After the victory Sunday night, fans took to the streets to celebrate. And while the large majority gathered peacefully and without incident, a small minority of "knuckleheads" (as Mayor Kenney put it) engaged in destructive behavior that left some windows shattered, collapsed a hotel's awning, led to one car being flipped on its side and left one convenience store looted.
Enter Missanelli, who appeared on Spain's Spain and Fitz ESPN Radio show Monday night to discuss the Eagles' win. After being asked his thoughts about the game, Missanelli didn't appreciate being question about the behavior of Birds fans.
"I thought it was civil," Missanelli said, pointing out that there were several arrests after a small riot in Boston. "Is that the first light post that's ever been pulled down? There are going to be drunken fools that act up and do everything. But this Philadelphia narrative that everyone is from the third gates of hell is absurd."
Missanelli's defensiveness over the question is understandable, considering how some media outlets reported on the pockets of bad behavior. As my colleague Michael Boren pointed out, Newsweek went with the subtle headline, "PHILLY POLICE SCANNER REVEALS HORRIFIC SCENES IN PHILADELPHIA AS FANS RIOT AFTER SUPER BOWL VICTORY." Others were just as bad.
Spain, who is also a SportsCenter reporter and an espnW columnist, certainly isn't biased against the Eagles or its fans. She picked and rooted for the Eagles (she was raised in the outskirts of Chicago and grew up a Bears fan). Her sister spent years living in Philadelphia and is a diehard Birds fan.
On Tuesday, Missanelli was still a bit upset over Spain's question.
"Talk about people getting stabbed in Los Angeles. Talk about every other celebration when any other city wins in any sport. Tell me that they're all the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!" Missanelii exclaimed, adding that it's "the media that fuels that narrative and women like Sarah Spain."
"You mean to tell me in every winning celebration that people have acted civilly?" Missanelli continued. "Where do these people get off?"
Regardless of the tone, Missanelli is right about the facts. Philadelphia isn't even in the top five in terms of the average number of fans arrested at each NFL game, according to a five-year study done by the Washington Post. In fact, Boston averaged more arrests per game over the past five years, with 4.7, than Philadelphia's 3.2.
During his show, Missanelli's comments earned a rebuke from Spain, who defended her question about the bad behavior of some Eagles fans in a series of tweets.
"We had him on our show to get his voice on his city winning — the game, the celebrations, everything. If he didn't like my question, so be it, but there was no malice," Spain wrote.
"Hey Sarah, sorry that you felt I 'threw you under the bus.' Not my intention at all. Just pointed out that the 'bad behavior' of the Philly fans was the second question of your interview with me which to me showed the you were predisposed to deride an entire fan base," Missanelli responded on Twitter after his show. "That predisposition in my opinion is a completely distorted, overblown and frankly lazy national narrative, not fair to the majority that are great fans."