DAVID GREENE, Host:
Today, of course, is football Sunday. NFL fans are eating happily this morning in Baltimore and Phoenix; the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals won big playoff games on the road yesterday. Today, more games, more stressed-out fans. We wanted to talk to one. So we called up Randy Robinson. His Philadelphia Eagles play the New York Giants today. Randy does love those Eagles.
M: It's like a relationship and a marriage that is almost going well. You're working toward this goal, goal, goal and you fall short, or sometimes you get over the hump. You really, really are drawn into it mentally and emotionally, and every aspect of your life is relative to it.
GREENE: You guys have had one of those up and down years that makes a football fan want to just give up and watch tennis.
M: Oh, yeah. And I think this is why Philadelphia is one of the cities that leads in purchasing jerseys because the team make you rip up your damn jersey and burn it during the season, only to come back and make the playoffs. You go out and buy a new one.
GREENE: Have you ripped up a jersey this year?
M: I threw mine away already. I mean, I was already on the get rid of Andy Reid, you know...
GREENE: Your coach.
M: Get rid of the guy bandwagon. Honestly, hey, maybe they're OK this week, but we'll see, though. This year has been the most miraculous year for them ever to make the playoffs. I mean, they were dead in the water just a few weeks ago.
GREENE: OK. So I understand that you go to the same bar every single week...
M: Yeah, I mean. Philadelphia, we're such avid fans, it's really difficult - I mean, the waiting list for season tickets, you've got to be (unintelligible) like your third generation. So, Philadelphia has lots of rituals. And most of them, you know, we're a neighborhood city, so people have their local spot or their - the place they go there. And mine is Cavanaughs(ph). The best part about Cavanaughs is that because of the influx of those students at Penn and Drexel, you get fans for every team there. And the Philadelphia fans love to come in and persecute them and torment them. So Cavanaughs will be...
GREENE: That's like tormenting college students from other parts of the country. That's...
M: Yeah. We got people from other parts of the country here quite often, and they all dissipate by the third or fourth weeks of the season. They're all there the first...
GREENE: They get scared of people like you, right?
M: GREENE So have you any of those weird superstitions on game day that you want to tell us about?
M: No. I mean, where is a decision. It's just that we have to sit at the exact same table, and the chairs have got to be configured the same way. And if we were not to sit at our table, we wouldn't come. We'd leave. We've got to sit on our table, and everybody is sitting there in their same, exact seats.
GREENE: That's not weird at all. That sounds like a very normal superstition. Randy Robinson, joining us from Philadelphia, where he is a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan. Randy, thank you.
M: Absolutely. Thank you very much. E-A-G-L-E-S! Eagles!
GREENE: OK. Randy may have his chant. We Pittsburgh Steelers fans have our song. That's the Steelers' polka.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "STEELERS FIGHT SONG")
U: (Singing) We're from the town with that great football team. We cheer the Pittsburgh Steelers.
GREENE: Randy's getting ready for his game. I'm getting ready for mine. I've gotten a few funny looks this morning in the studio because I'm decked out in a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey. My Steelers play in the other game today against the San Diego Chargers. And the Chargers have hurt me before. They upset us in the 1994 AFC Championship game. That is not going to happen again, I will tell you. And - there's the studio door. And hi, Scott. It's NPR's Scott Horsley. Why - what - why - what are you doing here?
SCOTT HORSLEY: Well, David, I - you know, I've just moved to Washington to try to fill your big shoes as a White House reporter. And I came here after 14 years in San Diego.
GREENE: That's great. That's a lovely city, and I hope there are going to be some very ticked-off football fans this weekend.
HORSLEY: Well, you know, no one has ever called Chargers fans the best in the NFL...
GREENE: No, not even close, actually.
HORSLEY: We're sort of notoriously fair-weather fans, but that's appropriate because it's...
GREENE: And are you one of the fair-weather fans yourself? I've never seen you wear Chargers stuff around the office or...
HORSLEY: I'm actually, you know, a born and raised Denver Bronco fan, but I've lived in San Diego for a long time. And since they clobbered the Broncos a couple of weeks ago, I guess I'll be rooting for them on Sunday.
GREENE: Are we able to cue up that polka that we played a few minutes ago? Because I would love this in Scott's ear - a lot. There we go, louder. That's great.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "STEELERS FIGHT SONG")
GREENE: I think maybe we need a new lock for that door to the studio. Well, happy football Sunday, especially to a man named John Poinor(ph) of Craton, Pennsylvania. He is 87 years old and says he has not missed a Steelers game since 1945. Let's win one for him. Go, Steelers. By the way, if you're a New York Giants fan, and you don't feel like we've given you enough love here, go to our blog, npr.org/soapbox. Our editor Tony Marcano(ph), who's decked out in his own jersey today, writes about life as a Giants fan. And you can also add your thoughts. Tell us about your team, and tell us if your face is painted today. This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Liane Hansen will be back next week.
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