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From Where I See It: Philadelphia Eagles

7 Dec 2018
The Players' Tribune
The Voice of the Game
7 Dec 2018
T

oday it’s easier than ever to watch a sporting event on TV. But the allure of being at a stadium to watch the action unfold live is still unmatched. What keeps bringing us back? Is it the atmosphere? Is it the people? The food? Maybe it’s all of these things and more. The Players’ Tribune wanted to get a closer look at the people surrounding the sporting events we love — the people who nobody comes to watch, but who serve a vital role in supporting the magic of the game-day experience. 

Welcome to our series called, From Where I See It brought to you by NRG. For our latest entry, we toured Lincoln Financial Field and spoke with those who surround the game-day experience to better understand not only the energy that makes this stadium run but also the energy behind the city of Philadelphia and how its fans come alive with anticipation and support for the Eagles.


Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Carson Wentz | Eagles Quarterback, 3 seasons

“Of course I heard a lot about Eagles fans before I got here, but you don’t really understand it until you experience the passion here firsthand. I think the moment it really hit me that this place was different occurred after the end of my rookie season. I was going out to dinner in the city and I was walking down a side street to get to the restaurant — it wasn’t particularly busy. While I was walking a guy rode by me on a bike and I thought he got a good look at me but he just kept riding so I didn’t think much of it. Then, when he made it to the end of the block, he started doing the Eagles chant very loudly. Without missing a beat, every other person on the block joined in and it became this whole commotion. I sped up a bit to get where I was going, but that’s when it really dawned on me just how passionate everyone in this city is about the Eagles. And the longer I’m here, the more I’ve seen it and appreciate it. It definitely gives you that extra bit of motivation to do everything you can to bring these fans a win.”

Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Ken Furtoss | Pyrotechnics, 20 seasons

“I’ve been doing this 20 years now and haven’t missed one home game. I still get nervous before every single one because there are so many elements to keep track of. It isn’t until after the show that I let myself really appreciate the moment. You never see the crowd but you can hear them — feel them even — and knowing that something I helped set up made for a positive experience for these fans, well, I’m very grateful for that opportunity. This never feels like work to me.”

Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Ginny Feo | Longtime Season Ticket Holder, 61 seasons

“I’ve been coming to Eagles games since 1957. My husband bought season tickets, which I was very impressed by. Back then I was so in love I didn’t care what happened on the field. He passed 18 years ago but I still come to every game with my family. Over the years we’ve had so many wonderful players. There was Pete Retzlaff, Tommy McDonald and of course Norm Van Brocklin. The players and coaches have changed over time but no matter who is wearing the uniform, I call them my babies. I love them. I got this coat years back the first time we played in the Super Bowl. I wasn’t able to get a ticket because they were very expensive, so I bought the coat instead. I call it my Super Bowl coat and I wear it to games when it’s cold outside. It’s so very warm and lovely.”

“I used to be very loud. Now I’m quiet and just jiggle a little bit”.

Ginny loves her Eagles. (0:26)

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Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Herb Keyser | Electrical Foreman, 16 seasons

“I was born in South Philadelphia and actually was an Eagles season ticket holder before I was hired here in 2003 as part of the maintenance team. It’s a big job, we have 572 sports lights and they’re 2,000 watts a piece. We also have solar panels throughout the stadium. There’s a ton of smaller electrical installations my team keeps track of. If we’re doing our job well, nobody notices what we do. Everything just works and runs smoothly. I take a lot of pride in being the person that makes sure that happens. And after we won the Super Bowl last year, I even got a ring. As a native Philadelphian, what could possibly be better than that?”

Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Muffin Martinez | Event Staff Gate Chief, 13 seasons

“My day job is as a mail lady for the post office, and while I love that, I always look forward to game days. I love seeing all the familiar faces and just the general level of excitement. I oversee the ticket takers at this gate. I guess you could call me the big hen of the barn. If  anyone on my team has any issues, they come to me. If anything needs to be fixed, they come to me. If anything goes left, I need to make sure that it goes back to the right way. This is my gate.”



Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Derrick Suragh | Eagles Drumline Member, 9 seasons

“In addition to being a diehard Eagles fan, I also serve as a Philadelphia police officer. I’ve always been passionate about percussion, so I auditioned for the Eagles Drumline nine years ago and was fortunate to be able to make the cut. To be able to both serve the city as a public servant and then turn around and be a part of this great organization on game days, it’s priceless to me.”

“I feed off the fans”.

Derrick performs his drum riff. (0:06)

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Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Eric Long | Eagles VP of Content & Production, 10 seasons

“Part of my job is keeping the crowd engaged during home games and one of the simplest things I’ve found that’s awesome is that our fans respond more to our players asking for energy than anything else. We actually regularly communicate this to our football operations department and have them convey it to our players so we can use it to our advantage when we’re home. Whenever there’s a big key moment during a game, we want our players to be waving their hands so we can put them up on the video board. Sure, we could just put up prompts during those moments that say “get loud” or “make noise” and the crowd would respond to some extent. But it’s really nothing compared to when we cut to a shot of a player requesting noise. I think that’s just a great example of how much our fans love this team. They’ll do anything for them.”

Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Chris “Sharky” Sharkoski | Eagles Director of Event Operations, 19 seasons

“It’s safe to say that I’m a planner. Leading up to game day I put together our event production notes. It’s 29 pages of just… information. I push everything out to everyone who needs it and then on the day of the game my job is just checking in on everything to make sure it’s going according to plan. If it’s not, I have to help figure out how to adjust on the fly. I got my first phone call today at 8:30 in the morning about a parking issue. Had to deal with that. It wasn’t anything too big.”

“That was a moment that was … holy crap”

Describing the loudest event at Lincoln Financial Field (0:31)

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Taylor Baucom/The Players' Tribune

Sheri Dannaker | Tailgater

“Eagles football has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. This tailgate in particular was started about 30 years ago by my friend’s dad. Eventually he passed it down to us, and now there’s a younger generation who we’re going to pass it over to one day. It doesn’t matter how the team is doing, we’re always here.”

The Players' Tribune
The Voice of the Game