Philly AF from afar

Maine resident and Eagles fan Tyler Peavey
Tyler Peavey drives seven hours from Brunswick, Maine to sit solo just for moments like this before an Eagles home game. | Image: Brian Gambescia

It’s the Monday morning after the Dallas win. 

I’m writing this with a pounding headache and the realization that my voice won’t come back until sometime Tuesday afternoon, but it’s OK. 

We beat the fucking Cowboys.  

I was fortunate enough to be in the stadium Sunday for the win and one of the best parts of the whole experience for me, in addition to the game, is the people watching and the conversations had with random strangers. That last part for me usually happens while I’m waiting for an overpriced beer at the concessions, but in this particular case on the subway ride down crammed in like sardines enveloped among a sea of green clad fans. 

In between the forced screams of E-A-G-L-E-S for the 20th time as we made our way down to the Linc, I met perhaps one of the most dedicated Eagles fans out there. His name was Tyler Peavey, who works as a deckhand in a Maine shipyard. Actually, he’s from Rockland, Maine, and told me about the seven-hour drive he made solo for the third time this year,  just to be a part of it all. 

I’m not sure how the conversation started, all I know is that in between shared swigs of straight rum from a water bottle (his, not mine) he told me how, as a father, it’s a big ask to come to Philadelphia solo. He’d love to bring his 6-year-old son, but something he’s not planning on doing in the immediate because: “this game is for me.”

So after putting his kid to bed on Saturday night, Peavey told me he gets in the car for a late-night trip that starts around 9 p.m. Then it’s an early morning check-in to his hotel, catch up on some sleep and a solo pregame before kickoff. 

“The time goes fast, but you can’t wait for [the game] to get here,” Peavey says. “I don’t really explore the city before the game because I don’t know anyone, but I love Sundays because everyone’s got their Eagles stuff on; it’s when I finally feel like I fit in.”

This trip was the third for him this season as he goes on StubHub in the beginning of the year once schedules are live and tickets are released. He says it’s when you can usually get a good deal since by the time the game comes around, for him it’s nearly “impossible to afford.”

So what is it like being a die-hard Eagles fan in Patriots country?

“It fucking sucks, man,” Peavey says with an eye roll. “It’s all Tom Brady this and Julian Edelman that. Just awful. Plus imagine being on a ship with a bunch of guys who are all Patriots fans. At times, I think I know what torture feels like.” 

The worst part of it all? For Peavey, the unbridled sense of entitlement. 

“[The Patriots] always win but they’re the biggest frauds because they always cheat,” he continued. “Filming other teams, Deflategate, stealing signals and all they get from [the NFL] is a slap on the wrist because they’re America’s Team. Well, I live in America, they ain’t my team.” 

Peavey admits he only started getting into being an Eagles fan by watching the Mike Vick-led teams and that he didn’t really have a team because he knew he didn’t want to be a Pats fan. But like it has for the rest of us, once the Birds burrow into your skin (and your wallet), it’s a wrap.

“I mean yeah, once you figure in gas, hotels, food and the ticket it’s almost a $1,000 weekend,” Peavey said, looking around the crowded subway car. “But look at this man, it’s totally worth it. You don’t find fans like this anywhere. It’s real fans. Why would you not want to be a part of this?”

We exchanged numbers once we got off the train and went our separate ways. By the next morning, a few hours before I sat down to write this, I texted him this photo I took since I knew he was gonna be the subject of this week’s column and he replied, “What a fuckin game. Had perfect seats. Currently on the road heading back to Maine.”

But it was this follow-up text that proved he’s a real one. 

“Don’t forget, man…Bacardi Oakheart. Smooth shit.”

  • Kerith Gabriel's Headshot

    Kerith Gabriel is the former editor-in-chief at Philadelphia Weekly but somehow hasn’t figured out that means he doesn’t have to write nearly as much. As a routine contributor, journalism has been in his blood since his beginnings as a sports writer over a decade ago for the Philadelphia Daily News.

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