It's hard to imagine how hundreds of readers found the time to email responses to my column on the tortured history of Philadelphia Phillies fans during the World Series. Maybe it was that unscheduled off day due to inclement weather.
Now that the Phillies are World Series champions for the first time since 1980 and the second time in their 126-season history, and the majority of the team's followers are ecstatic about the title and were well-behaved throughout the journey, maybe the term "boorish" can cease being linked to Philadelphia fans.
Then again …
For Philly fans, winning is torture (Oct. 27)
Nice article, jerkoff.
Philadelphia fans coined "home field advantage." You may see it as Barbarianism, but we consider it a psychological advantage that has seemed to have all of America scared of us. And we're damn proud of it. So next time you come into a Philadelphia stadium, you'd better hope I don't recognize your face or else you may have (at least) 46 thousand people booing you, AND pelting you with mustard packets, AND pouring beer on you! And that's if you're lucky! (I have a feeling you'll hole yourself up in a bathroom also, probably the women's room.) Nicer people have had worse thing happen for saying less! Reguards, Jack, (lifelong and proud Philly fan)
Milmont Park, Pa.
Reguards, indeed. And off we go, into the conflicted, passionate, ill-mannered, longsuffering, often hilarious world of the Philadelphia Phillies fan.
OK, OK, OK. I can't take it anymore. Anyone not from this city thinks they have to bash this wonderful place I call home. We don't like to boo our players. We do on the other hand LOVE to heckle the crap out of our opponents. As far as the Santa incident, that was over 30 years ago so let it go already. The battery incident and the cheering of a player having his career ended were unnecessary. As far as what happened to the family members this weekend … well … they were probably drunk college kids flexing their little beer muscles trying to be funny. I do not in anyway condone what these morons did but don't throw a beautiful city under the bus because of a few who lack one brain cell … or we will send out Lenny Dykstra to beat your ass and flush your head down the toilet. GO PHILLIES!!!!!!!!!!!
OK, OK, OK. Sean. You were doing so well there. Reasoned and introspective, you were making a strong case that Phillies fans are misunderstood. Then you drag Dykstra into this? You proved my point that "Phillies fans this October are like pit bulls wagging their tails, seemingly rehabilitated until one false move turns them savage."
It's because of people like you that pit bulls have a bad name. Border collies and Chihuahuas are more likely to attack a human than pit bulls.
Mark Iannarella Jr.
And Los Angeles Dodgers fans apparently are more likely to attack than Phillies fans. That was mentioned in numerous emails, as if the horrific, possibly even criminal behavior 3,000 miles away excuses Philadelphia. Here is a sampling of lines about Dodgers fans, all from emails originating from Eastern Pennsylvania. I take no responsibility for their truthfulness.
What do you think of gang members threatening to slit the throats of a few Phillies fans at Dodger Stadium? … It's funny how you never heard how the Dodger fans acted in L.A.???? How they threw beer on women, assaulted police and acting like morons. … You make it sound like Philadelphia sports fans are the only ones whoever misbehave at a sporting event, when Dodger fans were pulling knives on and beating up Phillies fans in L.A. … Investigate the boorish behavior of thug nation at Dodger Stadium during the NLCS and I think you would find a much harsher, more violent group. … I didn't see any reference to the gang-like behavior of the knife wielding thugs at the recent NLCS in L.A. … Did you write about the L.A. fans that threw knives at the Phillies fans in L.A? … What about your ghetto gang bangers in L.A. that threatened every Phillies fan that tried to attend a game. … missed your articles about the physical violence inflicted upon visiting Phillies fans in Los Angeles in the NLCS. It was brutal. I didn't read squat about that … Sorry, I Missed the column where you noted the antics of the L.A. street gang members threatening the fans in Phillies garb. … Where was your story when the Dodger fans were pulling knives on Phils fans and throwing beer on the LAPD?
