The Vikings are going to Philadelphia this week, and presumably some brave Vikings fans are going with them. John Bonnes, who lived in Philly for three years and is married to a Philadelphian, wants you to get over last winter’s sting and embrace Philly. Here’s how.
Part 1: They’re Overly Competitive A-Holes
Christmas, 1776. British troops are probably a little hungover and hunkering down. Instead, they’re attacked by George Washington, who is more than a little tired of getting his ass kicked. So he brings a bunch of Philadelphians. And you thought the Vikings were ambushed by Philly.
You think Philadelphians are a-holes. I get it. We all get it. In fact, thanks to a few well-publicized events, the whole nation gets it.
But what you don’t get is that Philadelphian’s get it, too. They were once the national capitol and financial center of the nation, but the financial center moved two hours north to New York and the capitol moved two hours south to Washington D.C. And what did that leave Philly?
They compete to show you they’re better. They want to compete and if you don’t want to compete, they don’t know why you’re there. Compete, or get out.
That was also their attitude 242 years ago. The British, after bringing over an armada of troops to stop the revolution, had taken back New York and was chasing Washington through New Jersey. Morale was at one of the lowest points of the Revolutionary War.
Washington’s depleted troops were reinforced with, among others, 1000 Philadelphians. He divided 2400 soldiers into three attempts to cross into British held territory and march on Trenton in a three-pronged attack. Only one division made it over the icy Delaware successfully, and they marched Christmas night to attach the British early on the December 26th.
It was winter. The icing river made crossing almost impossible. They did the whole thing at night. It was Christmas. Only one-third of their division made it. And they didn’t care. They attacked.
They lost three Americans and six were wounded. They killed 22 opponents, wounded 98 more, and captured 1000 prisoners while seizing muskets, powder and artillery. Then they got back over the frozen river before the rest of the British army arrived.
The victory fired up the nation, it fired up Congress and cemented Washington as the leader of the colonial army. And then they did it again about a week later. Because they’re overly competitive a-holes.
This is Philly, and it is more than a little likely that it saved our nation. They don’t back down and they frankly don’t respect much people who do. Bring your best. Or stay home.
Places To Visit
You’re never going to learn to love Philadelphia in Minneapolis. You have to go there. So if you’re joining the Vikings on their trip to the city of Brotherly Love this week, here are today’s recommendations: If you really want to learn all about the revolutionary war, check out the Museum of the American Revolution in downtown Philly. It’s interesting enough for adults and fun enough for kids, delivering the very cool history of the Revolutionary War in bite-sized chunks.
When you’re done, walk about five blocks south to Jim’s Steaks on 4th and South. Look for the black and white art deco storefront; you can’t miss it. They’re some of the best cheesesteaks in the city (though everyone has their favorites) and plenty big. But don’t wait until you’re too hungry, because this landmark can often have a line, especially when bars close. (It’s even a better place to visit the next morning, when you’re looking for something to soak up some of that leftover alcohol in your bloodstream.)