There’s an old NFL Films clip that resurfaces twice a year of a curly haired, bearded fellow in Veterans Stadium looking into a camera and saying defiantly: "Dallas, we hate you."
Fast forward three or four decades and you’ll find Eagles center Jason Kelce echoing those sentiments.
"I would say mostly I just don’t think a lot of players, in particular me, just don’t really like the franchise, the organization, what is stands for — what it’s always stood for," Kelce said of the Cowboys during an appearance on 94.1 WIP-FM. "This goes back to the lockout when they were getting replacement players, how outspoken the Dallas Cowboys franchise was in ending that.
"I’ve just never really appreciated what the organization — and what its fans really stood for. A lot of fair-weather people from across the country that just kind of fell in love because they’re winners instead of having any type of emotional connection to the team whatsoever."
- LATEST ANALYSIS
▶ Week 10 Power Rankings: New No. 1!
▶ Carr: Ranking five most clutch QBs
▶ Nine second-half predictions
▶ Updated draft order: Raiders slip to No. 1
▶ Pack loss among 5 most humbling of week
Kelce, whose Eagles host the Cowboys this Sunday night, is an excellent center, and also a tremendous trash-talker, most notably giving a Super Bowl LII parade speech so passionate, he lost his voice midway through it. That he’s outspoken on a rivalry — this rivalry — is no surprise.
And he has somewhat of a point. Thanks in part to their success during the 1970s, a decade in which football popularity exploded as a result of increased television exposure and a more entertaining style of play (credit the AFL-NFL merger for the latter), the Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers gained countless fans across the country. The two franchises were the premier clubs during the decade, winning the hearts of tens of thousands, which then trickled down to the next generation, and then one after that.
That’s how you get a strong contingency of Cowboys fans in California — or a load of Steelers fans in Tennessee.
But if we bring ourselves back to the 21st Century, we’ll also need to confront another factor (with the mass media availability factor no longer withstanding): Winning attracts fans. The Cowboys strung together three titles in the 1990s to invigorate the next crop of their fans. The Steelers did something similar in the following decade.
Meanwhile, the Eagles just recorded their first Super Bowl triumph in February. They’ve never had the massive fanbase of the Cowboys and have understandably developed a complex from it. Plus, their fans are among the toughest in sports (points to the cliche Santa Claus/snowballs incident).
When considering that, Kelce fits Philadelphia perfectly. Nothing better than a little spice entering this week’s prime-time matchup.
Source: Read Full Article