Many Eagles followers mentioned they nonetheless admire issues about Wentz — his religion, household values and the instrumental position he performed within the run-up to the 2018 Tremendous Bowl — however virtually all mentioned they could not wait to heckle him.
“I am right here to boo Carson Wentz’s ass,” Rita Decimo, a 64-year-old retiree sporting a miniature Eagles prime hat and Eagles stickers below her eyes, mentioned. “He wished to get out of [Philly]. He was complaining about being an Eagle. Get the frig off then.”
“I am sober, by the way in which,” she added, pointing to her can of Liquid Loss of life glowing water.
Prior to now twenty years, Washington’s fan base has decayed, opposing followers repeatedly have stuffed the empty seats at FedEx Discipline — and perhaps none greater than Eagles followers. The drive 100 miles south on I-95 has led to common stadium takeovers, and in pockets of the stands, some Commanders season-ticket holders have needed to relocate to keep away from vacationers. On Sunday, the Eagles had a big benefit among the many crowd of 64,426, and it was unattainable to flee them or their buzz about Wentz.
Finally, although, the jeering was modest. FedEx stadium operations sidestepped apparent land mines — they launched the protection, not the offense, on the loudspeakers, as an illustration — and as Wentz struggled mightily in the 24-8 loss, his efficiency rendered mocking largely pointless. Arguably, the loudest boos Wentz heard had been about 90 minutes earlier than the sport, when he ran onto the sphere for warm-ups.
“I’ve clearly been on that aspect of the ball. I do know the Eagles’ followers journey effectively, and so they confirmed up and had so much to cheer for at present,” Wentz, who accomplished 25 of 43 passes for 211 yards and took 9 sacks, mentioned. “We did not play our greatest ball, and I did not play my finest ball.”
Within the parking zone, Eagles tailgaters outnumbered Commanders followers. Even team-sponsored features, just like the HBCU tailgate, had been inlets of burgundy and gold amongst a sea of inexperienced. Philly had such a robust presence partly as a result of bigger fan expertise firms — like Philly Sports activities Journeys, Phans of Philly and the Inexperienced Legion — had bussed in a pair thousand followers. A number of mentioned they’d paid about $350 for a round-trip bus ticket, lower-bowl seats, an open bar, meals and customized T-shirts.
The sport smaller sized teams too, reminiscent of 717 Rec gap, a league from Lancaster, Pa. Tim Hollenbeck, the organizer, mentioned the group has finished a number of different journeys however has discovered it tough to search out 50 tickets collectively at most stadiums.
“It is unattainable to get a crew of 56 folks that may get a ticket to the sport in Philadelphia,” he mentioned. “You bodily cannot do it. For us, it is so much simpler to get tickets down right here.”
A couple of steps away, Ray Flournoy, a Washington Commanders season ticket holder because the Nineteen Eighties, sat in entrance of his RV, staring out on the crowd. He did not assume he’d ever seen this many opposing followers on the stadium for a recreation. A truck drove by with a big video display on the again, proclaiming FedEx Discipline as occupied territory — “Lincoln Monetary Discipline South.”
“Sadly, we’re getting used to it,” Flournoy mentioned, glumly.
On the primary sequence of the sport, Wentz ran onto the sphere to what seemed like some haunting calls of “Carrrr-son!” However after the Commanders punted, and Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts ran onto the sphere, there have been louder calls of, “EAGLES: EAGLES!” Some followers introduced warning tape, joking that they might shield Hurts from the railing that collapsed close to him final season.
After the sport, Coach Ron Rivera and a number of other Commanders, together with left deal with Charles Leno Jr., would say they did not assume Eagles followers affected Wentz. However throughout one other dreadful first half, because the quarterback scrambled to increase performs, typically taking sacks and as soon as fumbling — his worst traits from Philly manifested for the primary time in Washington — it was onerous to not marvel why the largely disciplined, methodical quarterback from the primary two weeks had all of the sudden disappeared.
By halftime, Washington trailed 24-0, and a minimum of one Commanders fan had gone to the birds: He appeared on the gamers working off the sphere and raised each center fingers.
Even when the gang did not trouble Wentz particularly, it clearly disrupted the offense. A couple of occasions, receiver Terry McLaurin mentioned, the noise pressured the Commanders to alter the snap depend.
“We’re paid to play soccer, and [we] attempt to management what is going on on on the sphere,” McLaurin added. “We do not essentially have management over [what’s going on in the stands]. However you positively might see numerous inexperienced on the market.”
Halfway by means of the fourth quarter, heavy clouds darkened the stadium, and rain started to fall. After the offense didn’t convert on fourth and 22, many Commanders followers filed to the exits as these in inexperienced and black jerseys taunted them.
“Bye Bye!” they yelled, breaking right into a chant of the group’s report: “1-2! 1-2!”