How a visiting athlete handles the relentless verbal abuse of playing a game in Philadelphia will tell you a lot about their mettle. Do they complain about getting heckled at the Linc or in the Wells Fargo Center? Or do they lean into it, and maybe even give some back?
It's pretty clear where Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers lands.
Rodgers, who's had an interesting media week after he was caught on camera last Sunday screaming 'I own you!' at Bears fans in Chicago after a touchdown, was asked Wednesday if Chicago's the only place in the NFL where he gets consistent heckling.
(Rodgers said he responded that way in part because a Bears fan was flipping him a middle finger after the touchdown.)
Unsurprisingly, Rodgers said he gets heckled lots of places - but his answer will make Eagles fans smile:
"REPORTER: Does that happen everywhere? Or just Chicago?
"RODGERS: No, it happens a lot of places. Definitely not just Chicago. There's some other places we've been that have some rowdy fans. Philly I think may be the best trash talkers.
"I told this story back years and years ago, when somebody the entire game - I was a backup - he yelled, 'Hey Rodgers, get the splinters out of your ass.' All game long. To where, by the time the third quarter happened I was impressed that he was still at it, so I turned and gave him a little wave.
"But yeah, Philly fans. Real good trash talkers."
Yep, that's phenomenal. "Get the splinters out of your ass" is such a uniquely specific heckle, so much better than just yelling "You suck" all game at a player. Really great work by that Eagles fan from years ago. He earned that wave from Rodgers.
Rodgers' response to Eagles fans ripping him all game is awesome, and jibes with the Eli Manning's description of Eagles fans from a couple years ago:
"You go there, and that 9-year-old kid is giving you the double finger. Not a thumbs-up. Not, 'We're No. 1.' And he said something about my mom; I had to Google what it was. It's just different. It's a different culture."
Eagles fans: making it hard on opposing quarterbacks across the years. Good stuff.
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