Having been born and raised in (or thereabouts) the city of “brotherly love” I’ve come to appreciate and embrace the rough and tough reputation that comes with being a fan of Philly sports teams. I’ve gone to bat for and defended myself and other Philly fans—on this blog—from the criticism we take.
Even before the Winter Classic on Monday, I had to clear the air about with some people watching the game that thought the chant coming from the crowd during the Canadian National Anthem. On TV, if you were vaguely paying attention it could have definitely sounded like a very loud “Boooooo,” and of course, with all of the Philly-hating friends I have on Facebook, my newsfeed blew up with people talking shit on Philly fans for being assholes and disrespectful.
Anyone that was actually paying attention, though, would have seen the giant image of Claude Giroux that was on the big board (a Canadian) and put two-and-two together and realize it was a Gi”ROOOOOOOOUX” chant.
This explanation gets tossed out though, because Philly fans are so disrespectful, and classless; not true at all, but getting harder to disprove.
I will always defend Philly and our fans, but in recent years it is becoming more and more difficult to do so. Case-in-point: The most recent act by a Flyers fan after the Winter Classic that was caught on video.
One word, the only one really, that comes to mind after watching that for the first time was despicable. I’d never want to associate myself with the prick in the Giroux jersey, or any of the other “Flyers” fans there that got themselves off by beating the piss out of some Rangers fans.
Getting into verbal spats with visiting fans in the stadium, talking some good trash about another team (especially a rival) is one thing. It’s happening in a more controlled environment, and typically is just in the spirit of the competition.
Recently—not just in Philly—some terrible random acts of violence between opposing fans has taken place outside arenas, stadiums, or ballparks. Most notable is the incident on MLB’s opening day 2011 with San Francisco Giants fan Brian Stow, who was brutally beaten in front of his son after a Giants-Dodgers game. Stow is still working on making a somewhat full recovery.
I’m by no means trying to bring other cities or fans into this, and make light the fight that occurred outside of Geno’s Steaks. I’m trying to bring into focus the trend that is happening around the world. I’m also trying to show that these things don’t only happen in Philly.
Call it passion if you want. Few know what actually caused these fights and incidents to happen, but the outcomes are all shameful, appalling, and in no way justifiable.
So while I will continue to defend, it is becoming more difficult to do so when things like this happen. To all of the naysayers out there, though, know that these kinds of happenings really are few and far between. When they do happen, and when they happen in Philly, they get extra attention and everyone likes to point it out.
I love you, Philly, but please stop being douchebags, and make it easier for me to prove people wrong about the lack of respect.