Fly @Eagles Fly! We’re going Green and White in honor of the Eagles NFC Championship Victory. pic.twitter.com/RNiwbCIkt7
— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) January 29, 2023
The Empire State Building illuminated itself with Eagles colors for a few hours after the NFC title game. Cue a wave of performative outrage (trademark Michael Kay) the likes of which have not been seen since Eli Manning got benched the first time. It was even the back page of two tabloids on Monday morning!
What are we doing here? The ESB has done this before. It will do this again, even in the same night as it did Sunday with the Chiefs. It is part of the deal. The Eagles being a rival that beat the Giants the other day does not change things. This feels like a string of bad WFAN overnight callers taking over the news cycle. And no, it’s not just a few cheeky tweets. It has been a genuine regional temper tantrum.
To everyone saying they would not do this in Boston or Philadelphia: Yes, that is correct. Because New York is not Boston or Philadelphia. New York is New York.
Those cities are painfully insular and provincial. New York is of the world. It also has an Empire State Building to light up. What would Philly do, put strobe lights on the Rocky Steps? Do you think Boston would elect a Yankees fan as mayor? Actually, let’s forget that one.
The ESB lights are not a sacred gesture reserved for great achievement or deserved recognition. They turn them on for pretty much anything. They are a tactile version of the Google banner. You could be in Midtown on a midweek night in May, see a puzzling two-toned glow and find out it is National Self-Employed Day. Which is not to be confused with National Freelancers Day and National Independent Workers Day.
Some days are tougher than others at the top. So when the most popular sport in the nation gives them a layup, they’re going to take it. Blame Brock Purdy’s elbow if you must channel your anger.
Yes, the championship drought here has been brutal (no, MLS doesn’t count). But let us keep our dignity. Keep the political focus on Jim Dolan’s panopticon. And, please, keep your composure two weeks from now if those Santa Claus assaulters win it all again. Because if you are really that aggrieved about this, you need to find something better to do with your time.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.