Monday, October 28, 2013
A super Sunday for 'License Plate Guy'
By Mike Mazzeo
"License Plate Guy" shows off his jersey at the Linc on Sunday.
PHILADELPHIA -- Joe Ruback has guts.
On Sunday, Ruback, better known to New York Giants fans as “License Plate Guy,” went into enemy territory at Lincoln Financial Field wearing a customized jersey that displayed an exact count of just how many Super Bowls the hated Philadelphia Eagles have won in their history: zero.
“I had the jersey made months ago, actually prior to training camp, and always said I was going to wear it to Philly and I did,” Ruback wrote in an email to ESPN NewYork.com.
“I love Philly. They have nice, crazy, insane, wild and passionate fans like everywhere else. If you mind your business and you can take some ribbing, you’ll be fine in any stadium.
“I have been to every stadium in the NFL [including London] at least three times and yes, you hear so much about Philly being the worst, but truth be told you find out-of-control fans in every stadium [though Philly is the toughest].”
The customized jersey, which was in Giants blue on the front and Eagles green on the back and featured “Superbowls” where a players’ last name usually appears and the No. “0,” cost Ruback around $250, including overseas shipping.
“My customs are expensive, which [stinks], but hey, it’s one-of-a-kind which I absolutely love,” he wrote. “I bought it because let’s face it: it’s the facts. In my eyes, it’s borderline talking trash, but again it’s the facts.
“I went to an awesome tailgate with some of the best food I’ve ever had. Some of the fans wanted to kill me, some said, ‘Ha. Funny!’ and others said, ‘Get the f--- outta here! Who invited you?'”
Overall, Ruback wrote, his jersey didn’t get the best of reactions.
“Some in the parking lot gave me very nice gestures, while some other guy announced it over his store bought PA system and another kindly threw condiments my way. This, of course, was after they called me Fabio, chick, surfer, a--h--- and Thor,” Ruback, who has long blond hair, wrote. “I liked Thor. I just kept it moving.”
Ruback, an athletic director at the Biondi School in Yonkers, became known as “License Plate Guy” for bringing and displaying Giants license plates from around the country at Giants games over the railing of his seat directly behind their bench.
Ruback said he was fine during the game because of where his seats were. He said leaving the stadium was tougher than walking in.
"You're a marked man. If you win, you're dead meat. If you lose, you're deader meat."
But he plans on doing it again next year, assuming the Eagles don't win it all. And given their 3-5 record, the chances of that happening are extremely remote.