Several Eagles fans say they were threatened by players after holding up a sign that ruffled their feathers.
A pair of Eagles lineman leaving a film study session at the Eagles training facility a day after the Birds dropped to 1-4 possibly took out some frustration on a pair of Eagles fans expressing their desire to see the end of the Andy Reid era in Philly.
Per the Inquirer’s Birds’ Eye View Thursday:
Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce, caught up in a storm of radio and Internet criticism today after asking fans to take down a sign calling for Andy Reid's head, defended their actions today.
Each said that fans are free to express their opinions, but that they did not want to see such sentiments "on our front yard" outside the NovaCare Complex.
Some background: on Monday the two came to the team facility to watch film and lift. On their way out in Kelce's truck they saw three or so fans holding a sign that read "Andy, the Time's .... to Go." The protesters were across the street from the NovaCare entrance, according to Mathis. That would place them at a public park, not on Eagles property.
After driving past, Kelce and Mathis returned to the fans and said they asked them to take down the sign. Both said they did not threaten the fans, but that the protesters complied. Each has been the subject of much criticism since then...
Mathis and Kelce explained why they targeted the Eagles fans Monday:
“Everybody was about to pack up and start going home and to just drive out and see that -- that doesn’t need to be the last thing they see leaving work,” Mathis said.
“I asked them to take the sign down,” said Kelce. “I didn’t try to get physical or anything and I’m not bashing any of the fans -- I respect the fans.”
One of the fans with the sign outside the NovaCare Complex, Paul Rodio, claims that Mathis did threaten him he laughed at Kelce for telling him to "shut up."
Threatening or not why did the O-linemen feel the need to get on the some fans' cases?
“We don’t need someone attacking the head -- the top of the system right now -- when we’re trying to come together.”
Maybe he should have attacked the guys instead for their terrible grammar. “Andy The Times… to go” -- does that make sense? The fans claim it was a play on Reid's famous "the time's yours statement." Maybe something more like “It’s Time to Fire Andy” would have made more sense though.
Kelce is OK with the expression, he says, but is more troubled by the venue.
“I would like them to do that on a blog, I would like them to do that on a media, do it wherever you want,” said Kelce. “But when you bring it on to our front door right when we’re 1-4 and we’re trying to get better and we’re trying to come together as a team that’s not what we need at this point.”
Geez, imagine if they let Eagles fans into FedEx Field this weekend sneak a sign or two into the Eagles game against the Redskins.
Paul, his uncle John Rodio and their friend Dave Rizzotte demand an apologize not only for the incident but for what happened after it when Kelce tweeted that they weren't fans but rather "varmit."
“They have to know what Philly’s about,” said Rizzotte. “They have to take that attitude they had with the sign, take it to the field and maybe our quarterback won’t get killed.”
John Rodio demanded an apology -- something Kelce tweeted late Thursday that he already did at least for the "varmit" comment.
“I’m asking the Eagles organization and those two, not for me, but for the fans of this city they deserve an apology for treating us that way,” said John Rodio. “It’s an affront to every fan in this city, their actions. It’s an outright disgrace.”
What do you think about the sign controversy? Do you stand with the Eagles O-lineman or are you with the fans right to let the Eagles know how they feel about Big Red?