The Empire State Building hasn’t drawn this much anger since King Kong furiously scaled the famed skyscraper in 1933.
Not long after the building lit up in green and white in tribute to the Philadelphia Eagles claiming the NFC championship trophy with a win over the San Francisco 49ers, the beloved New York City attraction instantly became a target of wrath for football fans who hold the Eagles in low regard.
Perhaps oblivious of the fury it would receive, the building’s official Twitter account cheerily announced the change.
“Fly @Eagles Fly! We’re going Green and White in honor of the Eagles NFC Championship Victory,” the skyscraper tweeted.
The decision was denounced as treason — the New York Giants and Eagles are bitter rivals — dismayed reasoning that someone must have lost a serious bet and theories that the colors were meant to represent the New York Jets.
“If you need help but can’t tweet, blink your lights twice,” one wag commented.
“King Kong should have destroyed you,” added a less sympathetic soul.
Fly @Eagles Fly! We’re going Green and White in honor of the Eagles NFC Championship Victory. pic.twitter.com/RNiwbCIkt7— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) January 29, 2023
Every New Yorker seeing this pic.twitter.com/AjxyvBxGkx— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) January 30, 2023
While one commenter suggested that the building’s tribute was “merely a diplomatic act to strengthen our alliance with Philly against our mutual foe, Boston,” others weren’t open to the idea.
Politicos, government agencies, the Giants — even other city buildings — were united in opposition to the change with a mix of disbelief and horror. To New Yorkers, it was a betrayal of seemingly epic proportions, especially since the Eagles soundly defeated the Giants in the playoffs last weekend.
Political leaders quickly tried to stiff-arm the controversy, saying they had nothing to do with the colors.
“As the representative for the Empire State Building, and a diehard Giants fan, let me be on the record saying that this is absolutely ridiculous,” tweeted Keith Powers, a member of the New York City Council.
“Please tell me this is because someone who controls the Empire State Building lost a tremendously stupid bet,” wrote former New York representative Lee Zeldin.
Even priest James Martin said fans who are devoted to the Giants and Jets wouldn’t be in a forgiving mood.
“I wouldn’t want to be the New Yorker responsible for this. They love their @Giants here! Yesterday, I walked into my neighborhood gym wearing my @Eagles hat, and the guy behind the desk said, ‘They are going to LOSE tomorrow! LOSE!’ Then he said hello,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, the New York City Sanitation Department wasn’t shy about making its anger heard, blasting the change as “treacherous, traitorous, and unforgivable.”
“Just pretend it’s green and white for #NewYorksStrongest. We take out the trash every day ... and next year, that’ll include the Eagles,” the official account tweeted.
The New York City Department of Buildings also felt obliged to voice its concerns.
“How are we going to explain this to all of the other buildings,” the department quipped on Twitter. “They looked up to you.”
But perhaps it was the Giants — and its legions of fans — who were the most upset and confused by the show of support for the Eagles, their top rival.
“I’m just here for the comments,” the Giants tweeted.
Julian Love, a safety on the team, noted his shock as well.
“What on Earth … Let me close these blinds,” he wrote.
After the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals later in the night, the building changed its color to red in honor of the team’s AFC championship win.
“That hurt us more than it hurt you,” the Empire State Building tweeted.
But by then, the damage was done.
That hurt us more than it hurt you.— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) January 30, 2023
We’re now lit for the @chiefs in honor of their AFC Championship Win pic.twitter.com/t0tExEievk
Good night.— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) January 30, 2023
See more reactions below:
Theory: Maybe they had that color ready for the Jets and were tired of waiting— Brett Edgerton (@EditorEdge) January 29, 2023
January 29, 2023
Did y'all lose a bet— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) January 29, 2023
what is this pic.twitter.com/oDvDn17fI4— FanDuel (@FanDuel) January 29, 2023
January 30, 2023
I mean they’ve done this for New Jersey’s NFL teams…what’s the difference for NJ’s 3rd team?— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) January 29, 2023
Same energy pic.twitter.com/LgAXNakqFS— Pat Benson (@Pat_Benson_Jr) January 29, 2023
January 30, 2023
"Here's an idea... Let's make our own city genuinely angry at us!"— Inside Hoops (@InsideHoops) January 30, 2023
- The Empire State Building marketing team
The face of every NY Giants fan looking at the Empire State Building tonight. pic.twitter.com/66OgdtE3Ru— Joel M. Petlin (@Joelmpetlin) January 30, 2023
Shannon Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.