I was eight years old and going to my first Mets and Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park. I went with my brother (who is a fellow Mets fan) and my Phillies fan uncle for a day of tailgating and baseball. My brother and I were thrilled being at the game and were decked head to toe in Mets gear. Big mistake.
The third inning rolls around and I have to go to the bathroom, as an eight-year-old with a tiny bladder usually does. As I entered the restroom I walk by a middle-aged Phillies fan who saw my David Wright jersey and berated me with curses and insults. Later that night, we returned to the car to make the trip home and the grill my uncle had left out to cool off had been stolen, most likely by some Philly scumbag who saw the New Jersey license plate. Moral of the story? Philadelphia as a sports city does not represent the “Brotherly Love” nickname they self-proclaim, rather it is filled with nasty, bitter people who know no other way to deal with their teams’ persistent failures than to be disgusting human beings.
No matter who is playing, the position their team is in, if there is a Philly fan in the room during a sporting event you can pretty much guarantee they’ll be chirping. Just the other day, my family and I are watching Game 3 of the Celtics and Cavs and the very same uncle who took us to the baseball game years ago is yaking about how both the game (which he ended up being right about) and the series were over. That got me thinking a little bit… the Celtics are an organization of the highest degree in the NBA with 17 championships to their name, what does Philadelphia have to boast?
Let’s start with the easiest to poke holes in, the Philadelphia 76ers. An organization that has not won a championship since 1983 and are currently “trusting the process” that has taken about seven years and counting. A team that dropped confetti on their crowd after hitting a two point shot in Game 3 of a second round game against the Boston Celtics, only to find out that the shot was not a three and they would be headed to overtime, where they eventually lost and completing the most Philadelphia sequence of events of all-time. No more time will be spent on this joke of an organization. Once they realize that confetti is for championships, and not a single victory in a second round game, then and only then will they be revisited. And with a point guard who can’t shoot and a team that has the most turnovers in the league by a long shot… it may be awhile.
Next up is the Phillies. The only team in baseball history who could turn an absolute perceived “robbery” of a trade into an absolute dud. Three years ago the Phils traded Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers in exchange for six players, three of which were the Rangers’ premier prospects. To provide a quick update here is how each of those three prospects are doing at the major league level: outfielder Nick Williams is hitting .220 thus far this year, catcher Jorge Alfaro may have a good glove but is only hitting .255, and pitcher Jake Thompson (once considered a starter) owns a 7.27 ERA this year and a career 5.05 ERA in his three years with the Phillies. A team that currently is playing over their head and have not been relevant since 2008, a common phrase I hear is “we’re coming, just wait.” Wait for what? This is a Phillies team that is young and has some talent to it, but have consistently disappointed. Their new manager, Gabe Kapler, went to his bullpen EIGHTEEN times in the team’s first three games of the season and has not been the great addition someone like Alex Cora has been to the Red Sox. Being excited over floating a few games over .500 is what Philadelphia has always lived on, so the excitement around these Phils is high, but the disappointment won’t be any different than what they’ve experienced time and time again.
Finally, we get to the worst of them all… the Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, they just won the Super Bowl and Eagles fans will never let you forget it (nor should they). I mean they’ve waited a lifetime for a sniff of success after getting to five NFC Championship games under Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb and not once winning it all. That had to hurt. So, good for them, they can finally join the club of teams who have won something in the span of their team’s existence! In fact, I even reached out to that very same uncle to congratulate him and told him I was glad he could experience his team win a championship. His response? “I hope you don’t.”
You see, that’s the thing about Philly fans. You might have been reading this thinking: “Yeah, their teams suck I get it, but how does that make them the worst sports city in America? Plenty of cities have multiple sucky teams!” True, but it is the way in which the fans in this city carry themselves that prove this to be fact. Santa Claus coming to Lincoln Financial and getting pelted with snowballs is no surprise and honestly a poor decision on the part of Saint Nick that day. There is a reason the Eagles have a prison in their stadium, it’s for their disgusting fans. Phillies fans harassing an eight-year-old kid in a Mets jersey, no other city does it. Even greasing the polls in the city to prevent fans from climbing them after the Eagles won the Super Bowl is embarrassing. Not only that, but two people got stabbed at their celebration parade! Philly, take a lesson from cities like Houston and Seattle (both cities that do not experience much success) who win gracefully and not like neanderthals. Even when they win, they can’t do it right. But that just might be from the lack of experience in that department.
So Philly fans, as you watch the Cavs and Celtics and your head hits the pillow tonight, think about where your teams are in relation to everyone else. You’ve got catching up to do, and in that time span do everyone a favor and shut the hell up.