Friday, September 7, 2007

Baseball in Philadelphia

I hate Philadelphia sports. Even in cases where I am not a fan of a rival team, I still root against Philadephia. I just think their fans are assholes. The car, which has a "Devils Hockey" bumper sticker, always gets messed with there(dents, parking tickets, etc.) Also, they booed and threw ice at Santa Claus. The point is, they're not nice people.

When I go to sporting events, I like to heckle the opposing team and its fans. I try to be more clever than mean, preferring to take shots at a team and city's foibles rather than at people's mothers. Last week, I had the chance to go to a game as a fan of the visiting team, in hostile Philadelphia for a Thursday afternoon Mets at Phillies game. I wore a brand new blue and orange Mets hat, clearly identifying myself as the enemy. From the start, this was a tough situation. The Phillies had won the first three games against the Mets and jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in this game. This made my job as a heckler difficult, but not impossible. When your team is losing, the basic idea is to change the subject. To tell the opposing fan that yes, his team is winning, but:
1) They still suck...a lot.
2) They have always sucked. In fact, they haven't made the playoffs since 1993.
3) All of the other teams in your city suck also. (Discuss each individually.)
4) Philadelphia Phillies is a really stupid name. Think New York New Yorkies. (New Jersey Jerseys?)
5) You guys are assholes.

There was a fun back and forth to this for the first few innings. Luckily, as I was starting to run out of material, the Mets started scoring. The Mets tied the game briefly, then immediately gave up three more runs. I smiled and nodded as I felt the disdain of most of the people around me(luckily, there were also some New Yorkers around to share my pain). Then the Mets took the lead with five runs in the 8th. I happily pointed out that the Phillies' pitchers who gave up those runs were quite fat, particularly during a pitching change in which one fat pitcher was replaced by another. A funny thing happened as the Mets pwned the fat pitchers. Philadelphia was silent. I called out to a group of guys who minutes earlier had been insulting me, "Hey, you guys got quiet. How's it goin'?" These formerly blustery people turned to each other, "You guys hear anything?" "No, do you?" "Nothing."

In the bottom of the inning, the Mets put in star pitcher Billy Wagner, an ex-Phillie reviled by a city notorious for booing. As Wagner, who is considered a traitor by Philadelphians for signing with the division rival Mets, walked onto the field, Philadelphia stayed silent. Only when Wagner struggled did the stands come to life. At this point, the park was so loud that it was impossible to talk to anyone, which is just as well. There was no need to say or hear anything else. Philadelphia had lost my respect. I knew they were assholes, but honestly, so are we. Unfortunately, they are not even worthy rivals. The difference between us is that I will talk shit all day regardless of the score. Philadelphians are pussies. They can talk shit, but only behind the security blanket of their team's success. I walked out of the stadium to the sweep taunts and catcalls with my head held high. My response could not be heard above the noise of the crowd, so I will repeat it now. You're dead to me, Philadelphia.

1 comment:

Alexander said...

The real sign of an asshole is taunting people when your team is losing. I suppose you want a ring for the 1962 Mets as well?