The “Worst” Fans in Sports

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.

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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh2DwRkLIQE

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.

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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!  

The East is Going to be Really Bad, and LeBron Needs to Take Advantage

The sand in the NBA offseason hour glass is beginning to settle. All of the premier free agents have signed, and the blockbuster trades have been made. Most teams have a good idea of who will be playing in their rotations at the beginning of the season, and much of the roster is complete at this point.

Take a look at all of the NBA’s rosters; some are vastly different from last year (Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers) and some are nearly identical (San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors).

Most of the impactful movements have been from the East to the West, making a historically weak East last year even worse, while also setting up the West to have a one of the most competitive seasons ever in single conference history.

Paul Millsap, Paul George, and Jimmy Butler have all gone from East to West, with all three acquired to push their teams to the next level, whether that is Millsap getting the Nuggets to the playoffs, PG helping the Thunder compete with the best of the West, and Jimmy Butler elevating the Timberwolves youngsters to relevance. CP3 stayed in the West, but teaming him with James Harden (and maybe Melo) adds another dimension to the Rockets already lethal offense.

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Jeff Teague joins Jimmy Butler as a more superior scorer and shooter than Ricky Rubio, who stayed in the West in going to the Utah Jazz, in a move that Utah thinks will pay off as they build around Rudy Gobert. Swaggy P adds more shooting (as if they need it) to the Warriors, and Rudy Gay joins the Spurs as a veteran to take some of the offensive pressure off of Kawhi.

Now move on to the East and you have the Celtics getting a star player they coveted in Gordon Hayward, who won’t push them over the Cavs by himself, and, well…NOTHING.
I mean, Tim Hardaway to the Knicks was one of the biggest transactions the Eastern conference has seen…the same Tim Hardaway they gave up for Jerian Grant (!) a few years ago, who they gave up for DRose (!!) last year! Classic Knickerbockers.

The Raptors resigned Kyle Lowry, who is really good, but that hasn’t done shit for them in the playoffs. Oh yeah, the Bulls got Zach Lavine and Kris Dunn (lol).

Which leads me to my main point…

LeBron James should not suit up for more than 55 games this season.
And it’s not even to preserve him for the Playoffs, since they’ve rolled through the Conference the past few seasons facing superior competition throughout the Playoffs, going 36-5 against the Eastern Conference.

And it’s not like it will help against the Warriors, either, as LeBron has averaged at least 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists in each Finals series.  I’m looking at the long term, here.

LeBron has been playing at the NBA level since he was 18 years old. He is now 32, and will be 33 in December of this upcoming season.

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He has never played less than 69 regular season games, except for the lockout shortened season, which he played 62, totaling 1,061 career regular season games, at an average of about 39 minutes per game, equaling over 41,000 minutes!

Add another 217 playoff games, at 42 minutes per game, equaling over 9,100 more minutes, and these aren’t regular season minutes (well some games, especially recently, have been on par with regular season intensity), but playoff minutes.

And don’t forget about his play for the USA National Team, which is usually scrimmage-like, but still…that’s another 1,500 minutes, or about 1/2 a season.

Add all those totals up and LeBron’s legs have endured over 50,000 competitive, on-court minutes!

He is already 28th all time in regular season minutes, with everyone in front of him retired or about to retire, and 2nd all time in playoff minutes, and will surely pass Tim Duncan next season.

Now, LeBron is super human. He’s a Tight End playing in the NBA. He’s had the health of Cal Ripken. He’s a physical specimen of which the world has never seen.  And his training is absolute savagery, with a work ethic and training regimen that few athletes can seem to equate to, or even if they can, make it pay off the way he has, which is why he’s been playing at the highest level of the sport since he’s been a teenager. I mean, this guy get’s back in the gym days after he finishes the Finals, win or lose. UNREAL.

But, there is 1 “athlete” who’s been undefeated for eternity, and I’m not talking about Floyd Mayweather…I’m talking “Father Time”.

The human body can only endure so much physical (and mental) pressure for so long. The intensity of professional sports, combined with longevity, ALWAYS catches up with the athlete. It’s inevitable.  And it will eventually catch up to LeBron, especially since he is not slowing down and will be playing deep into the playoffs for years to come.

