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Some Philly fans bring class to the NLCS

Oct 18, 2010, 8:53 AM EDT

Every time the subject of Philly fan behavior comes up, someone goes and mentions that booing Santa Claus thing. And to be honest I’m with the Philly folks in thinking that to be stupid and unfair. I mean, it was over 40 years ago and at some point you gotta let go, ya know?

But their legitimate indignation at being tarred with the Santa Claus thing has led to a curious phenomenon: every time some fan does something stupid there, Philly fans get upset when anyone points it out, even if it happened yesterday. “Yeah, sure, go ahead and say that Philly fans are obnoxious. Feel free to stereotype us. How original,” they huff, rolling their eyes. We saw this when the guy puked on that girl earlier this year. We saw it when the guy got tased. We saw it the very next night when the copycat guy jumped on the field. Point out some dumb Philly fan behavior and other Philly fans immediately play the “we’re being persecuted” card.

But you know what? Even if they don’t deserve the reputation for being awful that so many have applied to them, there is a certain brand of Philly fan that is obnoxious. Not all, of course, and not even a large number. But a subset that is unique to Philly in their poor taste and boorishness. And hey, here are some of them now!

I don’t object to taunting the occasional player, but that stuff isn’t funny or clever. Or even warranted. I get going after Scott Rolen or someone with a history, but Burrell? Sure, he had his ups and downs in Philly, but he was a big part of the 2008 championship. And he wanted to stay in Philly after that season, but the team never seriously negotiated. And Lincecum? How do you have any ill feelings for that guy? “Fix your teeth?” Really?

That stuff is just totally bush league. And I would hope that rather than spending all of their energy getting all defensive at once again having some of their own being called out for poor behavior, right-thinking Philly fans acknowledge that those dudes with the signs were pathetic.

UPDATE: Even more class!

  1. Cyn - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    This from the fan base that happily rooted for wife-beating Brett Myers? Hello hypocrisy.

    Although I agree that the Santa Claus thing is lame to bring up all this time later. Heck, Red Sox fans booed Wally the Green Monster the first time he appeared at Fenway Park and you never read about that.

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 18, 2010 at 2:10 PM

      Of course, Myers has been the only pro athlete to ever be accused of off-field incidents. Braves fans cheered–and sanctified, really–Bobby Cox…Twins fans cheered Kirby Puckett…Steelers fans still cheer Ben Roethlisberger…

  2. bradlidgesmole - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    When “Wanna smoke?” is suddenly cause for outrage i know we’ve all gone off the deep end.

    • Gobias Industries - Oct 18, 2010 at 11:16 AM

      That’s a fine looking cherry you just picked.

      • bradlidgesmole - Oct 18, 2010 at 11:54 AM

        really? outside of wife cheat what is overly offensive? hippy trash? pigeon toed? these are less offensive than the garden variety “you suck” heard at every ballpark.

        sigh…

      • Gobias Industries - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:21 PM

        Maybe you’re right; other than “wife cheat” (which you just admitted was offensive), none of them are cause for outrage. But in your first comment you didn’t mention the “wife cheat” sign. You only mentioned the “wanna smoke?” sign and suggested that everyone was freaking out over that specific innocuous one. Hence, you were cherry picking.

        sigh…

        Sorry, my late uncle was a pigeon and it insults me that the term “pigeon toed” is being using as a deragatory term. I know he’d be spinning in the carboard box in his grave if he saw that sign.

      • Gobias Industries - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:34 PM

        By the way, I’m not a Phillies fan, a Giants fan, Tim Lincecum, Pat Burrell or Pat Burrell’s wife, and my uncle was not really a bird, so I really don’t care about any of this and there’s no reason for you to respond. However, I would like to point out that this is a pretty funny take on the signs:

        http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2010/10/17/1758492/a-few-thoughts-on-those-sign-bearing-phillies-fans

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:37 PM

        Don’t forget something else too which I haven’t seen pointed out…THOSE GUYS ARE THERE FOR ALMOST EVERY SINGLE GAME DURING THE SEASON TOO!!! The signs are almost always the same too. Every game, the “This Guy Stinks” sign guy is there right in that spot. It’s because that’s where the Phanavision camera shows in the background when the guy comes up to the plate…and also where the guy sees the sign on the way off the field. I’ve seen the “This Guy Stinks” sign every game I’ve been to, and I’ve been to about 60 games this season. Get over it, national media and baseball fans. Love us or hate us, we are the most passionate fans in the world. Sue us.

