In Defense of Phillies Fans

First of all, let me just say how excited I am that baseball is back. And that Cliff Lee is back in Philadelphia.

Second of all, screw you, GQ. I get that Phillies fans are intense, vicious even. We love our baseball more than anybody else in the country. And I assumed, as soon as I saw the headline “We Name The Most Obnoxious Sports Fans in America” that Philadelphia would be at the top of the list. But you took it a step too far when you claimed that “Philadelphia stadiums house the most monstrous collection of humanity outside of the federal penal system.”

That’s just low. And rude. And stupid. And exactly the kind of comment that makes phans like me ten times more primal than before.

Forget — as you were quick to point out — that Raiders fans, actual gangbangers, regularly violate parole to attend games. Or that the number of “die-hard” Red Sox fans has tripled since they won the World Series six years ago. No, I’m not even going to bother with the whole “other cities are just as bad” or “the world just likes to pick on us” argument.

Because there’s no point pretending Philadelphia fans aren’t messed up. But there is also a reason we’re so messed up. It’s because we care. And not just when things are going well. We care when things are going badly. Really badly. Terribly. Which, if you’re remotely familiar with Philadelphia sports, you realize, happens constantly. And when things are that hard, and you’re that committed — well, really, is it any surprise that we enjoy a resounding “boo”?

It takes guts to be a Phillies fan. We go through hell for it. And we stick together. Phillies fans will do anything for each other. There is something that happens every time you meet another Phillies fan. You bond. And not in the way other fans do. In a “my heart just skipped a beat, I know exactly where you come from, and we’re cool” way.

So just for the record, haters, Phillies fans rock. Don’t even start with me, because on Sunday I’m going to a Giants game at Dodgers stadium. I have volunteered to let my boyfriend, who is a huge Giants fan, wear his autographed Barry Zito hat and use me as a human shield. Cause that’s the kind of fan I am.

One last thing: I cannot believe I live in a city where the people at the stadium are more interested in throwing around beach balls than they are in the actual game. Maybe if Dodgers fans were remotely genuine they might have made it onto that GQ list.

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