Received an e-mail the other day from a new reader of the blog, Dan from the 609. He wanted to weigh in on the recent discussion we've been having here about the stereotype of sports fans from Philadelphia. I'm all about sharing and if anyone sends me a well-written, mature viewpoint on something, I'm all ears. Below are Dan's thoughts on the topic:
I’d like to offer my brief take on this idea and belief that we as Philadelphians are ruthless, cut-throat, and dangerous fans. It’s obvious that the NFL runs the sports world in this country, and the most passionate of fans in every city can be found in front of their TVs or at the game on Sunday’s in the Fall. Back during the Vet’s prominence, yes, there were many a fight in the crowd, particularly in the 700 level, due to excessive alcohol and marijuana consumption. However, the reason for this is simple – RETALIATION. I’ve been to many home Eagles games at the Vet and now at the Linc and have been seated adjacent to various opponents’ fans, including Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins. Sure, they’ll get a “Go back to NY” or “Cowboys Suck” directed at them as they enter their section; however, most normal people laugh it off or ignore the comment, and that’s the end of it. It’s the equally drunk/high morons that respond that usually end up throwing fists. You won’t see an Eagles fan walk down from 3 rows away and shove an opponent’s fan just for the hell of it, and if you think it occurs that way, you’re an idiot.
“Jeff from Philadelphia,” myself, and others have gone on seven Eagles road trips over the past seven years (Charlotte, Cleveland, St. Louis, Washington, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago), and not one of us (usually 6-10 people per trip) have come close to getting in any sort of brawl or confrontation at any visiting stadium. We’ve drank all weekend, tailgated that morning, entered the stadium drunk, and watched our Eagles go 6-1 in those seven games. Yet, zero confrontations. Why? Because none of us go into the stadium looking to drop someone like we’re Floyd Mayweather. We laugh at the jeers directed at us, cheer our team, celebrate another Birds victory, and head out. Its that simple. The most enjoyable parts of each trip are walking out of the visiting stadium after an Eagles win. And as someone who has been on the opposite side of that, seeing Giants fans walk out of the Linc after a victory (see: 2007), that to me is the most painful. These morons who come into Philadelphia with their team to play the Eagles and get into fights during the game have the mindset that they’re entering a stadium looking for trouble. And in Philadelphia, as well as any opposing stadium, with that mindset, they’ll have no problem finding it.
As far as your positioning with Skip Bayless and Steve’s hallucinations about what he’s heard from his father or read, its all baseless. Do you or Steve know that the real, jolly, fat, normal Santa Claus scheduled for that game 40+ years ago never showed up and they plucked an individual from the crowd who weighed about 160 lbs. to play S.C.? Probably not. But that’s not even the point. Who cares if they booed Santa Claus? What purpose does that serve? Santa didn’t rush for 86 yards and 2 TDs in the 1st half. I will never understand why that continues to gain more notoriety than New York baseball fans BOOING $100 MILLION DOLLAR MAN JOHAN SANTANA ON OPENING DAY ’08? Or New York baseball fans BOOING $100 MILLION DOLLAR MAN MARK TEIXEIRA DURING APRIL ’09, when they knew full well that he always begins the season slow? Or how about BOOING A-ROD IN OCTOBER? It's all the same – the Eagles sucked backed then, the Mets suck now, and the Yankees and their #1 payroll weren’t performing TO THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE PASSIONATE FANS WHO PAY THE SALARIES OF THE PLAYERS ON THE FIELD AND SPEND THEIR EARNED MONEY TO WATCH THEIR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAMS PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT AND AN OUTLET FROM THE STRESS OF THEIR LIVES.
Its unfortunate that yourself, Steve, and others do not have typical everyday access to 610 WIP (the real flagship sister-station of WFAN 660) and ESPN 950 AM while in the car or at the office. If you did, you’d understand the passion that this city has for our 4 sports franchises, and how all we want them to do is WIN. See the Phillies parade on Halloween? 2-3 million in attendance, including myself. But since you don’t, you and others rely on the national media to distort your view of Philadelphia... morons with no credibility like Skip Bayless or shy away in the face of adversity when asked to provide a simple, recent example... morons like Tom Jackson who, since he is a former NFL player, feels he has the right to think whatever he wants when he says Eagles fans are ridiculous and have no right to criticize Eagles coach Andy Reid and his play-calling. Tom, are you serious? Just because Joe from the Shipyard makes $40K a year, he can’t voice his opinion on the OBVIOUS, HORRIBLE PLAY-CALLING AND STRATEGY REID IMPLEMENTS? See -- Article by Sal Paolantonio.
Perhaps if Skip, Tom, and others on the national sports outlets did just a few minutes of actual research, or perhaps removed their ass from behind the desk to take in an Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, or Flyers game live, maybe, just maybe, they’ll change their viewpoints. But we all know that won’t happen. They’ll just sit back and rely on the old, repetitive, happenings of years past.
Dan from the 609
PS – If you’re interested in where the area code 609 is located, don’t be like Skip or Tom. Hop on the internet and look it up. It’ll only take you a few minutes, I promise.
Here are the previous entries on this topic, if you need a refresher:
Philadelphia radio interview with Skip Bayless gets heated by Tony Arnoldine
Jeff from Philadelphia disagrees with city's perception by Jeff from Philadelphia
We're not done with the Philadelphia sports fans debate just yet by Steve Cuce