May 9, 2012 – Thank you for your part in helping Philadelphia sports fans make national headlines once again with the antics that occurred over the weekend series in Washington. In the words of one of your players, a new and intense rivalry is born.
Your marketing group called the weekend the “take back the park” or the “natitude” promotion, but let’s call it what it really was: a ploy to sell more Philly fans tickets to your stadium by taunting us, because although your team is good, and you’re in first place, you’re still not drawing crowds.
I feel I have to defend my team and fellow fans against the against the harsh words of you, Jayson, who wrote: “After walking off the field feeling nauseous knowing my wrist was broke and hearing Philly fans yelling ‘You deserve it,’ and, ‘That’s what you get,’ I am motivated to get back quickly and see to it personally those people never walk down Broad Street in celebration again.”
If a few fans yelled those words to you, Jayson, I am sorry for them. They are idiots, and you can find them everywhere, even outside of Philadelphia. But I don’t believe they were screaming in multitude. Phillies reporter Greg Murphy was in right field at the time and he says there weren’t many fans out there and he didn’t hear anything. So, who do I believe?
Face it, Jayson, you acted unprofessional to fans who cheered for you when you played in Philadelphia, and to your former teammates who walked down Broad Street with you while thousands and thousands cheered you on, and to the Phillies front office, who gave you and your wrist a second chance after the Dodgers released you.
I can’t believe you’d find many fans in Philadelphia who are happy you broke your wrist. But your rampage brought to mind the time you cursed a man out in front of his young son for catching a foul ball that you may have been able to reach. And to think I defended your actions for that.
I won’t defend the actions of Cole Hamels, who admitted he purposely hit your young phenom teammate. I actually don’t have a problem with the hit – it is part of the game and he wasn’t throwing to hurt him – but I do have a problem with how Cole handled it after the game.
But I did get my just desserts when Major League Baseball stepped in and fined Mike Rizzo, your general manager, who told the Washington Post that Hamels’ act was “classless” and “gutless.” He also said Hamels was “fake tough.” Good move on MLB’s part.
I won’t defend the behavior of a few idiotic fans who drank too much and acted like buffoons in your stadium, but for your fans to call all of the Phillies fans cock roaches is a bit dramatic, don’t you think? After reading the comments in the Washington Post and on the Washington Nationals website, I’ve learned that it is not the minority of Philly fans that cause trouble, it’s the majority. Apparently thousands and thousands of fans were drunk and abusive, and had the gall to laugh at a child with down syndrome. Again, I wasn’t there but I’m sure that didn’t happen.
The slams written against us include the tried and true incidents that are always brought to light when talking about Philly fans. We know Philly fans booed Santa Claus and threw snowballs at him. This event, which happened at an Eagles game in 1968, and has been so blown out of proportion. It also happened 44 years ago, so it’s time to let it go.
And we know Philly fans threw batteries at J.D. Drew. Or did they? There were 50,000 fans at the game that day, and two punk teens threw two batteries at J.D. Drew. It’s not as if the entire stadium stoned him with a barrage of batteries, as the urban legend claims. Two kids, two batteries, 50,000 fans. Can you name any city in America that doesn’t have at least two stupid teenagers who would do the same thing? Sadly, every city has its share of losers.
Let’s not forget that Philly fans are so out of control that Veteran’s Stadium had a courtroom and a jail on sight to immediately deal with unlawful behavior. Veteran’s Stadium did have Eagles’ court and a jail for fans that got unruly at football games. Not our proudest moment, but it seemed like an efficient solution to a time-consuming problem. It reduced court backlogs, saved taxpayer’s money and served as a deterrent. Now that the Eagles have made the move to Lincoln Financial Field, the jail and court are out of session.
And, of course, Philly fans are boo birds. Let me just say I defend their right to boo, although I typically don’t participate. Philadelphia is the birthplace of democracy, and its citizens clearly understand their right to express their dissatisfaction.
Add to them last year’s drunken vomit episode, or “the most heinous incident in the history of sports”. There are no words to defend what that awful fan did, but how is it worse than fans who set fire to five police cars in Montreal, riots and knife-fights in Oakland, Calif., arson in West Virginia, injuring state troopers in Maryland, or throwing glass beer bottles at a seven-year old in Wisconsin? None of those fans were from Philadelphia.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Human nature is the same in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and even in Timbuktu.
To paraphrase W.C. Fields, all things considered, I’d rather be in Philly.
A proud member of the most hated fan group in America