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Ryan Howard, Mike Trout show up for Eagles dance party

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Sunday’s Eagles game provided a warm epilogue to the slugger’s career.

Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

When the Phillies were dominating the National League, every night at Citizens Bank was a party; a saucy soiree featuring $12 beers and a sell-out crowd of strangers. But when the Eagles are good, Philadelphia saves up its enthusiasm for eight thunderous regular season raves over a series of months, spacing a year’s worth of screaming and stomping and pre-emptive tattooing into cement-rattling blowouts with the intensity of a comet strike. Everyone is invited, including athletes who’d been gleefully booed by the same audience years before.

But when Ryan Howard appeared on the jumbotron at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday, fans of the 10-1 Eagles weren’t feeling particularly vindictive or petty. They just saw his big smiling face and gave him the applause he deserves while the stadium twinkled off a rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game just to drive the point home.

Since his departure, Howard has lived a quiet existence, going on tour for his children’s book series, Little Rhino, co-authored with his wife Krystle, a former Eagles cheerleader. He was of course in attendance in Clearwater for Roy Halladay’s remembrance service. And as recently as this past August, he was still hitting walk-off dingers, this time for the minor league Albuquerque Isotopes. But people seem to have long forgotten their misplaced anger with Howard, and thankfully, his Eagles game cameo proved that he has entered the portion of his post-Phillies career throughout which he will be greeted with the appreciation and loud clapping that he has earned over the dead bodies of 382 baseballs.

Mike Trout, alternatively, is very much still an active ball player, one about whose future this web site has violently speculated for years. Scurrying about the sidelines and stands, the Angels outfielder and childhood Philadelphia sports fan once again reached a state of euphoria as his Eagles spent the afternoon clobbering the Bears to the tune of a 31-3 victory. Trout has become a staple at The Linc, always in the crowd and never up in a box where he can hide behind a file cabinet—that’s how emboldened this Eagles season has made its fans. Eagles players have handed him footballs, to his utter, childlike delight—all, we can freely assume, as part of a multi-team shadow campaign to bring his dangerous baseball talents back to where they belong, Philadelphia, before the Angels run his career into the ground without allowing it more than three post season appearances.

There was a time when the Phillies and Eagles couldn’t even a hold press conferences without elbowing for a greater share of the attention, and now they’re working together to bring a premier talent to the city. Truly, a new era of Philly sports has begun. The only thing missing was Joel Embiid slam dunking a ten-year contract autographed by all of the Sixers over Trout and then offering it to him.

No wonder everybody was dancing.