Understanding Philly Fans

By: Chris Schaefer

"Classy" Pat Burrell

OK, I’m officially sick of it.  This week I read an “article” by Ken Garcia* of the San Francisco Examiner, which bashed us Philly fans once again.  Is it me or is this just a recycled article written every year by lazy sports writers in all of our opponents’ cities?  It seems like every other sports town in the country is continually keeping score every time there’s an incident relating to Philly fans getting out of control.  The snowballed Santa incident at the Eagles game in 1968 is constantly brought up.  The newest fuel to their fire is a fan being tasered when he ran on the field during a Phillies game.

They mention players like Scott Rolen, Donovan McNabb, Allen Iverson and most recently Pat Burrell as classy players that got a bad wrap in Philly, saying they’re booed unjustly when returning to Philly wearing different jerseys.   I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks this, but I would never mention Pat Burrell and “class” in the same sentence.  He was a great Phillie who had an amazing bat who got a standing ovation last week when returning to Philly wearing a San Francisco uniform.  But calling Pat Burrell classy?  Anyone who’s ever run into Pat at a bar in Center City knows what I’m referring to.  Being a Philly fan I’ve NEVER held anything one of our players did in their personal lives against them.  I think true Philly fans agree.  We weren’t mad at Iverson for throwing his wife out nude in the cold, just as we weren’t mad when Lenny Dykstra and “Dutch” Dalton wrapped a Benz around a tree boozed up after John Kruk’s bachelor party.

The point is this:  Philly fans are understanding.  We understand that our players are real people.  We understand people mess up and we accept it.  What we don’t accept is the players that don’t give 110% every game and we let them know it.  Is there something wrong with that?

It’s no coincidence that the same players we supposedly boo wind up returning to Philly to finish out their careers.  It’s the Simon Gagne’s that almost cry because they’re so touched when we show our love upon their returns wearing a different jersey that really shows you how special our fans are.  It’s the Donovan McNabbs, the Brian Dawkins, and the Rod Brindamours of the sports world that we adore and cheer for even after their Philadelphia tenures that will tell you Philadelphia is the greatest sports town in the world.   It’s about time we get the respect that we deserve.

I’ve had enough of hack writers trashing our sports fans every chance they get.  It’s amateur writers like the San Francisco Examiner’s Ken Garcia that write the same recycled article each year talking about our trashy history.

I’m a Philly fan.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Being born and growing up in Philly or around Philly is a blessing to any sports fan.  We’ve had our ups and downs.  We’ve seen some miserable teams and some amazing teams.  We’ve won it all and have finished dead last.  We’ve always had and always will stick by our teams.  Together we are Philly fans.

*Here is a link to Ken Garcia’s article entitled: “Phillies fans take the low road in city of sports highs”:


This article is also published here: Bleacher Report


About phillysportsgod

I'm a Philly sports fan who was born in the city of brotherly love.
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6 Responses to Understanding Philly Fans

  1. Skullneck says:

    Finally someone laying out the truth for all to see. I am so tired of the stupid recycled info from sports writers. It just shows how lazy they are taking elements out of context and not noting most of these incidents happened decades ago! What about the Detroit father and son speed freaks who beat up an ump a few years ago? How about people being jumped and killed in the parking lot of AT&T park in SF a few years ago? No reputations coming from those cities.

    Actually I like the stigma we philly fans have because we are dedicated through thick and thin with ALL of our teams. No one can take that away from any of us and I wear it proudly.

    Again I appreciate this article Chris and keep it up. About time someone set the record straight and called out these hack sport writers.

    • Good point about the incidents in other cities that everyone seems to overlook. Once someone or something has a reputation (justified or not) everyone looks for history to repeat itself. It’s an easy story and these lazy hacks think they’re writing something new every time it’s penned.

  2. samecity says:

    that whole booing Santa Claus thing?! come on! that was awesome! I hate Santa Claus- that prick!

  3. saf92 says:

    “What we don’t accept is the players that don’t give 110% ever game and we let them know it.” Thank you. I tried explaining that to my friends, fellow Phillies fans the other night when they didn’t understand why I got so frustrated after their loss. If you don’t play like you want it, then I’m not a happy fan. Play your hardest and give 1000% and I’ll say it was an admirable effort and I am satisfied with how they played (somewhat- a loss is still a loss and in postseason that’s everything). I responded to Ken Garcia’s article not too long ago, saying that as a writer, he should be applauding his team, not bashing the opposing team’s fans. I’m a girl and survived middle school and high school so I know what girls are like and how they act. They act just like he did. Is he trying to be a teenage girl?

    Anyway, I really liked your response to the article. Go Phils! 🙂

    • thanks! It’s all about effort. We don’t ask for much as Philly fans, just try for us and we’re happy. It’s a town of hard working people that love their sports. Ken should’ve wrote an article bashing Giants “fans” not us!

  4. bing says:

    great article

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