Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't Faze Me Bro

Over the past week or so, many sports personalities have made light of how stupid Philadelphia sports fans are. The latest chapter in Philadelphia sports fan infamy involves a 17 year old Phillies fan running on the field and eventually being tazed by a cop with a great shot. The very next night, another fat Philadelphia oaf ran on the field, with pot on him no less, and was arrested. Speaking as a die hard Philadelphia sports fan, you make think that the laundry list of Philadelphia sports fan idiocy may give the collective group a black eye (pun intended), but in reality we really don't give a shit. Its just who we are.

Let's run down the list:
- two Phillies fans run on the field in two days. One is tazed, the other has pot on him.
- a Phillies fan (from New Jersey) intentionally vomits on a little girl and tries to beat up her dad, an off duty cop.
- a Flyers fan jumps into the penalty box and tries to fight Tie Domi
- Eagles fans cheer as Michael Irvin lies motionless on the turf with a broken neck
- Phillies fans throw batteries at J.D. Drew
- Eagles fans, including future governor Ed Rendell supposedly, pelt Cowboys players and coaches with snowballs
- Eagles fans mercilessly pelt these two saps with snowballs
-Eagles fans pelt Santa Claus with snowballs
- Flyers fans pelt St. Louis Blues coach with debris, leading to fight between players and fans in the stands.
- Phillies fans pelt Dick Allen with batteries

That list makes any other city look like a bunch of prim ladies. I often get asked my thoughts on the terrible image of Philadelphia fans, and my only reaction is really to laugh. No Philadelphia fan really thinks too much about these incidents. If they are deeply concerned by them, then they are not truly a fan. This is just par for the course in Philly.

Lets take a look at some of the most revered sports figures in Philadelphia history, then you might understand what I am talking about. In hockey, Bobby Clarke and the Broad Street Bullies (great documentary about them on HBO right now if you've got an hour) are the most beloved Flyers players of all time. They are nothing but a bunch of goons, but they worked hard and earned the city's utmost respect.

What about in baseball? Other than the Phillies right now, I would argue this these guys were one of, if not the most loved teams in Philadelphia sports history. The ring leaders were a fat mulleted first baseman and a dip spitting, drunk driving outfielder. This is what it takes to be a hero in Philly.

The Iggs are popular now, but again I think the team that the city most identified with was the one that was led by Buddy Ryan. He took no prisoners and actually paid guys to injure players on the other team.

In basketball, the player that Philadelphians love most is either a fat guy that loved to run his mouth off, or a criminal who was run out of every other city.

Every player that I just named is a personification of the city of Philadelphia. They are not glamorous, they are not intelligent, they are certainly not classy, but they work their asses off. That is why no Philadelphia fan makes much of all these supposed black eyes for the city. We don't expect everyone to be perfect. We just expect them to work hard. How to really cause an uproar in Philly? Miss a tackle, don't run out a pop fly, let in a soft goal or don't play defense. That is when you start to hear the boo birds in full force. If you work hard though, you can act as retarded as you want. We literally do not care. Let the pundits damn us all they want, that is how it works in Philly as a player and as a fan.

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