  3. Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    I was very disappointed when Burrell came out and he was booed. I was very disappointed when I saw the signs too. Some Philly fans ARE a-holes. And as long as I’m called a Philly fan, I’d appreciate if we weren’t grouped together as one monolithic cult that acts like a bunch of morons because “it’s how Philly fans are”. I would have given Burrell a nice round of applause, because he always tried to be his best, it’s not his fault that we expected more than he could provide. Some fans are morons, it just sucks that such a large percentage of them have my rooting interests. I appreciate how Craig wrote this. Yes we do have morons in Philly. We aren’t all morons though. One thing that made me laugh, and Timmay as well i noticed. The Philly fans kept whistling at him over his long hair ,and he seemed to love it, as he kept smiling when they did it. Honestly the signs are a part of Philly fans doing whatever it takes to win. Was it low class? Sure, but ask them if they care. I would guess class is somewhere below winning the NL on their list of priorities and feel that will somehow shake up some players and cause mistakes to the benefit of their team. Which it didn’t.

    • luke - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:57 AM

      They cheered him loudly during the pre-game introductions and booed him during the game. Same thing they did for McNabb. You cheer for them as a person but when the game is on the line, they’re the opponent.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 10:11 AM

        Hey, that’s fine by me. I’m not Pat burrell. I’m not the guy who gave his best years to our team. I just think he shouldn’t get harassed any worse than any other Giant because of it. That’s what doesn’t make sense. It’s not like he wanted to leave or anything.

  4. phillysoulfan - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    While I agree that the signs were stupid and not funny, what’s wrong with making things as uncomfortable as humanly possible for the opposing team? You conveniently show the signs with Pat Burrell but you also fail to mention that the signs that are being held up have nothing to do with Pat Burrell. You also failed to mention the standing ovation he received when the lineup was introduced. You also failed to mention that the last time he came in here with the Giants he was cheered and hit two home runs. If you want to criticize and say that we are classless, fine. Just put all the facts out there and not the ones that conveniently support your argument. You also should mention that this phenomon of the asshole sports fan is not exclusive to Philadelphia. It’s all over the place.

    @Cyn, please explain to me when the Phillies fanbase ever cheered for “the wife-beating Brett Myers”. Not only is your characterization of him not true but he was lambasted for 90% of the time he was here. But you wouldn’t know that because we cheered him after he won us a World Series, our first championship of any kind in 25 years. He also received consoling for something he didn’t do.

    • Kevin S. - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM

      What do you mean it wasn’t true? Witnesses watched him slap his wife around on the streets of Boston. That happened.

      Regarding Burrell, I found it really interesting that McNabb was more or less cheered upon his return to Philly while Burrell roundly booed. Given how they were treated during their respective tenures in the city, I wouldn’t have expected that.

      • bradlidgesmole - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:54 AM

        Ummmm. Burrell was cheered in his return with the Rays in a pre-season game. And again with the Giants in introductions, before being booed once the game started.

        All in all, not different at all from McNabb.

        Damn facts.

      • phillysoulfan - Oct 18, 2010 at 5:38 PM

        All of what witnesses? There was one and her story was consistent with the story the Myers were telling. Which was she was drunk and wanted to go out and he didn’t want her to go out in that condition. Somehow she got past him, went out the door and he pulled her back in (albeit, by the hair). If you ever bothered to look at the police report, you would have quickly noticed that there was not one mark on Brett’s wife (direct contradiction to the other two “witnesses” who claimed they saw him punch her in the face…and did nothing, nice men)

        And no, it wasn’t “on the streets of Boston” like you are claiming. It was in their hotel.

        Regarding Burrell, you realize he’s been here 3 other times and we played him 4 times since he left Philly? You also realize that you didn’t see him get cheered when he was introduced with the rest of the Giants?

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 18, 2010 at 5:42 PM

        phillysoulfan, would you please stop using facts to contradict these arguments? All too often, they just serve to get in the way of a good story.

      • Adam - Oct 18, 2010 at 10:24 PM

        phillysoulfan, as you’re spewing “facts”, maybe you could reply to this report.

        “Brett Myers, a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, was arraigned this morning after being arrested shortly after midnight for allegedly beating his wife in front of several witnesses on Boylston Street, authorities said.”
        – In the hotel room? Really?

        “The police report says that officers found Kim Myers crying and with swelling on the left side of her face.”
        – I believe you said something about “If you ever bothered to look at the police report, you would have quickly noticed that there was not one mark on Brett’s wife”

        So, other than EVERYTHING you said about the Myers incident you are completely correct.

