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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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