If you are new to this blog, anytime the 49ers and Eagles meet (in Philadelphia especially), it is near and dear to my heart.
The titanic 1989 regular season meeting between the Niners and Birds stand as one of the biggest reasons this blog is in existence. Even though my brother lucked out by getting to go with my Dad, I remember it fondly as one of the greatest regular season games I’ve ever seen.
Fourteen years later, my dad and I ventured to the Linc to see the final game of the Terrell Owens 49ers era. He left the game due to a broken collarbone and never played another snap as a member of the 49ers. Little did we know he would be parading around the Linc on Sundays in 2004.
Thus, I was pretty excited to get a good look at the Eagles and see if 49ers fans dared to walk the walk in Philadelphia. Most importantly, I was on the lookout for Joe Montana jerseys…
Anyhow, as I approached the ticket gate at the Linc, the theme of the day became evident: jersey and fan code violations.
I have two primary rules when it comes to jerseys:
1. Don’t put duct tape over the name of a former player.
2. Don’t put your name on the back of a jersey.
As I stared around somewhat surprised by the number of 49er fans in attendance, we arrived to our first foul:
If T.O. ever saw this, he should consider suing the guy for defamation of character. I get that Owens is ultimately best known in Philadelphia for doing sit-ups in his driveway but he did more in his brief Eagles career than Jason Avant will likely do in his days in midnight green.
I like Avant but this can’t happen. Sir, pony up $100 and buy a replica jersey or man up by wearing a T.O. jersey to the Linc.
While sitting in the stands, I caught violation #2.
Look, put your name on paper, checks, and filling out something online…not on the back of a jersey. You’re not out there at practice, trying to cover Vernon Davis, or running post patterns. This is unacceptable:
Whoever that is does not qualify to wear that jersey.
“The Tully” narrowly edged out a guy wearing an Eagles jersey with “NYE Daddy” on the back while wearing number 72. I attempted to snap a picture of it but everyone was too busy yelling obscenities at Ronnie Brown.
Once Frank Gore salted away the game, I stumbled upon my first good look at a Montana jersey. As great as Montana was, you’d figure there would be a higher number of Cool Joe jerseys in the stands.
Jerry Rice? Yep.
T.O.? Of course.
Vernon Davis and Frank Gore? You know it.
J.T. O’Sullivan? Totally not but he appeared twice on the big screen in tribute to his alarming performance during a 40-26 loss to the Eagles in 2008 at the ‘Stick.
As the Eagles spiraled downhill towards 1-3 late in the fourth quarter, I looked over to see the reaction of a nearby 49ers fan who my friend wildly cursed at throughout the game for sporting his Frank Gore uniform.
Instead, I discovered a much more troubling sight:
The “wearing opposing jerseys” gimmick is one of the most absurd guy/girl bits I’ve ever seen. Stop it. We know you’re going to run home and update your Facebook status with pics of you at the game with your beau as he wears 49ers red.
Opposites attract, yada, yada, yada.
It was an imperfect ending to the day at the Linc.
Niners Nation departed with their chests boldly poked out; while Eagles fans were left wondering how their team blew a 20-point fourth quarter lead at home.