It could be called “Philadelphia class.” With a cheesesteak in one hand and a Miller Lite in the other, our city’s sports fans run their mouths, would boo their own mothers and still show no shame.
They’ve thrown snowballs at Santa Clause. They booed a 7-year-old child off the field during a seventh inning stretch Easter egg hunt when he didn’t find an egg. They even cheered when Michael Irvin broke his neck on the turf of the Vet, ending his 12-year career with the Cowboys.
Regardless of the innumerable headlines and blogs that have deemed them as “tasteless,”
it sounds as though the reputation of these infamously rude, rowdy and ruthless Philadelphia sports fans is here to stay.
“I broke up a fight between four women,”
said Temple senior Nick Ventrola, who works at a concession stand at Lincoln Financial
“There were two Giants fans walking on the concrete by my stand. Two Eagles fans came up behind them; one of them punched the one Giants fan in the face, and then went after the other one. I kind of jumped in and pulled the Eagles fans off the Giants fan. The Giants fan was crying.”
This misbehavior runs deep in Philadelphia
sports fans’ history. Ever heard of “Eagles Court”? Beginning in 1997, the Vet established a courtroom in the basement. Yes, a place where unruly fans at the Vet and the Linc were taken for quick sentencing when they got out of hand. Violators were fined and put in jail for the remainder of the game. If the courtroom had existed in the 80s, our loveable
Pennsylvania Governor Ed “Fast Eddie” Rendell may have sat behind its bars.
According to a 1989 Steve Lopez column in the “Philadelphia Inquirer,” prior to his career as governor, Rendell admits to betting another Eagles fan $20 that the fan couldn’t reach the field with a snowball. The result – one of the Dallas Cowboys was pelted between his shoulder blades, and one Philadelphia fan was $20 richer.
Yet Philadelphians wonder why other cities’ sports fans think Philly’s fans are out of their minds.
“Yo – Philly is a f***ed up place,” said Temple senior Jordan Shayer, a Mets fan born and raised in the Bronx. “I was at a Mets/ Phillies game once, and after the Mets lost, these kids started throwing their empty beer cups at me. I was called a faggot. One guy yelled from the stadium ‘You beat your d***.’ They were yelling about things that don’t even have to do with the game. It seems like they come more to just talk trash.”
And maybe they do. Shayer’s experience
isn’t exactly outlandish. Temple senior Ty Tedrick said he’s done, and seen worse things happen to the opposing team’s fans.
He admits that at Mets games he likes to yell at their fans a lot – and he means a lot – but he said he’s never done anything outrageous.
When asked, he had a hard time deciding
what the worst thing he’s seen a Philadelphia fan do.
Although some fans booed a soldier off the field a few years ago when he wore a Pittsburgh Pirates hat during the National Anthem, Tedrick remembered something worse, involving a father and child.
“I was at a game once – and this was back at the Vet. We were sitting up in the 700 level. There was a Mets fan with his little kid there, and there were a bunch of drunk and obnoxious guys heckling this guy. They were saying ‘F*** this. F*** your mother,’ and throwing beer and pretzels at him,” Tedrick said.
“The guy ended up telling the usher, and the usher kicked the Mets fan out.”
So what triggers this misbehavior?
“There’s a lot of alcohol involved,” Ventrolan said. “With the loyalty, tailgating usually begins 6:30 to 7:30 in the morning of the game. I’ll walk in for work at 8 for a 1 o’clock game and there are already drunk people in the parking lot.” Beer or no beer, some Philadelphia fans say that Philadelphia fan misbehavior is absolutely indestructible and the reputation they’ve earned is one of permanence.”You can’t change [the] reputation,” said Temple senior and Philadelphia sports fan Josh Rothstein.
“It’s in our blood. We’re boo-ers by nature.”
Jillian Bauer can be reached at email@example.com.