Phillies Fan Hits Back

19 Mar

I know I shouldn’t let this stuff upset me but  I can’t help it.  I’m sick and tired of the stereotype encouraged by articles like the one in GQ Magazine‘s April issue, The Worst Sports Fans in America. In the piece the “author,” Adam Winer, (and I use this term extremely loosely) does a countdown of the “worst fans”and who finishes second and first?  You guessed it, the Phillies and the Eagles at #2 and #1 respectively.

What amazing journalism to uncover little-known stories like the one about Eagles fans booing Santa Claus.  How shocking!  What’s really shocking is that this much talked about incident happened in 1968.

1968!

Hasn’t the statute of limitations run out on this one by now?  But what really irks me is that this “reporter” (and I use the term extremely loosely) rather than taking the time to research his “story” and come up with his own conclusions just relied on the old tried and true and that’s just plain lazy!  GQ should be ashamed.

Now I am not an apologist for bad fan behavior and we have certainly had our share but whenever I’m watching a game and fans in another city are booing or throwing things or running out on the field (yes, Mr. Winer, it does happen) somehow I know that those fans will not be featured the following day on SportsCenter or written about in GQ.  And they never are.

And lest you think this was just  a little puff piece and I’m overreacting think again.  These are “journalist” (yes, I use this term… you can fill in the rest) Mr. Winer’s exact words:

“The truth is this:  All told Philadelphia stadiums house the most monstrous collection of humanity outside of the federal penal system.”

So I have a couple of questions for you, Mr. Winer.  I wonder if in all of the interviews you conducted to justify such a statement, did you happen to speak to a pitcher named Cliff Lee?  Perhaps you’ve heard of him as his was only the most talked about free agent signing in years.  He might have been able to offer some insight into the Philadelphia fan.  Cliff?

“I don’t know what the fans do to create that much more volume and excitement in the stadium but it’s definitely something extra.  They’re passionate.  They understand what’s going on.  They don’t need a teleprompter to tell them to get up and cheer.”

And lest you think these were empty words. Mr. Winer, Cliff Lee passed up 30 million dollars to come to Philadelphia and play in front of these fans, this, how did you put it, “this monstrous collection of humanity.”

Both the Eagles and Phillies are sitting on consecutive game sell-out streaks of 88 and 123 games respectively.  I guess the current fan support of their teams was not a criteria in your judging.  Not quite as sexy as something that happened in 1968, now is it Mr. Winer?

I could go on and on about players who love to play here and fans who do the city proud, fans like Juan Lopez of Burlington, New Jersey, who for 19 years has taken 400 fans from his community to a Phillies game, fans who would not otherwise get the chance to go.

Oh, and by the way, last year Juan’s 12-year-old son Nicholas was handed a ball in the stands by one of the Phils’ coaches.  When an older fan seated nearby commented that he had been coming to games for 30 years and never gotten a ball Nicholas gave his ball to the fan.

“I’m only 12,” explained Nicholas.  “He’s waited 30 years.  I figured I have time to get more.”

Thanks, Nicholas for showing us what a Philadelphia fan is really about.

Are you listening, Mr Winer???

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One Response to “Phillies Fan Hits Back”

  1. Hal Rosenbluth March 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Write on !!!!!!!!

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