Philadelphia Eagles training camp reflections: Lehigh versus the Linc

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Eagles training camp at the Linc. Image via Lehigh Valley Live.

The open fan days of Philadelphia Eagles 2013 Training Camp at Lincoln Financial Field have come and gone, and the regular season opener is just days away from the Birds. The final open practice, where fans were able to get a sneak peek of the team under new head coach Chip Kelly, happened earlier this week.

In the first training camp held by the Eagles in the city of Philadelphia in decades, how was the fan experience? How was it different from Lehigh? Is one location distinctly better than the other? One fan’s opinion is offered in the guest post below, from high school student and aspiring sports writer Rave’n-DaJon Coleman, who found training camp at the Linc far less personal then being at Lehigh.

Football is finally here! I’m so glad to say goodbye to Eagles Training Camp at Lincoln Financial Field. No more watching boring drills, being in the heat, and watching them practice wishing it were a real game. Jeffery Lurie needs to stop being cheap and just pay to practice in Lehigh, because it’s better than Lincoln Financial Field.

LFF

When I first arrived at the Linc I was so pumped. My family headed to our seats, but when we tried to go to our section a security guard told us that it was closed. What a bad way to start off an exciting day. We all had to sit up high in section 232.

Ten minutes passed and I thought of a good idea. I whispered to everyone that we should sit down lower. So we started to make our way down the stairs. It was so hard to sneak and find good seats, but we did. We finally sat down in section 5. The view was amazing. However, we were still too far from the players. And to top it off the odds of getting an autograph were like winning the lottery.

Lehigh

I will never forget the day when I woke up at five in the morning to see the Eagles practice. I was looking all over my room for something green to wear, but I couldn’t find anything, so my cousin John gave me one of his old Eagles jerseys. It was the first jersey I ever owned. Later that morning, my cousins Rodney and Tugg picked us up and we were on our way to Lehigh. We laughed, watched The Great Debaters and talked about the Eagles upcoming season.

When we arrived at Lehigh it was unbelievable. Every fan was screaming and singing the Eagles theme song, cooking on their grills, taking pictures with the cheerleaders, shopping in the Eagles Pro shop, dancing, and talking to each other.

The drills were so fun to watch. Expecting to see players drop the ball and mess up, I watched with anticipation although everything ran perfectly. After they finished practicing Eagles players walked around freely in the crowd and signed autographs. My cousin Tugg was lucky enough to stand right in front of Donovan McNabb. When I was watching DeSean Jackson walking across the field, I screamed his name and he waved at me. Cool, right?

Even though my experience at Lehigh was better than Lincoln Financial Field I am still glad I got to see my favorite team in person.

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