Saying that Philadelphians are essentially barbarians is unfair. I recommend visiting the city without wearing gear from another city's team. You'll be surprised at how nice people are, and how nice of a city it is. Even though (Jimmy) Rollins made a poor word choice in calling the fans "frontrunners," there was a part of his quote that was accurate: "In Philly, can't be no punk." Philly fans expect you to play hard and not to be afraid. If you can do that as an athlete in Philly, they will love you till the end of time. If not, well, boooooo. …
Boooooo to you, too! And Happy Halloween!
To say that a handful of incidents, mostly harmless ribbing, aimed at those brave enough to wear visiting gear means that we are a bunch of Neanderthals incapable of being in the presence of polite society is flat out crap. I have been to better than a dozen major league stadiums, a handful of NFL stadiums and just about every hockey venue east of the Mississippi and at EVERY SINGLE ONE, fans in opposition gear were harassed harangued and mistreated.
So it's not just the Phillies and the Dodgers. It's everybody. Maybe we can do something positive with all that pent-up emotion.
I realize I could get my throat slit in this country for even bringing this up, but can you imagine the strength of a culture that copied its intensity and rabidity for sports, and pasted it somewhere else where it actually mattered? Can you imagine the countenance of a child molester when he suddenly realized he had a whole country of Raiders fans after him? Can you imagine how quickly this country could lay waste to al-Qaida if we had the balls to apply Philadelphia's in-your-face intensity and pleasure of an opposing player's neck injury to the support of destroying terrorism? I know, I know, I know. I should drop dead.
On second thought, let's stick to sports.
Did you really have to bring up booing Santa Claus in 1968? Gee, we've only heard that about 32,000 times. Philadelphia is no different than any other rabid sports town. We'll boo when necessary, (that Santa was a drunkin' ugly Santa, and deserved more than a boo) and cheer when deserving. Please stop with this old story of Philly fans being the worst type of fans, and think of something new and refreshing. You're a great writer, and can do better.
We booed A ragedy Santa Claus in 1968 … ooohhh those terrible Philly fans … find something new to wright about.
Do you know why we booed Santa Claus? Of course you don't. It was because he was the worst Santa Claus EVER! His outfit wasn't right. … It was barely red! The top was a different color than the bottom and his beard kept falling off.
Nothing rankles the Philadelphia faithful more than a writer referring to the story about the 1968 Eagles game when a skinny 20-year-old named Frank Olivo dressed like Santa Claus was booed for his ineptness by fans frustrated by the team, coach Joe Kuharich and the fact that the bumbling Eagles were just good enough to hand the Buffalo Bills the first draft pick, which everyone knew would be O.J. Simpson. But the Santa Claus story sure elicits some great emails. More to the point are responses from readers who have experienced problems firsthand.
I've been on the receiving end of severe verbal and physical attacks by Philly fans for no reason other than attending a sporting event and cheering for the opposing team. I've had paper cups tossed at me and my family, sandwiches and pizza slices thrown at me, and in one unfortunate incident, been punched in the eye in the parking lot while walking to my car after the event. There is no excuse for ignorance. Your column referenced that the Philly fans have endured much frustration after so many losing seasons. That's ridiculous to try and correlate a semblance of justification for their cave-man antics over fan frustration. They should be arrested and the league should be held responsible for allowing such behavior to go unpunished.
I took my 8-year-old son to Philadelphia to see the World Series. We are neither a Philly or Tampa Bay fan at heart, but our relative was playing for Tampa Bay and we wore Rays clothing to support our relative. The fans were brutal, stepping on us, spilling their drinks, using profanity. We were lost for words. We had to be escorted to use the "family restroom." We tried to get taxis back to our hotel and cabs drove past us. We asked for assistance by the Police working the stadium and basically were brushed off. My relatives were also tormented at the game while they had to endure profanities towards their son and Cracker Jack thrown at their grandchildren! What kind of people are these Philly fans? They crushed my son's first World Series. I understand wanting your team to win but these people have NO CLASS. I will never ever go to Citizen's Ballpark again even if I was given tickets, airfare and hotel free.
