, I was clamoring for Andy Reid to be fired. Kelce actually responded to me, letting me know that the players were just as much to blame, and it wasn’t all on Andy.
He could have blocked me, been condescending, and told me I knew nothing. But he didn’t. He respected that I was venting as a fan and talked to me like he respected my opinion. I knew he was a stand-up guy, and his personality and shining play have continued to win me over.
Brandon Graham was a bit tougher, as I was one of many who was blocked (lol).
Over time he won our hearts over with play that aged like a fine wine, an infectious smile and personality in interviews, and his left hand that forced the game-clinching fumble in Super Bowl 52.
The days that both decide to part will be filled with tears, even for the toughest fan.
Once they are gone, who is the next beloved Eagles legend?
Can a Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback really gain the hearts of Philly sports fans like Jason Kelce, Chase Utley & Brian Dawkins have done? Or will history repeat itself?
Yes, several great Eagles quarterbacks were loved by many Eagles fans through the years, but when it comes to being the most beloved player on the team, like Kelce B. Dawk, quarterbacks have always been a hard sell with Philadelphia fans.
It’s tougher for quarterbacks in this city because when the teams do not win, they tend to shoulder a majority of the blame. Philly fans tend to gravitate toward tougher and grittier players, which is why defensive and trench players get so much love in this city.
Although Hurts seems like our fan-favorite currently, things can change fast as we have seen in the past. However, I think the trend of franchise quarterbacks not being universally beloved in Philadelphia ends now, in this current regime.
Will history repeat itself?
Philadelphia fans don’t just love any athletes. We’ve seen many good players come and go in this sports city, but there was something about them that didn’t leave a lasting memory. Philly can also spot a fake from a mile away and can tell when an athlete isn’t genuine. We can be turned off by a lack of accountability for bad play, or bad business off the field.
Eagles fans put their guard up when it comes to QBs because they have been burned many times before. For that reason, even quarterbacks that may have been great at times were never quite put on that untouchable pedal stool, as we have with others.
- Michael Vick’s mistakes were never forgiven by many.
- Donovan McNabb is beloved as a quarterback and is the reason I got into the Eagles, but is polarizing for never having won, and for his standoffish personality. Fans frequently accused McNabb of not caring.
- Carson Wentz was likable at first, but the questions about his character in the locker room made fans shy away later in his tenure.
- Nick Foles is universally loved by Eagles fans mainly because of Super Bowl 52, but the majority knew he was never a franchise guy.
Jalen Hurts is one-of-a-kind
I’ve been an Eagles fan for nearly 25 years, and I have yet to see a franchise quarterback here that is as likable as Jalen Hurts.
As I’m too young for Cunningham & JAWS, I say this as the biggest McNabb fan and someone who at one point truly believed in Wentz. This is not to bash either guy as both did good things for this franchise and contributed to two of the best seasons in Eagles history, 2004 and 2017 respectively.
Hurts is capable of the accountability that McNabb and Wentz lacked at times. He has a way of showing that he cares in a way McNabb didn’t, and manages to keep it together on the field in a way that Wentz couldn’t. Unfortunately, when either would make mistakes, it would be hard to shrug off, and they’d generally struggle the entire game. The mistakes would stay in their head.
Hurts will throw a pick then rush for 25 yards on the next drive and throw a touchdown pass as if nothing has happened.
- His hard work has paid off, as his 2nd-year jump has been Josh Allen-esque.
- He’s a completely different passer showing a more accurate deep ball and the ability to throw in tight windows.
- He knows when the pressure is coming, and he protects himself when he’s running.
- He rarely makes mistakes but when he does, he bounces back.
- His ceiling is incredible and even when the Eagles are in a deficit, you always feel like you have the chance to come back when he’s on the field.
- On top of that, he’s an incredible person. He doesn’t make excuses, he’s not complacent, and his teammates love him.
He’s an incredible leader and a role model. As a mother of two boys, he’s the type of athlete I’d love my sons to look up to. He’s involved in the community and isn’t afraid to speak on important issues in the world today. Yes, our fans tend to be split between quarterbacks. There are still doubters that believe he’s a “running back” and not a quarterback, and think the team doesn’t “trust his arm.”
There are people who hated the pick at the time and don’t want to admit they were wrong. The reality is, it’s rare that an athlete is 100% loved by every fan or media member, and there will always be detractors.
Ultimately it comes down to winning, and Philadelphia loves winning.
If Jalen Hurts continues on this trajectory, he could be one of the best quarterbacks we’ve ever had and one of Philadelphia’s most loved athletes.
I’d bank on it.
At the moment, he’s captured our hearts.