I was sitting in my seat at the Prudential Center, and the Devils had just scored their first goal. The red light was flashing and the scoreboard read, GOAL! The flamboyant fan next me to starting yelling, “Hey, you suck!” along with the rest of the 20 thousand people in attendance on this Thursday night. The crowd continued chanting for at least a minute until the referee was ready to drop the puck at center ice.
I was angry! How angry? Oh, did I forget to tell you what happened after, they finished their “You Suck” chant. Another chant broke out, You thought I was mad before?? The chant went, “Rangers Suck, Flyers Swallow, Penguins gargle!” At this point, I was so angry that I basically yelled at my girlfriend asking her, “How can people say that Philadelphia sports fans are the worst fans in sports when the Devils chant, ‘You Suck’ at their opponents after they score?” Her response, and actually everyone’s response when asked who the worst fans in sports are, “Yea but Philly fans are the worst, they threw snowballs at Santa Claus!”
Understanding the hatred of Philadelphia sports fans is a long obsession of the sports world, and to fully understand every incident of why Philadelphia fans are regarded as the worst in sports is to lengthy to even discuss. So what is the Answer (shout out A.I.)? How can I convince you that they are not the worst fans? The simple answer is: I can’t! The not so simple answer and the purpose of this article is that Philly sports fans are an easy scapegoat, and we don’t care if we are regarded as the worst fans in sports. We will continue to be passionate about our sports teams, even if that labels us as the “the worst fans in sports”. Here are some incidents that have helped to label Philly sports fans as the worst:
First, let’s start with my personal favorite, throwing snowballs at Santa Claus. I would never even try to defend this, because this is not the most shinning day in Philadelphia sports history. Although I would recommend enlightening yourself a little more when it comes to the situation, so you can accurately understand, and put yourself in Eagles fans shoes.
Second, Michael Irvin’s neck injury. Another not so shining moment for Eagles fan. Trying to defend this on behalf of Eagles fans would be difficult so once again I am not going to even try. I will, on the other hand, quote Michael Irvin on the incident, “It was a compliment for Philly to cheer me. Philly wasn’t cheering my injury. They were cheering my departure. Thank God he’s leaving the field, he’s been killing us. Thank God, maybe now we have a chance to win.”
Third, the absolutely disgusting story of a man intentionally throwing up on a off-duty cops daughter. This is a really vile incident and the fact that this even happened to begin with this completely absurd and it undermines everything that sports was built on. That story makes me sick as person and as a Philadelphia sports fan.
So why do people REALLY always say that the worst sports fans are from Philly?
Well, there are a couple of parts to this complicated answer. The most basic answer is we are easy to hate! Philly fans are unrealistic, irrational, and loud. We are passionate about our sports teams, good, bad or terribly horrible. We are as loyal as a good dog, and we have a zero tolerance for BS. Philly fans are not afraid to let anyone hear it, even our own players! Just ask Donovan McNabb!!
Another part to this answer, stems from our often irrationalities as sports fans. We always think we have a chance to win it all, in every sport, every year, and people hate that! This is something that I am guilty of as well, but why other people hate us for being optimistic year in and year out has always been confusing.
Although, I have finally realized that the single biggest reason people hate us is because we don’t care if you hate us. In fact we embrace it! Now I can’t speak for every single Philadelphia sports fan but what I can say is as a whole (being a Philly sports fan for over 20 years), we just don’t care. Maybe that is ignorant of us, maybe we should care. It’s tough to pinpoint the exact reason why we could care less. It could be because we honestly like being hated. It could be because it’s fun to be an infamous Philly sports fan. It could be because we know as fans that there is nothing we can do to change how people view us. It could be because people mistake passionate fans for bad fans. It could be a million reasons but the only thing that I know for certain is that we will always be the worst fans in sports, and I am okay with that!