Our names are Chris Dolfi and Tom Walls. We have season tickets to Eagles games. We’ve had the tickets since 1995. We sit in the last row. Really, the last row. Section 209, in the last row. We’re at the top of the new stadium, in an end zone, in the absolutely last row. I-95 runs right along the stadium, and the majestic Delaware River is right next to I-95, if we turn around and look over the edge of the stadium, we can see both the highway and the river, As well as a burned out set of buildings, which most people would never notice, driving along I-95 at 65 MPH. So, if the Eagles stink – we can turn around and see what’s going on – on the road/river or burned out series of buildings. But, luckily, the Eagles have been pretty good these last few years.
The only thing that we can tell you about these columns is that they will basically chronicle our Eagles game day. Going to a game is obviously a very different experience than someone who sits home and watches a game. It’s not always convenient to be at a game. It can be cold or hot. The surrounding fans can be fun or annoying. It can be an expensive day or you can escape cheaply if you can get someone else to buy a few rounds. And you know that going to an NFL game is a very long day. But one thing’s for sure, it’s never the same or boring.
Going to an NFL game is a great experience. Neither of us has been to another city for a game, so we can only speak for the Philadelphia experience (more on that later). The sense of community. The sense of…being there. It’s great. The characters that sit around you. The tailgating, the walk to the stadium, the walk to your seat (it’s a looong walk for us). Cheering, yelling your head off for your team. Yelling your head off when the other team has the ball, feeling that by making noise – you are somehow affecting the game…just fantastic. Going to a big time sporting event is a ton of fun. Anyway – we will chronicle some of what we see and hear at these games and let those of you parked on your couches every Sunday know what you are missing.
NFL games are different than college games (The Last Row’s staff was educated at Penn State). There is a much greater diversity at NFL games. Different ages/professions/attitudes. You get a variation of people at college games of course, but NFL games really pull from a much larger population. That being said, The Last Row is not a voice for all Eagles/Philadelphia fans, not everyone who roots for the Eagles are like us (thankfully), but we all love rooting for the Eagles.
One thing we made clear to fantasysharks.com, we will be very partisan. We’re fans of the Eagles, plain and simple. To try to hide our partisanship would not be very honest, and would make the columns even worse ;). We don’t like the other teams that come into the stadium that try to beat our beloved Eagles. And we hate the other teams in the NFC East. Hate them. Hate the Giants. Hate the Redskins. And really hate the Cowboys. You know what we hate more than the teams? Their fans. No – that’s not fair, we hate the fans that buy tickets to watch their teams in our stadium and expect us to sit idly by while they decry our beloved Eagles.
Now – we are talking about Eagles games here. You have heard the horror stories, more than anything else – Eagles fans are passionate. We have seen some things at the Vet (R.I.P.) that are not…nice. We do not condone violence, and really, it has been relatively tame at the games the past three or four years. But, it has happened, and it is a shame when it happens. No matter what, violence is never called for. What is called for, however, is relentless heckling. The more creative the heckling, the better. We are very good at relentless heckling, and if we have any good lines from a game – we will be sure to report them to you. We may have to clean them up a bit, but you’ll know what sort of message we tried to get to the opposing team’s fan.
So, that’s our point of view on a couple of key points. Basically, we want you to read these columns. And we want you to be entertained. So – these columns won’t be just a dry recitation of our day. We’ll throw in some other useless info in the columns. And, this is a fantasy site, so we’ll share our thoughts on a couple of fantasy issues. We’re looking forward to the upcoming season, not only because of the expectation of having our hearts broken at the NFC Championship Game – but also because of these columns. We will have a couple published before the season begins, but we wanted to use this installment to introduce the column, and its purpose.
Final Thoughts from the Last Row:
- We here in The Last Row have had the great misfortune of hearing over and over and over again – the Outback Steakhouse’s ™ Father’s Day song. The Last Row really, really dislikes these ditties. You know the ones we mean (lame-o lyrics, digerie-doo, ability to stick in your head for hours after hearing it). They have songs for every stinking holiday out there. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Arbor Day, Flag Day – whatever. The only line they have not crossed (and we bet they do) – is to talk about the religious aspects of certain holidays. If we hear a song referring to Jesus or any other religious figure as a ‘mate’ – we’re writing a complaint letter.
- Is there a worse feeling than getting on a flight and hearing your pilot make a couple announcements over the intercom, and you begin worrying about his mental status? The Last Row was in Wisconsin for a wedding recently (college friend – fun wedding) and the pilot…concerned us. We swear we thought he was to start commenting about bets he made with his co-pilot about the flight:
Pilot: Uh, hey folks. My co-pilot Stony (yes – that was how he referred to him) and I have a bit of a bet here. Stony says we can’t touch the Moon and I say we can – we got a twenty spot on this. So if you’ll please fasten your seat belts – we’ll see who is right…We’ll begin climbing at a rapid rate of speed and hopefully be leaving Mother Earth’s gravitational pull in about – oh…15 minutes…
- And one last thought, so that we at least touch on football here, even though the season hasn’t started in earnest… The Last Row feels much less confident in the ability of the Green Bay Packers to field a solid team. We base this observation on our recent road trip to Wisconsin. We took the liberty of throwing together a quick list of why the Packers’ players will NOT be able to focus on football this year:
1. Cheese — Wisconsin has entirely too much cheese available, something that simply can’t be good for an athlete’s diet, especially the lactose intolerant ones. And it’s far too tasty to avoid.
2. Any new players that Green Bay added this year will likely be baffled (as we were) by the Wisconsin highway system. For crying out loud, they use letters for highways (try driving down Route AA and see if you can avoid thinking about taking a drink, or down route OJ and not thinking of a Bills highlight reel or a trial camera – it’s simply impossible).
3. Additionally, every car is assumed to have a compass taped onto the dashboard, as every intersection has a sign with the intersecting route number…err letter… and two arrows, pointing right and left. No East/West or North/South, just arrows. *sigh* If even one of the new players can actually find their way from their house to Lambeau, we’d be simply amazed.
4. Players might be far too busy to go to training camp this year, because they are all sure to be filling their cars up with gas. I mean, with 5 fill-ups, you get a free Brewers ticket (no kidding). With a prize like that, we don’t know why people aren’t filling their tanks up several times a day.
5. Finally, Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin was so damned beautiful, I don’t know why anyone who lives anywhere near it would ever leave – even for a road game.
We’re looking forward to a great season this year – for the Eagles and the NFL. Hopefully you will join us this football season, starting with a column or two during training camp, and then every Tuesday after each Eagles home game (and maybe a few away games). Have a great summer (even if you like the Cowboys, or the Giants, or the Redskins, or… )!