Film director: I wanted to explore the pain and passion of Philadelphia fans

Filmmaker Kyle Thrash discussed his documentary, “Maybe Next Year,” which tells the story of the Philadelphia Eagles’ improbable run to a Super Bowl championship through the eyes of their fans

The DA Show
November 20, 2020 - 10:54 am
Eagles fans

USA Today Images


Filmmaker Kyle Thrash dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Friday to discuss his documentary, Maybe Next Year, which tells the story of the Philadelphia Eagles’ improbable run to a Super Bowl championship in the 2017 season.

Only the story is told through the eyes of their fans.

Indeed, Philadelphia fans are among the most passionate, and tortured, fans in sports. Thrash, who grew up in Pennsylvania, wanted to pull back the curtain on that dynamic.

“I was looking to go deep,” he said on The DA Show. “I was looking to kind of explore where that pain comes from, where that passion comes from, why people care so much, why we have such a rabid fan base . . . despite never winning that championship. What’s tough about the Eagles is that it feels like they’re always close. They’re always fighting – even in this division this year where the whole division isn’t great and they’re still fighting. It’s harder when you’re constantly getting close but you just can’t get there. I think that pain runs deep for them.”

While Philly fans are indeed passionate, they also have a bit of a reputation. That reputation isn’t exactly flattering. Even some athletes have criticized them.

Thrash, though, said the perception of Philadelphia fans isn’t necessarily the reality.

“I think they feel like they’re misrepresented, and I feel like people think that they’re uneducated, which I think is false,” he said. “I think the fans actually are very educated – to the point where that’s why they care so much. They know that on paper these teams should win. They know that they have the right pieces but we’re not getting that championship; we’re not getting over that hump. So I think that pain becomes bigger, and I think sometimes when you care a lot, I think sometimes you might take it too far. That passion might get the best of you. 

“And I think the national media likes to kind of make Eagles fans into a caricature,” Thrash continued. “I think what I wanted to show is that there’s a lot of heart there. There’s a lot of passion there. We care about sports in Philadelphia. This is what we have. This is our identity. This is how we prove to people that we’re worth something in this town. I think it is through our sports. It’s where we get our pride. I think sometimes that can get taken a little bit too far, but I think when you look around the country, I think every city can kind of take it too far sometimes.”