Philadelphia Eagles fans live all over South Jersey.
Some are in elementary school, and others are senior citizens. They live in Brigantine, Egg Harbor Township, Dennis Township, Stafford Township and every town in between.
They are united in their loyalty to their beloved Birds, who happen to be leading the NFL with a 10-1 record entering Sunday night’s game at Seattle.
It is their best start since 2004, which also happens to be the last time the Eagles reached the Super Bowl. This could be the season the Eagles’ bandwagon, otherwise known as the “Wentz Wagon,” rolls all the way to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, site of Super Bowl LII.
Here are just a few of the loyal local fans enjoying the ride.
A broken wing
Colleen “Bink” Higgins literally wore her love of the Eagles on her sleeve a few days ago.
The resident of the South Seaville section of Dennis Township underwent surgery on her rotator cuff a week ago. One of her first moves was to iron an old-school Eagles logo onto her sling and pose for a photo beneath a balloon shaped like an Eagles helmet.
“I had the Birds with me,” Higgins wrote in an email Thanksgiving morning.
Her devotion to the team dates back decades. She tried out to be an Eagles cheerleader “many, many, many years ago” just to be close to the team.
All the pictures from her first baby shower 23 years ago show her wearing an Eagles jersey. She said the only way her friends and family could get her there on a Sunday was to pretend they were going to watch the game. Subsequent family parties and outings held during the season are centered on the Eagles.
She spent her 50th birthday weekend at the Holiday Inn Stadium across the parking lot from old Veterans Stadium in preparation for opening day one year.
Before each season, Higgins writes an inspirational message for every player. Not just the 53 players on the regular-season roster, however. She mails one to each of the 90 players who go to training camp.
“It’s just my way of letting them know that they are supported by the fans and loved,” Higgins said. “I want them to believe in themselves, and on the days when it’s tough, I suggest they watch ‘Rudy,’ ‘Remember the Titans’ or ‘Miracle’ for inspiration.”
Her memorabilia includes an autographed Jon Dorenbos jersey. She first met the former long snapper while attending an Eagles women’s camp and got the jersey signed while attending his magic show in Ocean City last spring.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, she can begin assembling the Eagles Christmas village she sets up in her living room.
Before watching the Eagles take on the Seattle Seahawks, she will go to church wearing an Eagles jersey, which she does every Sunday.
“The only jersey I don’t wear to church is the one that says ‘Dallas S----,’ Higgins wrote. “That would be inappropriate.”
The 10-1 Eagles remain perched atop the 31 other teams.
And holding things up from the bottom are ...
Max Goldstein, of Brigantine, has been an Eagles fan for all of his 20-plus years. He finally got the chance to see a game in person last season, when his grandfather took him to watch the Eagles earn a 21-10 victory over Minnesota at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 23, 2016.
“Besides the win, I like to think I got a true Eagles fan experience,” he wrote in an email. “The man sitting next to me must have had nine beers too many and drunkenly decided he wanted to sit in the empty seat in the row in front of him. He made the bright decision to step on the chair in front of him, tripped and ended up tumbling for a few rows until he crash landed. Could not have wished for a better experience.”
Most of the time he watches the games at home.
That’s where he witnessed memorable moments such as Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown’s crunching hit on New Orleans running back Reggie Bush in the 2006 playoffs and DeSean Jackson’s electric, game-winning punt return at Giants Stadium on Dec. 9, 2010.
He also watched the Eagles lose to New England in Super Bowl XXXIX in the 2004 season.
“That’s one big aspect of being an Eagles fan,” he wrote. “Disappointment. It seems like we go through that a lot. However, there is something different going on this season. ... I can confidently say that if our Birds can keep playing like they’ve been playing, I don’t know if they will be stopped. So as a typical Eagles fan, I can say that THIS is the year.”
Background: 6-foot, 223 pounds ... 24 years old. ... First season with Eagles after being ac…
Up until about 15 years ago, Gail Carhart wasn’t much of an Eagles fan.
Now, the 79-year-old Stafford Township resident never misses a game.
“I never cared (about) or watched football,” Carhart wrote in an email. “By accident, I turned on a game, and from that day on I have become a fan of the Eagles!”
Carhart still has a Donovan McNabb bobblehead she bought during the 2003 season and wears a bracelet she received that same year.
This season, she has made it clear to everyone in her Mayetta neighborhood that she bleeds green.
“I hang an Eagles flag in front of my house during the season,” she wrote. “Recently, I purchased an awesome pair of Eagles sneakers. Needless to say, I would never not wear my Eagles shirt for every game. I love my Eagles and know they are going to win this year!”