Every time we step in front of the mirror, individually or as a representation of collective Philly fandom, and proclaim our awareness and keen insight into the world of sports, it stares back at us with a confident, knowing look that states, in Kramer-like certainty, “You got that right, Mojambo.”
Umm, actually, we don’t.
For all the hoopla and hysteria and outrage over what transpired in Monday night’s reign of error with disgruntled and dissatisfied fans throwing bracelets onto the ice at the Wells Fargo Center late in Game 3 of the Flyers’ first-round playoff series with the Washington Capitals, the cold, harsh reality of the deal is, this is exactly who we are.
We are not better than this.
We have not been immune to committing acts such as this.
We have not set a new standard of “low” with this most recent display of piss-poor sportsmanship.
So, please, PLEASE, stop the insanity of ignoring who we are while simultaneously spewing the nonsensical “we’re really good, it’s just the world is against us” BS that bases its legitimacy solely on outsiders calling us out on what we deem as dated material.
Doing the ol’ misdirection with “oh, yeah, well, look at what they did” rants isn’t exactly healthy, either.
Just stop the madness and own it. Recognize who you are, what you do, and if you feel that a change needs to be made, take the measures required to do so.
The irony of this latest example of Philly fandom is that it drew such critical disdain for ruining a night that the team, and the city, honored the iconic Ed Snider, the longtime Flyers owner and chairman who brought NHL play to Philly for good back in 1967, exactly one week after his death.
That the actions of a proverbial few – it’s always just those damn few – would forever be a black eye to the franchise, Philly and the greatest sports mover-and-shaker ever in town.
Really? Seems to me that Snider, wherever he may be in the afterlife, would be looking on, nodding in approval at his fan base showing their disapproval at an official’s call and that their Flyers were getting smoked by a vastly superior squad.
Heck, the fans’ bully tactics were so Snider-like in being emotionally charged and mentally challenged you’d have thought the Spirit of Ed had egged them on from the grave.
Not for nothing, but with how things were going and what happened in regards to them reeked of an Ode to Ed if anything. Even PA announcer Lou Nolan’s anti-bracelet-throwing comments weren’t a condemnation of the fans’ actions, but, rather, that they were costing the Flyers a penalty.
How perfectly Philly. How exquisitely “Snider.”
Screw the screw-up. It’s the fact you were caught doing the screw-up that was the real problem.
You have to wonder if the only “real” issues with Flyers fans beating a New York Rangers fan to a pulp less than a half-decade ago at Geno’s Steaks in South Philly were that they did so while being videotaped and that they didn’t realize he was an off-duty cop and decorated Iraq War veteran.
Good thing fellow Orange & Black-supporting nitwits only sent a 17-year-old kid to the hospital a year later for having the audacity to wear a Devils jersey to the Wells Fargo Center, and that another “core” group only verbally assaulted another Devils jersey-wearing fan two months ago on a road trip. To Toronto. For a Flyers-Maple Leafs game.
Frankly, don’t have any pious, “now, now, you must do this” speech for the unwashed among us, who comprise a large part of us in Philly fandom. They do what they do, and they never learn.
The bigger problem is those who deny this stuff happens, or get up on their high horse to announce how this is some uncommon, never-seen-before practice. That it doesn’t represent Philly and its fans at all.
Actually, it does … and until you admit it and own it, Philly, nothing is going to change.
AND ANOTHER THING ...
Can we give it a rest on the concept of the Phillies and Mets as being a great rivalry, how the two have some inherent bitterness due to proximity to one another that, combined with heated competition, has cultivated some sort of Major League Baseball backyard brawl?
Talk about lack of awareness and insight.
Aside from Philly’s insecurity issues with big brother New York City, there is nothing to this.
For starters, you kinda need to be good for a long time, and good together at the same time, for any great rivalry to exist. The Phillies and Mets are staring at an oh-2 hole on that.
In the 54 years the two have been facing one another, only five seasons have included both being good – 86 wins (10 games over .500) or better – at the same time: 1976, 1986, 2006, 2007 and 2008. If you wanna cling onto the latter two seasons listed there as evidence of some great rivalry, with only one game separating the two in ’07 and three in ’08, that’s fine.
You’re just looking through a peephole is all. Even those other “competitive” seasons yielded runaway NL East Division titles that saw 15-, 22- and 12-game differentials between the two.
Since the Mets were born in 1962, they’ve only qualified for the postseason eight times. The Phillies have done so 12 times over the same time frame. Plus, even in today’s expanded playoff system, they’ve never met once the regular season ended.
The Phillies have had far greater rivalries with the Pirates, Reds, Cardinals, Dodgers, Braves and Nationals, especially when they were the Montreal Expos, since the Mets have been in existence. Granted, realignment has changed a few things, but the Phillies still can claim playoff history with the latter five noted there in the past five decades and change. Not so with the Mets.
Would a real rivalry with the Mets be great? Sure. But verbally pounding it home as one the last couple decades, while reality be damned, has grown beyond tiresome. It’s annoying … and, to be blunt, incorrect.