      • Adam - Oct 18, 2010 at 10:25 PM

        Here’s the link for the article:

        http://www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/breaking_news/2006/06/phillies_pitche.html

      • phillysoulfan - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:20 AM

        Hey Adam, there was an official from the State of Massachsuetts on WIP while all of this was going on and he was saying that not one thing you were reading was true. None of it was coming from the Police or the Police Report.

  5. cheekenbocker - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    Craig,

    Allow me to try to put into words the Philadelphia fans frustrations with articles such as these. You talk about the complex that exists within Philly sports fans by going off on this little rant:

    “But their legitimate indignation at being tarred with the Santa Claus thing has led to a curious phenomenon: every time some fan does something stupid there, Philly fans get upset when anyone points it out, even if it happened yesterday. “Yeah, sure, go ahead and say that Philly fans are obnoxious. Feel free to stereotype us. How original,” they huff, rolling their eyes. We saw this when the guy puked on that girl earlier this year. We saw it when the guy got tased. We saw it the very next night when the copycat guy jumped on the field. Point out some dumb Philly fan behavior and other Philly fans immediately play the “we’re being persecuted” card.”

    I firmly believe the distain expressed by the Philly fans is due to the fact that you can go to any major sports city and do the EXACT SAME THING in regards to linking to article after article of poor judgement displayed by a vast minority of sports fans. the difference is, whenever ANYTHING happens in Philly it gets not only brought up and beaten to death, but lumped in with all these other instances as you yourself have done here. However, it seems as though whenever this happens in other cities, regardless of whether they are repeat offenders, it just gets brushed aside. If you’re going to make a mockery of one particular cities fan base, you need to hold EVERY OTHER FANBASE to the same standard, plain and simple.

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen- and it leads to many Philly faithful pulling the “we’re being persecuted” card you’ve mentioned.

    There’s a brand of cities fans that are obnoxious- it’s called alcoholism; some just get more press than others…

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/11/steelers-fan-says-he-was-poisoned-left-blind-in-chicago-bar.html

    http://www.sportsgrid.com/nfl/football-horror-stories/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_violent_spectator_incidents_in_sports

    I applaud you for doing this in a respectable manner, and I hope you view this as a respectable counter argument.

    • cheekenbocker - Oct 18, 2010 at 9:57 AM

      Brand of every cities fans*

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 18, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    A couple things, Craig. First, Burrell was NOT a big part of the 2008 championship. He went 1 for 14 with one double. He just happened to hit the double that scored the winning run and his role was blown completely out of proportion. He was knocked in by Feliz, who we ceremoniously dumped after last season. Should the Phillies have kept him for knocking in the winning run in the World Series the year before? Come on.

    Second, what’s so Bush League about “Fix Your Teeth”? You ask the question “How do you have any ill feelings for that guy?” and I guess that really is the difference between you, a fan of Baseball, and me, a fan of the Phillies. As a fan of the Phillies, I say the answer to your question “How do you have any ill feelings for that guy? ” is that “He put on the opposing team’s jersey.” Off the field, Lincecum is a great guy who just likes the Mary Jane…nothing wrong with that IMHO. On the field, he is doing everything in his power to beat my team. So if a sign that tells him to Fix Your Teeth makes him think for even half a second, then it’s worth it. Bush league, or low class, is bring up families. Nobody did that to Lincecum.

    Now, regarding Burrell, it was very poor taste to call him a “Wife Cheat”. No reason to drudge that up because it is something outside of the player. THAT is Bush League. But if someone wanted to call Tim Lincecum any name in the book or say whatever bad about HIM they wanted, it is not low class and not Bush League. And anyone who says it is, is probably a “baseball fan” more than a fan of a certain team.

    • Gobias Industries - Oct 18, 2010 at 11:24 AM

      Burrell may not have had a great WS in 2008, but he had a pretty solid regular season, NLDS and NLCS. That means he was a big part of the 2008 championship.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 18, 2010 at 11:32 AM

        He was OK during the season…his usual power and ability to take a walk. And he hit a couple bombs before the World Series. But overall, he was really just a slightly above average player for the Phillies and his nighttime escapades tend to make him more than he was on the field for the Phillies. I am a fan of Burrell, and always was, but his shimmy shake to get out of the way of pitches tailing inside used to drive me up a wall. But he mastered that pose, and it used to buy him some walks on good inside pitches. But it was time to move away from him after 2008, and his lack of production in 2009 proved. He found himself in SF this year, and good for him. Doesn’t mean he can’t be booed just like any other opposing player. I don’t like the “Wife Cheat” sign, but every single other thing is fine with me. Baseball fans may not like what Phillies fans say, but who really gives a rat’s ass what Baseball fans think?

