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Subject: Philadelphia fans throw snowballs at Santa..The real story!

Written By: loki 13 on 01/30/08 at 4:39 pm

This event did happen, the fans in Philadelphia booed and threw snowballs at the jolly old elf but
Howard Cosell took a laugh-it-off incident and turned into a national travesty that still haunts the city.
I'm reluctant to tell the real story because I like that other fans think we're nasty enough to boo Santa.
I like it that fans and players are afraid to venture into this city, it gives us a certain edge. Anyway,
here's what happened on that fateful day.

On December 15, 1968 it was the last game of a pitiful season for the Eagles. At this point they were
2 -11, they were 0 - 11 until they beat Detroit and New Orleans thus ending their bid to draft O. J.
Simpson. They were set to play Minnesota and snow had been falling steady since the night before.
Wind gust were up to 30 mph and the temp was about 22 degrees. Over 54,000 people attended
the game and this just goes to show how loyal Philadelphia fans are.

A Christmas pageant was scheduled for halftime, the Eagles cheerleaders were dressed in elf costumes and a
50 piece band was to play carols while Santa paraded around the field in a sleigh. There were a few problems
however, 15 hours of snow and a half of football turned the field into a mud pit, the sleigh wasn't going anywhere.
Santa would have to walk --- if there was a Santa. It turned out that the guy hired to play Santa at the Stadium
couldn't make it through the snow, the powers that be had to find a stand in.

Enter Frank Olivo, he was sitting in the stands wearing a corduroy Santa suit. Olivo weighed 170 lbs and was 5' 6".
The Eagles Brass begged him to stand in for the absent Santa. When Olivo took the field the fans got their first
glimpse of a disheveled looking Santa , who also appeared to be drunk, so they started booing him. Olivo, a true
Philadelphia fan, egged the booers on asking for more. Then from the stands a lonely snowball pelted him, after
laughing it off more snowballs came Santa's way. Shortly there after it was a snowball frenzy. To this day Frank Olivo
laughs at the day he became famous he loved every minute of it.

Howard Cosell's sports show on on ABC weekend report picked up the story and shown it nationwide. Without
knowing the story behind the booing and the snowballs, Howard Cosell gave Philadelphia it's reputation we still
hold to this day. The fans so nasty they'll even boo Santa Claus.

Subject: Re: Philadelphia fans throw snowballs at Santa..The real story!

Written By: ChuckyG on 01/31/08 at 8:48 am

I honestly only heard of this today in this Forbes article:

America's Most Miserable Cities

How miserable is Philly? The residents of the City of Brotherly Love once booed Santa Claus and pelted him with snowballs at an Eagles game. Maybe it's the long commutes, violent crime and plethora of toxic waste sites that has people grumpy. Philadelphia scored in the top 20 in all three areas.

hearing the full story, makes it seem like a fairly funny incident

Subject: Re: Philadelphia fans throw snowballs at Santa..The real story!

Written By: Rice_Cube on 01/31/08 at 10:35 am

Buddy: Who the heck are you?
Gimbel's Santa: What are you talkin' about? I'm Santa Claus.
Buddy: No, you're not.
Gimbel's Santa: Uh, why of course I am! Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.
Buddy: Well, if you're Santa, what song did I sing for you on your birthday this year?
Gimbel's Santa: Um, Happy Birthday of course. Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho. How old are you son?
Kid with Santa: Four.
Gimbel's Santa: You're a big boy. What's your name?
Kid with Santa: Paul.
Gimbel's Santa: Now what can I get you for Christmas?
Buddy: Don't tell him what you want, he's a liar.
Gimbel's Santa: Let the kid talk.
Buddy: You disgust me! How can you live with yourself?
Gimbel's Santa: Just cool it, Zippy.
Buddy: You sit on a throne of lies.
Gimbel's Santa: Look, I'm not kiddin'.
Buddy: You're a fake.
Gimbel's Santa: I'm a fake?
Buddy: Yes!
Gimbel's Santa: How'd you like to be dead, huh? Ho, ho, just kidding.
Buddy: You stink.
Gimbel's Santa: I think you're gonna have a good Christmas, all right.
Buddy: You smell like beef and cheese, you don't smell like Santa.

Subject: Re: Philadelphia fans throw snowballs at Santa..The real story!

Written By: loki 13 on 01/31/08 at 4:41 pm


I honestly only heard of this today in this Forbes article:

America's Most Miserable Cities

How miserable is Philly? The residents of the City of Brotherly Love once booed Santa Claus and pelted him with snowballs at an Eagles game. Maybe it's the long commutes, violent crime and plethora of toxic waste sites that has people grumpy. Philadelphia scored in the top 20 in all three areas.

hearing the full story, makes it seem like a fairly funny incident


It was an incident that was all in fun, I forgot to metion that the Eagles were losing Vikings that day so what else
could the fans do to cheer up a bit. Bad reporting gave this City a reputation, not all of it is untrue but for the most
part the fans actions aren't always vicious and vindictive.

Subject: Re: Philadelphia fans throw snowballs at Santa..The real story!

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 01/31/08 at 4:44 pm

You've Got A Friend In Pennsyvania is on our license plates.  Perhaps we should change it to something more appropriate.  Any suggestion.  I have one, but it would be censored.

Subject: Re: Philadelphia fans throw snowballs at Santa..The real story!

Written By: Monica on 10/12/09 at 9:28 pm


You've Got A Friend In Pennsyvania is on our license plates.  Perhaps we should change it to something more appropriate.  Any suggestion.  I have one, but it would be censored.

I was also there and was 5 years old.  Guess what I turned out okay.  I still remember it to this day, Santa was having fun.  We actually needed a laugh, and Santa was laughing with us.  I was raised at Franklin Field watching Penn and Eagles football, Spectrum-watching the Sixers and Flyers. etc...  I have been to many Stadiums, in fact I worked at Veterans Stadium, and every Stadium has "fans" that act like idiots.  I guess everyone forgets the Cinn. Fans throwing the beer at the Philiies players??? 

One thing that can be said about Philadelphia Fans.  We are always loyal to our teams!!  Ask anyone who has been there. 

Philly IS the city of Brotherly Love!!!

Subject: Re: Philadelphia fans throw snowballs at Santa..The real story!

Written By: blindme on 10/25/09 at 5:15 pm

Well, surely an interesting things happen at these kind of events :)

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