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So now that the Yankees and the Phillies are both up 3-1 in their respective League Championship series, the buzz about these two teams meeting in the Fall Classic is really starting to heat up. And so is the deliberate ignorance of the media types.
Mike Greenberg, of the Mike & Mike in the Morning 'sports' talk radio show, was prattling on about the potential for violence, arrests, etc. should the Yankee fans and the Phillies fans be in the same stadium at the same time. Nothing like reporting the news as opposed to generating it.
Why not pull out your long-dormant journalistic chops and wait until there's an incident before starting this conversation? Then Mike Golic chimes in with speculation about Philly fans who would attend both the Eagles/Giants game and World Series game 4, both scheduled for November 1st.
The theory goes that they'll tailgate, go to the Eagles game, come back to the parking lot, change jerseys, tailgate, and then go to the Phillies game as boorish drunks ready to fight with Yankee fans, cause mayhem and headaches for the cops and create lasting images for Fox to show endlessly for the duration of their - sure to be spectacularly captivating - World Series coverage.
All 60,000 fans. I think it's safe to say that Phillies fans and Eagles fans are a different sort of person. There is some mixing of the two, but, by and large, the fans that attend Phils games are not the same as the ones that attend Eagles games. I'm guessing that there will be a lot more peace in Philly on November 1st than the national media would like.
LA Times Recycles
Last year, TJ Simers of the LA Times made some stupid comments about Philadelphia and it's fine fan base. Before I get into his journalistically challenged 'writings' of 2009 regarding these same people, I'd like to mention his humorous foray into MannyWorld.
From the October 19th LA Times:
"The crowd starts chanting, "You took steroids," and just to prove to everyone he's no longer on the juice, Manny Ramirez whiffs.
Later I ask Manny, "Where did they get this crazy idea you took steroids?" "Next," he says, whiffing again."
Now that's funny. I almost believed that Simers might be able to avoid ticking me off.
Then, this gem from the October 20th LA Times:
"As you know, Fox will be broadcasting the World Series and it likes to put the camera on the face of every single fan sitting in the stands, these fans as ugly as any in the country.
Nowhere in America are people more angry than those living here."
And "...the only bright spot if they draw the Yankees now, getting a look in the mirror at fans who might remind them of themselves."
And so it goes. I guess the LA Times doesn't want to let nuisances like facts or objectivity get in the way of a potentially entertaining story.
The Enemy Within
Sadly, the Philadelphia media also got into the act. This exceprt is from the October 20th Philadelphia Daily News:
"It's all fun and games until someone starts a fire. Then trash cans get tossed, windows get shattered and a city's reputation gets sullied once again. At least, that's how it played out last October when some fans turned the Broad Street celebration of the Phillies' World Series victory into an ugly, unruly mess."
Very disappointing to see this in a paper where they should know better. Where the writer (David Gambacorta) should be keenly aware of the twisted national perception of Phillies fans. A few isolated incidents does not a fan base damn. And these paragraphs also happily leave out the fact that this sort of fan activity is not unique to Philadelphia. It just seems that way, as some media outlets just seem to love to focus on these isolated incidents (in Philly), rather than doing some work and getting a new and, perhaps different (and more representative) story.
Reluctantly, Back to TJ For the Close
Believe me, TJ, I get it. If my team sucked and choked as badly as the Dodgers have these past two years, I'd be bitter too. We Phillies fans have a lot of experience with teams that suck. How do you think we got so "ugly" ?
We may be ugly, but we're more than likely going to the World Series. Again. Past the wreckage of a Dodger team that chose to believe it was better than it was. A team that chose - like the national media - to disrespect the Phillies.
Keep on disrespecting the Phillies and their fans. We kinda like it. It makes looking at that 2008 World Series trophy all the more enjoyable.