Matt Ryan grew up sporting the green and white colors of the
Eagles in suburban Philadelphia. But upon his return to the city this weekend —
this time as a member of a very different bird gang — Ryan's family had to
conceal their Falcons pride.
Ryan's family, many of whom still live near the Philadelphia
area, had their own cheering section at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday as
their boy took on the local side.
The cheering, even of Ryan's three-touchdown performance,
had to be kept to a minimum during the Falcons 30-17 rout of Philadelphia, though,
as the Ryan clan knows all too well how rowdy Eagles fans can get.
Ryan's grandfather, 87-year-old Sam Loughery, admitted
he's been an Eagles fan his entire life, but apparently has some varying
allegiances when Matt comes to town, according to CBS Philly.
"I've been an Eagles' fan and Philadelphia sports fan
my whole life, but when Matt was drafted by the Falcons, they say blood is
thicker than water, and that's what the whole family roots for today,"
Loughery said on Sunday. "I'm still an Eagles fan and will always be an
Eagles' fan, except when they play my grandson, and when the Falcons
That loyalty could have caused the Ryan family some trouble
on Sunday, though. Many family members attended the game wearing Ryan's No. 2
Falcons jersey in support of their kin.
While committed to the core, the Ryans are not a stupid
bunch and knew well enough to veil their red and black Falcons swag under coats and sweaters as to not upset the easily irritable Eagles fans.
So, Ryan's family may have appeared to be just another group
of Philadelphia faithful, at least on the surface. But, just like Phil Collins
says, when it matter most they
showed their "true colors."