A Mascot is any human, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or anything used to represent a group with a common public identity. That is the definition you will find if you Google “what is a mascot?” A very dry description to say the least. Mascots are at the center of every fanbase, giving a sense of pride, loyalty, unity, and belonging.
There are 32 driven teams in the NFL with passionate fans from around the globe. The Eagles are one of 27 teams that still have a mascot to help rally the fans and distract the opposing team during game day. Swoop has been entertaining fans and helping increase Philadelphia’s morale for years now. With so many teams still using a mascot, let’s take a closer look at three reasons that make Swoop the best mascot in the NFL:
Our Mascot’s History
Born in Eagles Forest in Neshaminy State Park, Swoop was a bald eagle with poor eyesight and strength, but a “strong and true,” heart. The bird gained a humanoid appearance and size after a Philadelphia Eagles fan gave him a jersey that increased his strength, and his vision grew to match his heart. Hoping to help others, he became an overseer of the Eagles community.
The All-Pro “center of attention,” is not one to pick a fight with. The 6’3″, 216 lbs. predator feasts on smaller birds such as Cardinals, Falcons, Ravens and Seahawks. Not to mention Swoop’s appetite for an occasional cheesesteak and soft pretzel.
Swoop currently resides in South Philly, in the Eagles Nest high atop Lincoln Financial Field. The best seat in the house during game day.
Swoop is very active and has several special talents. The daredevil, or better yet “dare eagle,” is best known for his crazy stunts during Philadelphia Eagles games. These crazy stunts include zip-lining across Lincoln Financial Field and parachuting into the stadium. Whether you are at Lincoln Financial Field or watching from your television, it is always a treat to see Swoop perform such incredible stunts.
Speaking of television, Swoop is no stranger to the big screen. During the NFL regular season, Swoop regularly appears as an animated character in the weekly “Eagles Kids Club,” television show. Since the show’s debut back in 2005, the animated version of Swoop has been serving as the host of the show. Swoop’s acting career doesn’t stop there.
Swoop made a cameo appearance in the 1994 comedy film “Ace Venture: Pet Detective.” Swoop was trying to protect the Philadelphia Eagles’ water and Gatorade containers from a mischievous albino pigeon. The heroic Swoop saved the day by shooing away the pigeon and making sure the Eagles hydration wouldn’t be compromised.
However, out of nowhere and for no reason at all, Ace Ventura lays a cheap shot on Swoop and tackles him to the ground. Everyone knows that Ace would not have stood a chance in a fair fight. Swoop has been keeping himself in shape just in case Ace plans another cowardly attack.
The Brotherly Love
Even though Swoop is a courageous and powerful Eagle, he does have a soft spot for “The City of Brotherly Love.” Swoop is passionate about helping to serve the Philadelphia community. Two of Swoop’s favorite outreach programs are the Eagles Autism Challenge and the Eagles Charitable Foundation.
The Eagles Autism Challenge is dedicated to raising funds for innovative research and programs to help unlock the mystery of autism. 100 percent of participant-raised funds go directly towards the autism research and care programs. Every year Swoop, as well as players from the Philadelphia Eagles, participate in multiple event categories. The event includes a 5K run, sensory walk, 10-mile bike ride, 30-mile bike ride, and a 50-mile bike ride.
The Eagles Charitable Foundation or better known as the “ECF,” has served more than one million children in the region. The ECF’s efforts continue to include comprehensive vision care by providing free eye exams and glasses to children in the Philadelphia community who need it. Swoop knows first-wing what it feels like to deal with poor eyesight.
Swoop continues to be very active with the ECF, to help children obtain resources for better vision. Just as an Eagles fan did for Swoop so many years ago.
Fly Swoop, Fly
Swoop has been a very important part of the Eagles’ franchise. He is not just a mascot, he is family. No matter what the record shows at the end of each season, you can always count on Swoop to be there encouraging players and fans alike. There is no Philadelphia Eagles without Swoop, and there is no Swoop without the Philadelphia Eagles.
Swoop’s favorite memory is leading the Super Bowl victory parade out on Broad Street in 2018, after defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, securing the Eagles’ first ever Super Bowl victory. That said, this memory might be replaced when Swoop leads another Super Bowl victory parade after the Eagles win Super Bowl LVII.