BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (Valley News Live) -- The sound of booing filled the opening day event Monday in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Not for the New England Patriots, the perennial power.
No the booing was for the underdog. The Philadelphia Eagles.
Vikings fans across Minnesota and North Dakota have turned their allegiance to the Patriots.
"Normally I would be rooting for our conference but I’m rooting for the Patriots," said lifelong Vikings fan Roger Garcia. "I’m just rooting for the Patriots.”
A Minnesota Vikings season ticket holder for ten years, Garcia and his wife said they are disappointed in the Vikings loss but they're more disappointed with the actions of the fans in Philly.
And they aren't alone.
“Yea I think some of the behavior was childish and I don’t think it was necessary," agreed Lisa Stellmaker. "Especially against a 99-year-old woman and a 10-year-old child.”
The abuse inflicted on Vikings fans hasn’t sat well in Minnesota. Even more than a week later.
For North Dakota native Carson Wentz, the scene was hard to watch as well.
"There's obviously plenty of things you see online that you wish didn't take place," Wentz said. "But you also know when you're coming what you're getting yourself in to."
Something the Eagles faithful admit as well.
“Yea it’s a hostile environment going in there. It’s not a total surprise," said Eagles fan Ron Ehely. "It just got out of control.”
A North Dakota native turned Minnesota resident, Ehely has traveled to lots of road games with the Eagles. Taking in the scenes in Philadelphia, New England and Lambeau he argues no one is perfect.
“It’s not an excuse for it but I think the Eagles are working on it," Ehely said. "I think this event will make them work on that but I don’t think it’s unique to the Eagles.”
“In the end sports should be one thing that brings us together and to treat people like that is a bad thing," added Garcia. "I mean this country is in enough turmoil as it is as a whole. We should just all come together and enjoy life.”
While the two sides disagree on who to cheer for, these folks agree it isn’t the players job to get involved; especially not Carson Wentz.
“Absolutely not," said Ehely. "It’s not for him to police the fans. I don’t think so at all.”
Still, Wentz offered advice.
"You just have to be smart. At the end of the day. That's who they are as fans," Wentz said. "Obviously sometimes they get carried away. And those are things you want to avoid but that's the city, that's the culture, that's the passion they have for the Eagles."
And it's that very passion and culture that makes Philadelphia such a great place to be as a player.
"The environment is unreal," Wentz sais Monday. "Playing in that Linc. Hearing those fans roaring. Especially when we're rolling like we have been the last couple weeks. There's not much like it."