5 Reasons Why Eagles and Giants Fans Hate Each Other

  • Familiarity breeds contempt

    Many rivalries are built by the simple act of seeing one another over and over again. Having to go up against the same faces year after year, you’ll be sick of running into each other after a while. Despite Eagles and Giants fans having longstanding battles with other franchises, nothing will breed the hate like living next to each other.

    Due to the close proximity of Philadelphia and the greater New York City area, Eagles-Giants games are a never-ending battle. It stings to lose to other division rivals to be sure, but no one wants to lose the game and face their coworkers and friends that support the other side. Cowboys fans can be written off as frontrunners who hopped on during the ’90s, but it’s tougher to dismiss your roommate from Jersey that bleeds blue.

    The state of New Jersey itself is a house divided. While citizens in the central and north sections are more likely to root for the New York side, southern Jersey is a stone’s throw away from Philadelphia, which creates a battleground unmatched in other regions.

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  • LeSean McCoy
    Both teams have been wildly successful in recent years

    The hate between Eagles and Giants fans was built over decades, but a surge by both teams in the last two decades intensifies every game between the sides.

    Giants fans will be quick to let Eagles faithful know their team still hasn’t won a Super Bowl, but it isn’t for lack of effort. Under Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb in the early 2000s, the Eagles appeared in four straight NFC Championship Games, culminating in a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. The Giants haven’t had that sort of consistency, but they’ve made their playoff appearances count, appearing in three Super Bowls since 2000 and winning two.

    This rivalry would be intense regardless of team strength, but it’s never as fun to win if your team can just walk all over an opponent. The success of both franchises ramps up the stakes, and creates more of a reason to brag in the wake of victory.

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  • New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles
    The NFC East is home to hard-nosed football

    There’s something about physicality that adds extra oomph to a sports rivalry, and Eagles-Giants is no exception. Saying there’s been plenty in this rivalry isn’t quite doing it justice.

    The above picture shows an Eagles Hall-of-Famer (Chuck Bednarik) celebrating his destruction of a Giants Hall of Famer (Frank Gifford) with a hit so nasty that it temporarily ended his career. It’s tough to top that photo as a symbol of how much both sides hate each other. Although both franchises and the league at-large have put more of an emphasis on offense, they are famous for hard-hitting defensive players.

    Names like Lawrence Taylor and Bednarik invoke memories of the past, but the likes of Michael Strahan and Brian Dawkins carried on that tradition for a new generation of fans. When the guys on your favorite team are getting jacked up — and it happens on both sides in this rivalry — it’s hard not to hate the people on the other side.

    image via New York Times

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  • Statue of Liberty
    Philly vs. NYC – a hating tradition

    Eagles and Giants fans are predisposed to hating each other through every possible avenue. This doesn’t just stop with football — other sports and cultural battles are at the heart of the rivalry.

    Phillies fans have a longstanding feud with the Mets, but a 2009 World Series appearance against the Yankees only ramped up the hatred for New York baseball on a general level. Much like Eagles-Giants, Flyers-Rangers is one of the most physical, loathsome rivalries in hockey, and despite some recent swoons from both franchises, the Knicks and Sixers are two of the most storied franchises in the NBA. Developing bitterness toward the other side is fostered by a year-long battle with other sports teams.

    It goes beyond the field, however. Philadelphia and New York are areas of cultural significance that will never give the other side credit. Philly is the original nation’s capital and home to a boatload of historical goodies, but the Big Apple can claim one of the nation’s great symbols of freedom (the Statue of Liberty) as its own. Whether it’s their culinary choices — for the record, it’s harder to find a good cheesesteak than it is good pizza — or the Metropolitan vs. the Philadelphia Museum of Art, there’s no shortage of things the two cities can argue about. Sports is just another common ground.

    image via -JvL-/Flickr Creative Commons

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  • Memorable wins and losses

    Fans most often recall the feats of their franchise’s great players and teams, and nothing is sweeter than remembering a signature win over a familiar foe.

    The most recent example of this phenomenon came in 2010, when Michael Vick led the Eagles to a 21-point comeback against the Giants with less than eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, punctuated by DeSean Jackson‘s game-winning punt return as time expired. A loss to the Eagles ended up being the difference between a playoff appearance and an extended vacation, and this wasn’t the first time that a loss in the rivalry effectively ended a team’s season.

    Of course, the biggest moments have come during the NFL’s second season. The franchises have met four times in the NFC Playoffs, splitting the games at two games apiece. Facing an NFC East opponent in the playoffs is a rarity in itself, but the even split is the most unique quality of all. Every other matchup in the divison is a shutout in the postseason, with Eagles-Cowboys being the only series with playoff wins on both sides.

    There’s always a belief that your team is going to win in this rivalry, whether that means snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in the regular season or upending the opposition in the playoffs. That constant feeling of a thorn in your side is the primary factor in maintaining the hatred, and it’s what characterizes Eagles-Giants as one of the league’s most bitter rivalries.

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  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • LeSean McCoy
  • New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Statue of Liberty
  • DeSean Jackson

Division rivalries in the NFL are fierce to begin with, but the NFC East combatants manage to top their peers. It’s hard to find an equivalent for a division which boasts contests referred to as “The Body Bag Game” and relegates “America’s Team” to a loathed combatant. Even in such a heated atmosphere, the rivalry between Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants fans reigns supreme.

That opinion may be up for some debate — and the hate between every other fanbase and the Cowboys might be the strongest of all — but there’s no questioning the validity of the Eagles-Giants hatefest. While many so-called rivalries are fabrications by media outlets looking for stories, this turnpike battle is so intense that even the players get involved. Osi Umenyiora and LeSean McCoy traded barbs through the press and social media in recent seasons, adding fuel to an already raging fire.

Animosity of this nature usually runs deep, so it’s no surprise that the Giants and Eagles have been going at it for decades. The first contest between the franchises was played all the way back in 1933, where the Giants laid a 56-0 beatdown on their neighbors.

A whooping of that magnitude would have been enough for another generation of Philly fans to hate their counterparts, but it’s everything that has happened since that makes this one of the best rivalries in sports. Eighty-one years into their storied rivalry, the contempt is as great as it’s ever been. Tonight is the latest chapter, as the Giants are headed to Philly to take on their rivals under the Sunday Night Football spotlight. To prepare you for what’s sure to be an emotionally-charged battle, here are 5 Reasons Why Eagles and Giants Fans Hate Each Other.

Follow Kyle on Twitter at @kyleneubeck