This is the common behavior of Philly fans regardless of whether they are at home or visiting another city. Frankly, I think this type of behavior runs common place throughout Philadelphia, not just for sports but for everything they do. The people there are just plain rude, vile and disgusting. What a sad chapter in the history of America. The birthplace of freedom and the greatest country the world has ever known, has become the centerpiece of the worst citizens in our country! Is there any wonder why Lincoln Financial Park, like the old Vet, has judges and a jail in full operation during sporting events! Do they deserve a championship? People that behave like that deserve nothing but disdain! It would be a cold day in hell before I would even consider visiting Philadelphia!
Palm Harbor, Fla.
The Philadelphia fans are so rude that I'm embarrassed to say I live near the city. When people ask "Where is Wayne?", I reply "S.E. PA".
Those letters speak for themselves. As do these, one more from a conflicted fan, another from someone who transcends the ugliness and ought to be a model for fans everywhere. …
Philly has many mannerly, polite fans too. Toughen up, my friend. You sound like a namby pamby child of flower children. Good for the Kessler Brothers. Cheering and booing is what baseball has been about for 130 years. Presidents, Senators, lawyers, doctors, plumbers, grocers, priests and rabbis have all done so. Why don't you take your knitting to the next Phillies' game and wear earplugs.
I may call my mom to vent and chitchat about work and family, but baseball is what brings my dad and me together. On Monday, I raced home in my car at 7:30 p.m. and turned on the radio to the local sports channel. As the announcers discussed the possibility of a Phillies' World Series, tears welled in my eyes. No one was more surprised than I at the emotions stirring up inside of me. They were not just about the Phillies. It was actually about how this championship game reminded me of my deceased grandfather. He loved the Phillies. I remember attending a Fourth of July Phillies game with my Pop-Pop, Mom and Dad, and younger siblings when I was nine. After the game as dusk turned into night, the fireworks began. I looked up past my Pop-Pop's giant silhouette at the flashes of color and lights in the sky. I remember him smiling down at me and holding my hand. A half hour before this Game 5, I missed my grandfather very much. The tears are from the knowledge of how happy this 2008 Phillies team would have made him. That is what all true Phillies fans have in common – love of family and the best baseball team in the United States.
Cashing in on hope(Oct. 23)
The story about the guy with the $100 bet on the Rays was a complete jinx. How could he possibly win with a story like that on the Yahoo! front page?
We've all heard of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. But a Yahoo! jinx?
Fan's 250-1 bet may pay big! Here is how it can pay big now: This idiot should have gone back to Vegas and bet $12,500 or a little less (minus airfare and hotel) on the Phillies. They were the underdogs. This way he cashes the 250-1 winner on the Rays and or his $12,500 bet on the Phillies, a certain $12,500.
Go back to the story. You'll see Dave did hedge his bet somewhat, laying down $3,000 on the Phillies to win. But that didn't please everybody …
If this Dave Marger was a true Rays fan and believed in them, he would have never covered his bet by putting money down on the Phillies.
The column about long-suffering Tampa Bay Rays fan Dave Marger was great – until it was revealed at the very end that he placed a bet in favor of the Phillies winning the World Series. Dave Marger, meet Pete Rose. Like you, Pete also bet against his team. And look where it got him. I hope you lose.
You got your wish and Dave got his $3,000.
How does one go about betting on these games? I would like to try it. If you would just email me back the answer it would be much appreciated. Thanks.
We don't condone wagering on sporting events at Yahoo!, but there's no harm in providing driving directions. I went to www.maps.yahoo.com on your behalf and here's what you do: From Fresno, drive south on CA-99 for 107.7 miles, go east on CA-58 for 126.1 miles, go northeast on I-15 for 159.5 miles, exit Las Vegas Boulevard. Stop anywhere you see flashing neon lights.