It’s no secret New York and Philadelphia’s fan bases are among the most passionate in sports. And on Sunday, both sides voiced those allegiances with dueling Eagles chants during the 76ers-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
The first chant began late in the first quarter, with the Sixers leading, 33–14. Philly fans showered Knicks guard Quentin Grimes with “E-A-G-L-E-S .... Eagles!” at the free throw line in a scene that probably only would have happened in the week approaching a Super Bowl with the Eagles involved.
The Eagles fans in attendance decided to have a little more fun during the game by booing and delivering their classic chant after former New York Giant Justin Tuck was introduced to the crowd, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, the good times would soon stop rolling as the 76ers struggled on the floor and eventually surrendered a 21-point lead to the Knicks.
After the tables turned in the game, the momentum also appeared to shift in the stands as Knicks (and maybe Giants?) fans exacted a measure of revenge late in the game. This time, the chants came with Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey at the free throw line with the Knicks up, 105–94, with 1:39 left in regulation.
While the NBA may not have been too enthusiastic about the free extra publicity headed the NFL’s way, the scene certainly made for a great viral entry into the long list of classic Philly vs. NYC moments. Not to mention, the “Eagles sucks” chant probably gave disgruntled fans a chance to vent after the NFC champions took over the Empire State Building a little over a week ago.
Of course, the Eagles, contrary to the crowd’s rooting interest, were not playing inside MSG or any football stadium on Sunday for obvious reasons. Instead, the club is continuing to gear up for Super Bowl LVII against the Chiefs on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz., where Eagles fans will surely make their presence known once again.