        Ask the Yankers fans how they felt when they pelted the field with bottles and every other type of trash after A-Rod knocked the ball out of Arroyo’s glove. But funny how that is never brought up when talking about Yankers fans….that, or when they police had to line the field during the playoffs to avoid a riot. Amazing how we don’t see THAT every time the national media brings up Yankers fans. Stay classy, National Media.

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 11:57 AM

        “Doesn’t mean he can’t be booed just like any other opposing player.”

        I agree, but he was booed more than any other Giant was. Which I don’t agree with too much. He did play as well as he could for philly, and it obviously doesn’t count for squat for some fans. I really am not bothered by it too much, it’s more of an observation than a bitch.

      • phillysoulfan - Oct 18, 2010 at 5:42 PM

        Actually, no he didn’t. He had a very average season. When you consider he was a first round draft pick, average doesn’t cut it.

    • timmay825 - Oct 20, 2010 at 5:10 PM

      So Chris, when we held up the sign BED WETTER in the other shot of us bashing Pat, that was acceptable? We thought so. Plus the WIFE CHEATS sign was directed towards the how it’s known pretty well around here that his WIFE has a wandering eye. That sign, as you can probably tell, was made during the game on the spot. I admit, YOUR wife cheats would have been more to the point. The PIGEON TOED sign I’m holding was intended for Freddy Gonzalez (apparently club-footed?), but sometimes we tend to get a bit overzealous and just throw the kitchen sink at someone.

  7. Old Gator - Oct 18, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    There’s not much that has been written about the Inquisition, the Albigensian Crusade, the Boston Massacre, a bunch of Gestapo cadets out binging at the local roadhaus, Queen Elizabeth I’s rackmaster riding under the influence, the conduct of Japanese troops in Nanking or even New York Rangers fans in upper west side sports bars that hasn’t also been written about Borg fans. It’s only amazing that you didn’t notice it.

  8. fn10pin - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Being an avid Phillies fan I was disappointed by the fans who wrote those horrific signs towards Pat Burrell….While he was here he endured the wrath of the fans for his 9 years he gave here…..I’m not saying I wasn’t one of them that was saying he stunk but he doesn’t deserve the boo’s or those signs by the most obnoxious fans I’ve ever witnessed…..Now I know why the city decided to build these stadiums in South Philly…..The home of the rudest, uneducated, intoxicated, wife beating group of individuals I have ever seen…..They’re the reason Philadelphia has the reputation it does…..The city has taken abusive criticism because of these neanderthals…..And Philadelphia wants to know why the good people are migrating OUT of the city to the suburbs?…..All you have to do is look at South Philly……I’m sorry Pat for the way they treated you over the weekend….You don’t deserve the same treatment that’s reserved for the likes of Scott Rolen……

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:04 PM

      I didn’t realize that Jim Fregosi was a frequent reader of your blog, Craig. Congrats!!!

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:40 PM

        Dude, that’s Chris Crocker you’re talking to. A very famous celebrity who is concerned over this type of thing. You’ve seen his video I presume???

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM

        No, Jonny…I don’t have the slightest clue what you are talking about and I don’t feel like googling Chris Crocker…who’s he?

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 18, 2010 at 1:27 PM

        That’s the Britney Spears “leave her alone!!!!” whack job

    • phillysoulfan - Oct 18, 2010 at 5:45 PM

      You’re an idiot. Not only has Burrell not “endured the wrath of the fans for his 9 years” but even everything you said about the city is not true. Check the local real estate trends, the people in the suburbs are moving back into the city….moron.

    • linrich - Nov 23, 2010 at 5:07 PM

      I agree. South Philly is pretty Neanderthallish. They still throw rocks at the moon.

  9. IdahoMariner - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    I have to disagree with the comments that this happens in every city. If this happened at Safeco as often as obviosuly as it happens at Citizens Bank, I don’t think I would take my kid to a game. Your team can compete and you can be a “true fan” (whatever that is) without being a douchenozzle. Without taking the game down several notches for people who are there (true fans? yup) to WATCH THE GAME.
    The extra link by Craig to the video of the fight between Philly fans was priceless because of the very first comment — “fights happen at sporting events every day.” Really? Might it be true where you live because y’all just accept it like that? Or maybe you could stop accepting it, and then you and everyone around you can start enjoying the amazing world-class level of play in the world’s greatest sport, that’s happening right in front of you.

