Not even real-life bald eagles are getting a pass when it comes to the rivalry between Philadelphia and New England ahead of Super Bowl LII.
The Esplanade Association on Tuesday issued a set of “rule changes” for the historic span of public park along the Charles River, including banning the stoic birds of prey from loitering along the river banks in Boston.
Forbidden “anywhere in the 3.5-mile stretch from the Museum of Science to the Boston University Bridge” is any sports apparel bearing a Philadelphia team. Also banned: cheesesteak sandwiches, Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, cracked copper bells, and anything that is midnight green, according to a press release sent out by the nonprofit.
Actors Will Smith and Sylvester Stallone, who both have ties to Philadelphia, are barred from coming down and strolling along the pedestrian and cyclist paths that make up the Esplanade, as well.
“We realized that appearing in a Super Bowl for only the third time — and first time since losing to the Patriots in 2005 — was disorienting for Philadelphia fans and that clarity on acceptable items to bring in our park should be offered,” Michael Nichols, executive director of the Esplanade Association, said in a statement. “Given the Patriots are appearing in their record-extending 10th Super Bowl, we understand this information may not be needed by most park visitors.”
The rules — which are obviously meant to be a tongue-in-cheek jab at the Patriots’ rivals, and will not actually be enforced — will stay in effect until Feb. 5, when “Duck Boats return to Boston’s streets.”
Then — and only then — will Philadelphia Eagles fans be allowed to proudly display their team colors once more.
News of those “changes” comes after a Bald eagle was spotted perched along the river, near the upper part of the Esplanade, close to Silber Way and Boston University’s campus, by an employee from the association earlier this month.
At the time, Nichols told the Globe that he hoped “many more visitors to the Esplanade in the coming weeks will have the privilege to see this majestic bird.”
But that was before the Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship game, and punched a ticket to take on the Patriots in Minneapolis next month.
Now that tune has changed.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.