So, if the Cleveland Cavaliers, and LeBron for that matter, since he’s up for Free Agency next Summer and may wind up playing somewhere else, were smart, they’d both take advantage of what seems to be a historically bad conference, and let this guy get some damn rest.

Chris Berman to be Replaced by Live Chicken for HR Derby broadcast

ESPN has finally found its replacement for the legendary Chris Berman: a live chicken. BTB Sports received reports from an anonymous ESPN rep this morning that the company had been leaning this way for a long time, finally signing the chicken to a contract earlier this week. Berman had been calling the Derby since the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” began broadcasting the event live in 1994. However, ESPN has found themselves in the metaphorical toilet lately, having to lay off over 100 employees in April of this year. They’re reported to be re-thinking their broadcast strategy of reporting strictly LeBron vs. Jordan and recaps of Deflategate three years later (we’re all as surprised as they are that it’s not working out for them.)

As for the new Home Run Derby broadcaster, it seems like the perfect fit. “Honestly, I’ve thought it’s been a chicken doing the broadcast since Josh Hamilton put on a show at the old Yankee Stadium back in 2008,” the ESPN rep told BTB Sports. “After awhile, Chris saying “back back back” becomes unintelligible from a chicken speaking.” The terms of the chicken’s contract were not disclosed, and the chicken could not be reached for comment at this time. However, it does appear likely that the chicken will be receiving its own television show alongside Stephen A. Smith. If it becomes official, you heard it here first.

Quick Reminder That Max Scherzer is in a Triple Crown Race

For some reason I feel like people forget about Max Scherzer because everybody gets lost in the Clayton Kershaw hype.  Fans think that no matter what Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball, which is hard to argue with. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Max Scherzer is the best pitcher in baseball.

He literally has no-hit stuff every time he takes the mound, and he already has two in his career. Kershaw is amazing, but when he loses command of his curveball, he comes down to Earth a little. Scherzer has like 19 different pitches for strikes so when one’s off, he has other options.  Fans think it’s a lock that Kershaw will be starting on the hill this year for the All-Star game (if ready based on his start schedule), but I’m here to stand up for Scherzer.

He is nearing the pitching Triple Crown in the NL, behind only in wins.  His ERA is 1.94 (1st), he has 163 K’s (1st in NL, 2nd in MLB to Sale), and is sitting at 10 wins (4th).  He also happens to be 1st in WHIP (.771) and Hits per 9 IN (4.997).  His stats speak for him.

Halfway through the year he’s making a push to lead all three major categories in pitching (ERA, Strikeouts, and Wins).  If the Nationals keep playing well for him, then I see no reason why we won’t see some history out of him this year.

If you’re only a mild baseball fan and you have just kind of heard that he’s good but not sure why, watch these highlights for some further knowledge:

I could watch that a million times.

That’s a change-up at 89 that moves like a lefty slider.  Good luck.

One of those “It’s too easy” games. He got a guy to strikeout on a fastball when it hit him. That’s called “guessing”.

I think Scherzer has clearly dethroned Kershaw as the ace of the MLB, and if he can pull off the Triple Crown this year, other people may finally believe me.

10/10 Would Recommend Being a Philly Fan Right Now

The absolute worst time of the year for all of sports is amongst us, and there is virtually nothing to talk about. Aside from the MLB, all professional sports are in the dull stages of their offseason. The NBA and NHL initial days of free agency have passed where big names seem to never stay put. By now almost all the star players have found a new home and there isn’t much to discuss there. The NFL is holding camps, but the preseason hasn’t started yet so there isn’t a lot of excitement there. So logically, the only exciting thing left to talk about pertaining to sports is… how great a time it is to be a Philly fan.

