I remember becoming a Vikings' fan....that miserable, Chicago-Cub-like-never-win-a-championship existence. It was during the early days of the frantic Fran Tarkenton, Chuck Foreman, Purple People Eater reign. Four Superbowls, four Superbowl loses, all in the '70's and not a Superbowl since. However, I was hooked to this team and forever more shall remain that way. Even though this franchise causes stomach problems the Purple Pill is not a part of my daily regiment.
Now, for the little guy in the picture it started innocently enough with a trip to the movie theatre...."Invincible" was the show of choice that day. If you're not familiar with the movie it's the story of Vince Papale, a 30-year old bartendar in Philadelphia during the days when Dick Vermeil became coach. Papale answered the call the day Vermeil conducted open tryouts and he made the team. Great movie...and enough to hook a 7-year-old into picking the Eagles as his favorite team. He became Vince Papale later in the day after taking a green marker and writing Philadelphia Eagles on the front of a white t-shirt and Papale on the back....he wore it with pride several days in a row. His mother pried it from his clutches, put a little soap and water to it and gave it back for more wearing. For him it was appropriate attire no matter the occasion, sleeping, football in the yard, wrestling, school, church, a trip to the dentist, you name it. A higher authority nixed the wearing of the shirt to school and church. Even though he still likes to wear the self-made jersey he got upgraded to the McNabb jersey in the picture. We call him McBrick. He calls himself an Eagle fan. Is it the same cementing of a fan I experienced back in the day? Only time will tell. We watched the Eagles journey through the playoffs this season ending with the loss at the hands of the Saints. A great game and a great disappointment to McBrick. After watching the clock tic-down on the end of the season for his Eagles he shuffled upstairs with his head down and his tail tucked between his legs and crawled into bed still wearing his Eagles jersey and said, "will the Eagles play again next year?", and I said, "yeah, it'll be a brand new season", to which his reply was "I don't think I can wait that long." I think the hook has been set....deep.