No, not for yipping like little girls whenever Tim Thomas looked at you funny. (After all, nobody ever wants to see a Boston team win a championship.) Thank you for proving that even the best cities have a boatload of crappy ignorant fans.
See, in Philly, we are saddled with the stereotype that Philly fans are disgusting, rude, violent and insane sub-humans who would throw their mothers over the upper-level railing if she was wearing a Cowboys jersey. (She deserved it.) Clearly this stereotype is as inaccurate as ‘Canadians are scared of the dark’ or ‘Brazilians always use too much postage’ or ‘women can cook’. And yet, it endures.
Yes, there is no doubt that a certain, possibly small, percentage of Philly fans are sub-human. But based on media reports, you’d think the whole area is lousy* with them. The beauty of Canucks fans acting like English soccer hooligans is that it takes the heat off us for a while. I know the perception about Philly fans is never going to change — especially when the knuckle draggers among us like to bask in the glory of their disrepute — but at least we can point to examples of “it’s not just us!”
(*I find it very soothing sometimes to use phrases like I live in the dorms of Pencey Prep.)
If a world-class city like Vancouver, and I do love Vancouver, can be filled with so many idiots and actually have the worst sports related riot in the past 20 years, then clearly, Philly isn’t that bad.
I know what you’re thinking: You guys threw up on a little girl. Well, yes, but it was one fat piece of garbage and every stadium in the world has at least six fat pieces of garbage at any point in time. So while every news outlet ran with the story, few bothered to report that the other fans around him actually punched him in retaliation because the girl’s father was an off-duty cop and could not beat the crap out of him like most fathers would.
But, that is the burden we bear. The Average Joe will meet a Canucks fan and say “sorry about the Stanley Cup”. The Average Joe meets a Philly fan and say “I heard you threw up on someone/batteries at Santa Claus.”
So without further ado, here’s my list of rowdy fan incidents that have happened just since the vomiting incident. The moron who decided to use projectile vomit as a weapon (after all you can’t dust for vomit) is in good company.
9/2/2010 Fight at the U.S. Open – Seriously. A degenerate gambler who put money on the match got into an argument with another spectator after the fan complained about his vulgar language. He told her “You got a problem? Go ahead and hit me,” so she did. There was so much commotion the players stopped their match to watch.
10/18/2010 Crazy fan tries to get A-Rod – During Game 3 of the 2010 ALCS, a fan ran onto the field to confront Alex Rodriguez. Security caught him in time and he was taken to jail where police found a picture of A-Rod with a drawing of a gun pointed at his head and the words “You gotta go, buddy” written next to it.
2/17/2011 Man poisons two old trees – Sure they were just trees but those trees did more for the world than Harvey Updyke Jr., who never went to Alabama, yet was a die-hard fan who named his son Bear Bryant and his daughter Crimson Tyde. What? Did Tyme Of The Month Updyke not roll off the tongue? Was that last line juvenile and tasteless? Of course. But so is high school. This poor girl.
3/9/2011 Scottish soccer manager punched – A 26-year-old ran onto the field (I’m American dammit and we call it a field) and landed a glancing blow on Celtic manager Neil Lennon during a match. This incident followed two package bombs and a bullet that were previously mailed to Lennon by other fans.
3/31/2011 Two Dodgers fans put Giants fan in a coma – In a random act of violence against someone wearing Giants’ colors, two Dodgers fans assaulted a 41-year-old father of two outside of the stadium and fled. The victim suffered brain damage and is now eligible to root for the Raiders.
4/21/2011 Raiders fan commits crime against humanity – A 42 year old meth head was arrested by Lodi police officers responding to a disturbance call. According to police, Shawn Batie “was wearing an Oakland Raiders jacket, a g-string and a hair scrunchie around his genitals. He was also wearing socks.” Police also said that while in jail, Batie smeared his feces all over the walls. He probably thought he was at the Coliseum, where such behavior is acceptable and even encouraged.
4/25/2011 Fan punches goalie – After one of the home team’s goals, a fan ran onto the field and punched the opposing goalie in the face while other fans taunt him. Surprisingly, the goalie does not retaliate and let the police sort it out afterward.
6/1/2011 Melville vs Joyce – I know this isn’t sports related but it was just too good a story to pass up. Two Moby Dick fans were arrested after beating and kicking a third man for daring to state that James Joyce’s prose was better than Melville’s. The two Melville fans also called the Joyce fan a series of gay and racial slurs. Fantastic.
And this folks, are just some of the incidents in the past year or so. If I cataloged all of the arrests for drunken behavior at stadiums or soccer fans and flares, this column could be another 2,000 lines.
See, it’s not just Philly fans, every team, every city, and even every great author has crappy fans. Thanks again, Vancouver.