 

NBA- Sixers

#TrustTheProcess. I felt like I had to start with this team just from all the attention they’ve drawn in the last year. The team has been in rebuild mode for about five and some change years now by consistently being bottom dwellers in the league. I have to admit, I was skeptical of the whole “process” thing at first since year after year they would land high end draft picks but still manage to finish in the basement of the standings. Now however, it all seems to be panning out. With all the recent additions of Saric and Redick, on top of number one draft picks in Simmons and Fultz, there’s reason to believe. And how can we forget about our superstar center Joel Embiid. I know it took forever for him to play some games but I mean, how do you not like this guy? The team is built for success, and with literally everyone leaving the East, playoffs look like more and more of a possibility this year for the team of youngsters.

NHL- Flyers

Fun Fact: The Flyers have made it to the conference finals in their 50 year history more times than they have missed the playoffs. This team has been a staple franchise in the NHL for quite a while, so the recent disappointing seasons are huge WTF to Flyers fans as this has really only happened once before in the early 90’s. However, since Ron Hextall became General Manager in 2014, he has given the Flyers a “Trust the Process” of their own. He accumulated prospects such as 2016 Rookie of the Year Runner-Up Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov, Alex Lyon, Nolan Patrick, German Rubstov, and much more. The prospect pool of the Flyers ranks top-5 on any expert’s list. Their young defense corps has been preached for years, it’s just a matter of time until they crack the roster since Hextall believes in keeping the kids in the minors until they’re fully developed. Well… the time has FINALLY come. He has burned some bad contracts and let players walk in free agency while proving to be a wizard of trading to clear up room for them. This coming year it is projected we will see SIX top-tier rookies on the squad with a boat load more to come in years to follow. You don’t know how exciting that is? Check out what the Leafs did this year with their youth-injected lineup. The team wont make as much of an immediate impact as the Sixers will since their division is the hardest in the league will, but look for them to make deeper playoff runs in a few short years with the core of Giroux, Simmonds, and Voracek leading the way for the kids. Is it October yet?

NFL- Eagles

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Wentzylvania baby. Yeah there definitely is a lot of hype for a guy that was no more than average after his first four starts. But if you’re an Eagles fan who watched every game, you know Carson’s rookie problems were more because of his team than his actual skills. They already improved by signing Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and LeGarrette Blount. DGB is gone thankfully, and Ryan Mathews figures to get less touches so he cant blow anymore games with his fumbles (@ Detroit 2016). According to PFF, this team has the best offensive line in the league, so up yours Dallas. That’s to compliment what I think is a top-5 front seven. The defense is the most underrated aspect of the team (minus the corners). You have absolute machines in Brandon Graham and Jordan Hicks. Hicks was rated the best linebacker in coverage and Graham, despite only 5.5 sacks, put more pressure on the quarterback than anyone in the league last year besides Khalil Mack. That’s to go along with Fletcher Cox, Malcolm Jenkins, and newly acquired Tim Jernigan. This team has much to prove but all the pieces to be a legit contender.

MLB- Phillies

For the first time in over a decade the Phillies opening day roster didn’t include Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, or Ryan Howard. All the players from the 2008 team are gone and it’s a little depressing. They may take the most time to be competitive out of all the Philly teams, but they have shown some promise. The team is young and includes future star players like Aaron Nola, Odubel Herrera, and an absolute stud in Aaron Altherr. Many question marks surround the team and some of their youngsters like shortstop JP Crawford, but they do have some depth in the farm system and reasons to be optimistic. It seems like every game the Phillies are in it until about the 6th or 7th inning when they let the game slip away which is not a bad sign for a young team. More experience and a couple new faces should bring them back to their old winning ways.

The youth movement in Philly is in full effect. The Sixers have had a top three pick for the last four years. The Flyers scored a number two pick with a little bit of luck thanks to the lottery after being completely robbed of Patrick Kane in 2007 by that same lottery system. The Eagles had the number two pick in 2016 and the Phillies had the number one pick in the same year. With all the high draft picks, the teams all seem to have a face of the franchise set for the future. Philadelphia is in a nine year drought since their last championship, and before that, well… it’s been a while. Now I’m not going to pull a typical Philly fan and say we’re winning the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, NBA Championship, and World Series this year, but boy do we have some good young teams that might take us there in the near future.

Can We Stop Pretending Gordon Hayward Makes the Celtics Title Contenders?

