Former NJ Gov. Chris Christie facing the camera and looking off to the left, as behind him warmups continue in a football game, with a row of stadium lights shining over his head.
Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie stands on the sidelines watching warm ups before an NFC wild-card NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Arlington, Texas, Jan. 5, 2019.(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Former President Donald Trump may have famously said bad things happen here, but the OG vocal Philly hater has entered the chat: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to announce his candidacy. 

The Garden State governor from 2010 to 2018, Christie is joining a primary field of at least six other Republicans vying for the presidency, including Trump. 

None of the others, however, have stirred up as much ire among Philadelphia sports fans as the former executive of our neighboring state.

Christie, a longtime Dallas Cowboys supporter who’s been open about his sports allegiances, has made it into Philly news for his commentary on the city’s teams — most frequently the Eagles — and the people who cheer for them, some of whom have yelled “fairly unspeakable things” at him, according to Christie. 

He’s also gotten attention for sitting with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at football games — including from then-Councilmember Jim Kenney, who went to Twitter in 2014 to accuse Christie of “Kissing Texas ass for 2016.”

The former governor, who also spent 7 years as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, did run unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president in 2016 and endorsed Trump after dropping out. But in the time since then, he’s become a vocal critic of the former president and has explicitly opposed Trump’s reelection.

If Christie were to win the Republican primary this time around, he’d likely face current President Joe Biden in the general election — making for an interesting matchup between a Cowboys supporter and the husband of one of the most high-profile diehard Eagles fans in the country, Jill Biden. Talk about a rivalry.

Save a Bryce Harper diss in 2019 that got a little coverage, it’s been several years since Christie has stirred up any Philly sports-related controversy. 

But the timeframe from 2014 to 2017 saw a number of Christie comments that got City of Brother Love boosters a little riled up, including former Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Kenney.

What exactly did Christie say then that set Philly sports fans off? Here’s a recap.

‘I’d rather have my teeth drilled’ than listen to the Eagles’ fight song

After taking a ribbing from then-Camden Mayor Dana Redd for being a Cowboys fan and hearing her aide mention the Eagles, Christie responded, “I’d rather have my teeth drilled than listen to that awful song, ‘Fly, Eagles Fly,’” per a Washington Post report.

Eagles fans are ‘the worst in America’

“These Philadelphia fans, they are the worst in America,” the New York Times reported Christie as being heard saying around early 2015, when he attended an Eagles–Cowboys game alongside Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. 

Christie contrasted Eagles fans’ attitudes toward him to a New York Giants game, where he said he “didn’t get booed,” but instead received waves and autograph requests.

The people in Green Bay are ‘great’ — not ‘like going to Philly’

While attending a Cowboys–Packers game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Christie offered yet another comparison between Eagles fans and other football fans.

“The people here are great,” he said. “This isn’t like going to Philly. That’s a different story.”

Eagles fans are ‘awful, angry people’

On WFAN, a New York sports radio station, Christie commented on the “hostility” he says he’s experienced for being a Cowboys fan.

“I understand why people are interested if you are a public figure, as to who you root for,” Christie reportedly said. “They’re interested. But the hostility, I will tell you that I take for being a Cowboys fan — and this is what I say to Giants fans all the time, and Eagles fans. Now Eagles fans I understand it from a little more because the Eagles do suck and they’ve sucked for a long time. And their fans are generally angry, awful people.”

‘The Phillies suck’ and Citizens Bank Park is ‘not safe’ 

Not too long after his “awful, angry people” comment, Christie switched gears from dissing Philly football fans — to instead dissing Philly baseball fans.

“The Phillies suck,” he said on SportsNet New York. “Let’s just start with that,” Christie said. “They’re from Philadelphia. They’re an awful team. They’re an angry, bitter fan base, and it’s not safe for civilized people to go to Citizens Bank Park if you want to root for the other team. ‘Ya gotta believe’ what? Ya gotta believe we’re awful people.”

Asha Prihar is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She has previously written for several daily newspapers across the Midwest, and she covered Pennsylvania state government and politics for The...