As we see the finale of Jason Babin in Philadelphia, there are a few facts that need to be reiterated for the record. Babin, an All-Pro defensive end came to Philly as the Eagles instituted the wide-9 scheme. Of course, Babin had an forgettable first stint in Philadelphia. But his second brought him the notoriety and fame that also brought him the brunt of the fans anger when things went sour.
In November, after the Eagle’s loss to the Falcons, Philly.com interviewed Jason.
“Some of the most vile things I’ve ever heard,” Babin said of the chants, according to Philly.com. “Talking about people’s wives and kids and chanting them. I just thought there’s no place for that in the NFL.”
“It was upsetting that a few bad apples were chanting that kind of stuff,” Babin added. I don’t even want to repeat what I heard, it was that bad. And I’ve got a pretty high threshold for adult jokes.”
Well, here is more information for the fans who went on to crucify Babin for saying the fans may have been inappropriate. The fans Babin heard were chanting things about Andy Reid’s recently deceased son, Garrett Reid. As you can recall, Garrett died of an overdose of heroin at training camp. And before you read any further, take a look across the room at your own children and be glad you still have them.
Fans shouting “No wonder your son killed himself” and “If I saw my dad coaching like that I’d take drugs too” at coach Reid were indeed inappropriate. And if you don’t believe that, you have a perspective on sports and family that is unhealthy.
So Babin’s only sin here? Pointing out the obvious. Philadelphia has always had a reputation for having tough, over the top fans. But do we really need a reputation for being inhumane in the wake of a family tragedy? Coach Reid, no matter what his record this year, has given the past 14 years to this team. He will likely be gone after this season and will then, and only then, have time to grieve his lost son, as he did not take the time as a normal person would have so he could get back to work.
Also amazing enough is the fans reaction to Babin considering he has always paid tribute to his fans. Babin gave away his tickets to home games in “Find Babin’s Tickets”. He held his Movember contests and has given away more than $10,000 in fan gear through Babin Fan Club. For those who complained that Babin only wanted to sell T-Shirts, you have an interesting perspective. A man who makes $5 million a year doesn’t need to sell T-Shirts.
At the Dallas home game, Babin hired a staff of five to roam the stadium and find fans wearing Babin gear. Every fan who they found received a free beer, courtesy of Jason. Finally, as a fledgling website, Philly Sports Nut reached out to Jason and set up Ask Babin, a weekly interview where Jason answered fan questions. Babin couldn’t have been more accommodating and helped us launch this site.
So as Jason leaves Philadelphia and the some fans rejoice, keep in mind that the reason behind Jason calling out the fans vile comments were indeed because those fans were vile. Look at your son or daughter tonight and ask yourself how you’d feel if you lost them and someone was so inhumane as to call you out on that at your job. Comment below if you disagree, but for goodness sakes, if this is what sports is to become, who are we?