Note: I wrote this blog minutes before the Celts for some reason traded Avery Bradley for Marcus Morris, literally going against me saying how much they need him. That’s the BTB difference.

I can’t believe I even have to write this, but here goes. Yes, the Celtics added Gordon Hayward this week, and I’m not trying to discount him as a player. He’s a really solid player. In a league that values length and shooting ability more than ever, adding a 6’8 All-Star who shot 39.8% from three last year is a great move. He doesn’t do anything particularly poorly, as he’s a pretty solid all-around player. But to pretend he’s the difference maker that puts this team ahead of the Cavs, as well as the Warriors? That’s BANANAS. Here’s why.

Hayward, Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford gives you a really nice trio of All-Stars. This team would be a for sure title contender ten years ago. But it’s a different league now. The Celts have three nice players, who at their best are All-Stars. The Cavs have three All-Stars, who at their best include a Top-5 scorer in the league in Kyrie Irving and one of the best players of all-time in LeBron James. The Warriors have FOUR All-Stars, who at their best include one of the league’s best two-way players in Klay Thompson, the reigning Defensive POY in Draymond Green, the best shooter of all time in Stephen Curry, and possibly the best pure scorer of all-time in Kevin Durant.

Now, I know what some Celtics fans might be saying. “But we’re way deeper than those other teams!” Fair point to make. The Celtics do have a lot of other intriguing pieces, such as Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown, and this year’s #3 pick, Jayson Tatum. However, at least one of the Bradley/Smart/Crowder trio is likely gone with the addition of Hayward. Bradley and Smart are the team’s two best defenders, so sacrificing one of them would be brutal, especially with the defensive liability that is Isaiah Thomas. Don’t get me wrong, I love Isaiah as a scorer, but he just can’t guard anyone. One reason the Warriors are so good is that despite Steph’s inability to defend guards like Kyrie, Klay is an elite defender who can handle the best guards in the league. If the Celtics want to compete with Thomas at the point, Bradley or Smart has to step up and be that guy, and even that may not be enough to “hide” Thomas on D.

This team got their doors blown off by the Cavs in the Conference Finals last year, with their only win coming in a game in which LeBron had only 11 points. That Cavs team then proceeded to get trounced by the Warriors in the Finals in five games. To pretend that the additions of Hayward and Tatum can change that is just not realistic.

I’m not trying to discount Hayward as a player or the Celtics as a team. As far as I’m concerned, his arrival firmly supplants them as the East’s second-best team. But their new “Big Three” doesn’t rival the Cavs’, the Warriors’ Big Four, or even the ’08 Celtics Big Three. If the Celtics got Hayward AND Paul George? Maybe they could’ve taken down the Cavs. If the Cavs got Paul George? Maaaaaybe they would take down the Warriors. But for now, we’re just gonna have to accept that the team in Golden State is too good, no matter how much we hate them.

Welcome to 2017: Woman Convinced Strikeout Signs are Racist Display

If you know even a little bit about baseball, you know that the symbol for a strikeout is the letter K, with a backwards K symbolizing a strikeout looking. Well, a young woman at the Braves game the other night did not know this. When the Braves’ starter had amassed three strikeouts, all swinging, the strikeout signs displayed “KKK.” While this obviously was not a reference to the Ku Klux Klan, she was not aware. Instead of asking one of the probable 25 other people at the game, she did what angry people in 2017 do best, and immediately took to social media.

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While her bitmoji game is on point, this is a crazy move. Literally could’ve had this calmly explained to her in two minutes if she just asked anyone sitting around her, but no, this was necessary for the Twitter world to see. So as soon as people responded to the tweet explaining that this was just a tradition that takes place at every baseball game and not an isolated display of white supremacy, she admitted she was wrong, right? Nope. She would NOT let this go, denying everyone’s claims of how normal this was.

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In another classic 2017 move, she later deleted her Twitter. Fight your incorrect point until it’s absolutely destroyed, then delete your account. That’s about as 2017 as ripping a juul while using a fidget spinner at an anti-Trump rally. What has the world come to?