It ain’t easy being a Philly fan these days. I’m a 5 for 5 guy (Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, FC Cheesesteaks) but lately, it’s getting harder and harder to root for all the Philadelphia pro teams.
The Flyers continue to tease but disappoint. The Sixers trot out the albatross that is Samuel Dalembert and expect us to keep paying attention. The Eagles have the most arrogant management group in the area, a maddening head coach, and a quarterback that gags harder the bigger the game.
Meanwhile, the Phillies, fresh off a World Series Championship and looking like a sure bet to meet the Red Sox or Yankees in the Fall Classic, have fans that are killing each other in parking lots.
I used to be very proud to be a Philly fan. We were known as tough-but-passionate, yet always knowledgeable. I liked the fact that opposing fans would be scared to step foot into Veterans stadium for fear of getting harassed (or worse). I found it very amusing when chants of “assssssshole…. assssssshole” mushroomed out of nowhere and you would look around trying to find the fan in opposing team gear. It was harmless fun, something to chuckle at.
The problem is that while the retards with beer muscles were always present, they were a small minority, especially at Phillies games. Unfortunately, it seems the tide is turning. With the popularity of the Phillies skyrocketing over the past year, the number of trash has increased exponentially. It figures they’d be bandwagonners.
The most recent black eye on the fans of the City of Brotherly Love was the beating death of a Phillies fan in a parking lot outside the ballpark. The reason? He spilled beer on a girl that happened to be friends with three MENSA members. He was part of a bachelor party and his assailants were part of a pub crawl. Beer, testosterone, and stupidity are a dangerous mix.
While it certainly does take two to tangle (or in this case, four), police said that three of the pub crawlers attacked David Sale, two of them holding him down while a third pummeled him. Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m a tough guy but three on one is just cowardly.
The three people arrested in the case: Francis Kirchner, (hey, lighten up Francis!), Charles Bowers, and James Grove are now facing murder charges. Just look at these guys. I’d venture that each of them has only 3 brain cells and 1 set of DNA.
Philly fans (and I) would usually argue that an entire fan base shouldn’t be sullied by the actions of a few miscreants, that there are incidents like this in every city. It’s just that for some reason, Philadelphia gets a bad rap.
I’m not buying it anymore. More and more it seems that being a complete dirtbag and drunken idiot is acceptable. The fact that no one was tossed out of the game where a fan shone a laser pointer in the eyes of Cardinals players Julio Lugo and Albert Pujols is a travesty. I realize there’s a big differecnce between a laser pointer and beating someone to death, but when no one bothers to point out someone who is giving the fans of Philadelphia a black eye, how can we continue to blame the media for blowing it out of proportion?
The Phillies’ and Eagles’ management should bear some responsibility. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not a good idea to let someone into the ballpark who is clearly already inebriated to the point where they can hardly stand. Yet, not only are they admitted, they are served more beer.
One of the best sporting events I ever attended was an Eagles game at Monster Stadium in San Francisco. Eagles fans took over the stadium, tailgated, and generally had a good time, high-fiving strangers simply because they had an Eagles jersey on. There’s a lot of camaraderie that comes from being a Philly fan and that was the best display of it.
Maybe the trash at Citizens Bank Park and the Linc is a true sampling of Philly fans. Maybe I should just be happy that the fans I know are true sports fans who love the game and aren’t there just to get drunk and start fights. Sometimes I think about rooting for another team. SF Giants? Mariners? But any good Philadelphian will tell you that it’s in the blood. I’d like to think that decent people can take back the sporting events in Philadelphia, but I’m not sure that this is a battle than can be won.
Well, it could be worse. I could be a Mets fan.