A commentary from Vikings fan Craig Robertson in the Wednesday, Jan. 24 Minneapolis Star-Tribune accuses Philadelphia Eagles fans of the “most obnoxious and violent behavior I have ever seen at a sporting event,” underlining a concern with intimidating fan conduct that persisted through the teams meeting up in the NFC Championship last weekend.
Robertson, identified in the commentary as an attorney living in Lexington, Ky., writes that he’s a Vikings season ticket holder and made the trip to see the game on Jan. 21 in Philadelphia with his 75-year-old father.
He called it “one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made--and it had nothing to do with the game.”
“From the moment we got on the subway to go to the game until the time we made it back to our hotel room afterward, we were subjected to constant verbal and physical assault,” Robertson wrote. “We were called names I can’t repeat because they are unfit for print. We were shoved, had objects thrown at us and were warned that if the Vikings won, we would be lucky to make it out alive.”
Although things started quietly, there was a drumbeat of concern over Philadelphia fan conduct leading up to the game and it was part of Forum columnist Mike McFeely’s ongoing coverage of the game. McFeely pointed to warnings from travel agencies and media to Vikings fans that they can expect “possible harassment or violence.”
"They're going to be loud, they're going to be saying some harsh words," defensive end Everson Griffen, who played in Philadelphia for the Vikings in 2010 and 2016, told the Pioneer Press.
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There was more than harsh words. A brawl broke out between Eagles fans and police. Vikings fans had unopened cans of beer thrown at them. The city of Philadelphia preemptively coated light poles with grease so fans couldn’t climb them in drunken celebration. Fans climbed them anyway.
For Robertson, this kind of behavior isn’t worth the win.
“I love my Vikings more than anything in the world. I would do anything to see them win a Super Bowl. But I can say this with 100 percent certainty: I would rather lose and be affiliated with Minnesotans than win and be part of what I witnessed from Eagles fans,” Robertson wrote.