    Sorry. Just tired of the ever-continuing flood of justifications offered for people acting badly. Yeah, the players can take it. But why should they? and why should the rest of us? How about we just watch the game and cheer on our teams?

    • IdahoMariner - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:47 PM

      and when I say “as often as it obviously happens at Citizens Bank”, I say that from watching a LOT of Phillies games on TV and the Internet (seriously, you guys have a phenomenal team. You should watch them. They’re awesome.). I’m not going just off of reports, but also from seeing the stuff in the stands.

      and, you, know, I had to prove I can spell obviously right at least once.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 18, 2010 at 12:57 PM

        You are right. You have swayed me. Only in Philadelphia do fights in the stands happen. Only in Philadelphia do fans hold up obnoxious signs. Only in Philadelphia do fans actually boo players. Thank you for showing me the truth from Xanadu!!!

    • phillysoulfan - Oct 18, 2010 at 5:47 PM

      No, it’s not every city. It’s in every city in the NE corridor, you know, where they actually care about their sports teams. And LA, Dodger Stadium is a safe haven for gang bangers but we’ll just rip Philly fans because they have the audacity to hold a sign someone didn’t like.

  10. phillychris - Oct 18, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    Craig,

    I love the website, but it took until now for me to finally register and comment.

    I have a problem with what you wrote. Yes. The signs are bad. I think they are definitely stupid, but it is the playoffs. Did you forget when Burrell came to CBP with the Rays and they showed that video montage of his Philly days? Did you forget the applause he received that day? How about when the Giants came to town during the regular season and they have him a standing ovation? Do we REALLY have to cheer every time this guy comes to town? THIS IS THE PLAYOFFS! Feelings are put aside and he gets treated like every other opposing player.

    Here is the other problem I have with your post. EVERYONE mistakenly blames the Phillies for not “negotiating” with Burrell after 2008. If my memory serves me correctly, Phillies, 3 weeks after the WS, offered The Babe 2 years $22M. HE TURNED IT DOWN!!! He thought he was worth more and tried to get more. He didn’t. He then signed with the Rays for 2 years, $16M. The Phillies offered him the best money, but yet you are accusing us for not treating him right? In the end, HE didn’t want to be here. Not us getting rid of him.

    -Chris

  11. Old Gator - Oct 18, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    I was happy to see those morons with the signs. I figure it’s better for them to be making donky derrieres out of themselves at the ballpark than hanging around the junior high school playgrounds exposing themselves.

    • IdahoMariner - Oct 18, 2010 at 3:42 PM

      I hadn’t thought of that. I feel better about it now — keep them right where we can see them, limit the damage. Thanks, Gator.

  12. schmedley69 - Oct 18, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Craig – I’m a Phillies fan and I agree that those fans with the signs are losers. They give the “good” Phillies fans a bad name. Every fan base has it’s share of idiots, and it’s probably safe to say that Philly has more idiots per capita than most cities. I’ve been to close to a hundred Phillies games and about a dozen Eagles games over the years, and for the most part have not seen that much bad behavior from the fans (I’ve seen a few bad things at Eagles games, but not much at Phillies games). It’s a shame that a small group of idiots continue to ruin it for the rest of us.

  13. phillyfan7786 - Oct 19, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    As a fan of all four Philly sports teams I could care less how the national media wants to peg us or the few who hold signs. I’m proud of our fans. Every season, in every sport, I can count on at least one interview of an opposing teams player going something like this:
    Reporter: “What’s it like playing in Philly?”
    Player: “It’s tough, these fans are crazy. One of the toughest places you could play.”

    That’s something to be proud of. Also the fact that so many of our former players stay and live in the area and praise us for how we follow the game and our knowledge of all four sports that other cities couldn’t match. It’s win or die in Philly, maybe other cities should take some notes.

    No Apologies. Keep it Up Philly.

    • timmay825 - Oct 20, 2010 at 4:55 PM

      Oh The Philly Sign Guys will keep it up indeed in Game 6…

      Timmay- (Pigeon Toed)

  14. charlieisanidiot - Oct 19, 2010 at 3:09 AM

    What a bunch of losers these sign-wielding cretins are. I wonder how long it takes for those boobs to ride their stingrays to the ballpark? Next time think of something clever to say or you might as well stay home in your double-wide counting foodstamps.

    • timmay825 - Oct 20, 2010 at 4:54 PM

      Actually sir, while I was making these signs from the rooftop deck of my Olde City apartment, there were no food stamps in sight. No need for a Stingray or any car in this city. With the PPA lurking around, just makes it easier to just cab it around to the ballpark. We’ll try and be more “clever” on Saturday.

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