When Eagles fans at the Linc saw a yellow flag on the field after the second-quarter hit on Austin Collie, they were beside themselves.
So were the Eagles players. And coaches.
Asante Samuel couldn't believe it. DeSean Jackson, who was on the receiving end of one of the most devastating hits of the season a few weeks ago, ran onto the field to complain to the refs - to the point where he had to be pulled away.
As the scene was unfolding, boos rained down from the spectators - obviously not for the fact that Collie lay motionless, but because the fans thought the refs made a terrible call.
After initial reaction to the penalty, several Eagles defenders realized that Collie was not moving and calmed the crowd down. I remember Juqua Parker, specifically, waving his hands like a quarterback at the line of scrimmage, asking fans to get quiet. And most did.
But the ones who did not are the target of Chris Chase, an author of Yahoo Sports' NFL blog, the Shutdown Corner:
Philadelphia Eagles fans are always complaining that their reputation as the most boorish fans in football is unjust and that a few unfortunate incidents over the past few decades have been blown out of proportion by the media. We're passionate, they claim, not impertinent.
But then a small faction of these same fans go out and cascade boos upon a field as a knocked-out opponent lies motionless on it, unintentionally reinforcing the stereotype they claim to be false.
Chase acknowledges that most fans booed initially, then quieted down and then cheered for Collie. He thinks the fans that were in the minority, the ones booing the whole time, will once again damage the reputation of everyone else:
The issue is that some Eagles fans, given time to calm down from the initial displeasure with the call, continued to boo even as Collie lay still on the ground. He was out cold. He wasn't moving. And many idiots continued their complaints about the call, as if an automatic first down for Peyton Manning was infinitely more important than the immediate health of a man on the field.
For what it's worth, it doesn't appear that Chase is on point about this being one of those Philadelphia fan incidents that gets discussed around the country. In fact, I just did a quick search and can't find a single other writer who criticizes the Eagles fans for their behavior yesterday. The hit on Collie is a hot topic around the league, but the argument has focused on whether it was a penalty or not.
If you missed my posts on Sunday night, here they are:
And download the 2010 MTC app from the ITunes store.