W.C. Fields once said, “I once spent a year in Philadelphia…I think it was on a Sunday.” Ah yes, the majesty that is Philadelphia, the festering dung heap of Pennsylvania. A city so appealing it makes nearby Camden, New Jersey look like Shangri La. Words do not begin to convey the loathing the rest of sporting America has for “The City of Brotherly Love.” Go on, boo your Phillies during Game 3 of a 162 game season...morons!
The nation’s sixth largest city harbors some of the most futile franchises in sports history. Of the 23 worst records in MLB history, nine were played in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia 76ers still own the worst season in NBA history. The Philadelphia Phillies are still the losingest franchise in the history of North American sports and perpetrators of two of the most infamous late season collapses in MLB history.
But not everything in Philly is all bad. The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the best franchises in the NFL despite not having won a championship since 1960. The Philadelphia Flyers have the second best team win percentage in NHL but haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975.
Yes, one can make a colorable argument Philadelphia is a retched atmosphere for sports. In its history Philly has sixteen professional sports championships from the big four North American sports leagues, last in 1983. But this is the same city that booed Donovan McNabb on draft day…on national television; the same city that pelted Santa Clause with snow balls…on national TV; the same city that saw Connie Mack sell off two pennant winning teams and broke the hearts of thousands…in the national spotlight; the same city that has cheered when players on opposing teams get injured…to national derision; the same city whose Phillies refused to sign black players for a full decade after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier…to nationwide contempt.
Philadelphia was awarded a MLS franchise, to begin play in 2010. Rumor has it the franchise moniker will be “You suck!”
Now there’s no arguing Philly sports fans are deeply passionate and rabid about their rooting interests. However, this is tempered by the outride rudeness they exhibit literally on a daily basis and their arrogant meanness that belies their self professed encyclopedic knowledge of their respective favored sons’ history. Quite frankly their malignancy smears what otherwise would be a mass of fans who would challenge the supremacy of any such conglomerate in the country. They are boisterous, proud, and knowledgeable. They are also conceited, belligerent, and overtly hostile towards their own favored sons, a hostility that borders on stupidity.
There are fan bases who are exponentially more apathetic; Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Las Angeles, any city in Arizona, and Miami come to mind. Some are more vicious; Oakland, Chicago, and New York. Some are more arrogant; New York, Boston, and Washington. Some are more ignorant; Atlanta, Detroit, and Houston. But none melds all that is negative about sports fans like Philadelphia, a nearly perfect symmetry of arrogance, hostility, and viciousness, minus the apathy.
Gone are the days when the argument could be made that a few bad apples are spoiling the lot. Not when you Philadelphia fans exhibit such infamously bad conduct with such stunning regularity.
Now before you burry me in a deluge of Philadelphia wisdom let me stir the pot further. There is nothing endearing about a Philly sports fan, except to say that eventually they’ll leave the arena. You’re not quaint, cute, eccentric, quirky, or any other innocuous adjective. You’re simply intolerable. To call upon a gardening simile; you’re all a festering bin of compost with dull, blighted weeds growing from the center.
I now retire to the comforts of my living room and await the salvo of Philly witticism that assuredly will cement your status.