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That whole vomit thing was an isolated incident
March 23, 2011 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Former Philadelphia mayor and PA Governor Ed Rendell responds to GQ's Worst Sports Fans in America.
posted by rodmandirect (57 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I clicked through the GQ article. Let's see if I can do this right; it's been a long time since my Fark days...

Duke still sucks.
posted by spitefulcrow at 8:05 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


So Ed Rendell pelted a forlorn, scrawny Santa Claus with snowballs 40 years ago?
posted by mike_bling at 8:05 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rendell is a blowhard but it's nice seeing a good article taking on the tired Philly fan stereotypes.

The recently released 19th annual Brand Keys Sports Loyalty Index has named the Philadelphia Phillies fan base the most loyal of all teams in professional baseball.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:14 PM on March 23, 2011


Rendell, doesn't get it. By this time, even to a casual observer such as myself, Philadelphia's reputation as being a hard core nasty place for visiting teams to play influences the outcome of games. It's just a cold, forboding sports complex and Philadelphia is a tough blue collar gritty place, something I love about the city. He should be playing this up. Rendell just sounds like a weenie in this letter. What is he trying to do, promote Philly's booming tourism industry?

The Raiders get it. Although I love GQ's byline "If it's such a tough place to play, why does the home team always lose?"
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:15 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ed had just been elected District Attorney of Philadelphia when the infamous Eagles game happened, so I'm kinda doubting he was among the snowball throwers. I think his identification with them is more tribal & symbolic than anything else.
posted by scalefree at 8:16 PM on March 23, 2011


No no, Rendell tossed snowballs at Bounty Bowl II.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:18 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I might throw batteries at Rendell from the stands next time I see him, I get irritable from doing calculus on the way to the game.
posted by drowsy at 8:23 PM on March 23, 2011


This will not Rendell.
posted by zippy at 8:36 PM on March 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


Rendell, my former governor, dismisses the santa incident because it occured 40 years ago. But later in the article, he sings the value of the Philidephia fans' effect on a baseball game. A baseball game that occured 34 years ago. I supposed 35 years is the cut off date for relevancy. Also the events he listed in the "well, they did it too section" of his plea are no less isolated that the vomit thing. I don't know who the worst fans in sports are but I agree with Slarty Bartfast that this Rendell comes off as a weenie in this letter-even though I mostly liked him as a govenor.
Even if that gravely voice and portly stature always came across as the iconic corrupt politician. And despite falling over himself supporting Hillary while vying for an cabinet position.
posted by firemouth at 8:49 PM on March 23, 2011


Geez, I'm sorry-"Philadelphia" of course. Go Pennsylvania!
posted by firemouth at 8:50 PM on March 23, 2011



Rendell, my former governor, dismisses the santa incident because it occured 40 years ago. But later in the article, he sings the value of the Philidephia fans' effect on a baseball game. A baseball game that occured 34 years ago. I supposed 35 years is the cut off date for relevancy. Also the events he listed in the "well, they did it too section" of his plea are no less isolated that the vomit thing.


That was kind of the point.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:07 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, it's very clear. Philly fans are avery inch as emotional and involved as NYC or Boston fans. It's just that they don't have the mental horsepower of the New England fans, or the blind triumphalism of the Noo Yawk fans... so they resort to barfing on children and boo'ing Santa to express their loyalty.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:15 PM on March 23, 2011


Oh boy! It's bat day at MetaFilter!
posted by not_on_display at 9:24 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm just damned proud that the mayor of Philly didn't cite Sox fans as one of the "bad examples".
posted by maryr at 9:31 PM on March 23, 2011


When the Phillies were the World Fucking Champions a couple of years back, I was in the middle of Broad Street at Tasker drinking beer out of cans with folks from both sides of the tracks, as it were. I take the subway to games and sit in the cheap seats throughout the baseball season.

Meanest fans? Bah. Fuck you, GQ. (Yeah, yeah, that's like all meeeean. Whatever.)
posted by desuetude at 10:41 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


kind of the point

But if all the other incidents were equally isolated, I think the vomit thing justifies a clear candidacy for worst fandom. He did force himself to puke on an 11 year old girl after all. For supporting the wrong team.
posted by firemouth at 11:24 PM on March 23, 2011


A Yankees fan, a Red Sox fan and a Phillies fan are all at a table with a dozen cookies. The Yankees fan takes 12...

Wait. I think I've confused threads again.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:32 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


... justifies a clear candidacy for worst fandom

I read this as fanfic, and then imagined Rendell as the Mary Sue.
posted by zippy at 11:38 PM on March 23, 2011


Rendell is a blowhard but it's nice seeing a good article taking on the tired Philly fan stereotypes.

The recently released 19th annual Brand Keys Sports Loyalty Index has named the Philadelphia Phillies fan base the most loyal of all teams in professional baseball.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:14 PM on March 23 [+] [!]


I don't think that this proves your point. From your link, “With the Phillies, every game seems to count to the whole team. They seem to take it more personally.” The problem is, the stereotype of the Philly fan is that they are so loyal they are willing to puke on opposing fans, even 11 year old girls.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:02 AM on March 24, 2011


Rendell is a blowhard but it's nice seeing a good article taking on the tired Philly fan stereotypes.

Yes, we in San Francisco found the homophobia and personal insults towards our baseball team in Philadelphia an interesting change from the friendly competitive spirit of other fans. Hearing the entire stadium fall silent in game 6 was one of the sweetest moments of the postseason.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:08 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. Yeah. This is totally something that warrants the attention of the governor. Yes sir. It sure is.
posted by Ratio at 12:38 AM on March 24, 2011


It didn't warrant the attention of the governor.

It did however warrant the attention of a campaign staffer now working in his communications office. And that person deserves a gold star!
posted by munchingzombie at 12:55 AM on March 24, 2011


All you loser fans can suck balls! (is that the right thing to say here?)

Go Cubbies!
posted by hal_c_on at 12:57 AM on March 24, 2011


The problem is, the stereotype of the Philly fan is that they are so loyal they are willing to puke on opposing fans, even 11 year old girls.

I grew up in Philadelphia. This article misses the point and so does the stereotype. Philadelphia fans are huge sports fans who are stuck having to cheer for mediocre teams. As a kid my favorite teams were whoever was playing the Cowboys or Mets. With rare exception, schadenfreude is the only pleasure you have as a Philly fan.

Philly fans are every bit as hostile to their own teams as they are on visiting teams. Consider how they treated Donovan McNabb.

Another case in point. In 1979 Mike Schmidt (3rd baseman for the Phillies) made some disparaging comments about Philly fans not appreciating him. He did this when he was on the road and it was well publicized in the local papers. I was at the Vet when we returned for a home series and as expected the crowd was loaded for bear.

When Schmitty's name was announced in the starting line-up, he was booed as if he played for the Mets. (At the time he was one of the stars of the team - a gold glove and amongst the leaders in home runs.)

Schmidt takes the field in a wig and dark sunglasses - the crowd correctly took that as a mea culpa - they went wild with cheers - and all was forgiven.

The thing is that Philly fans are sports fans. They know the game. They are loyal to the game - not to their teams or any individual player.

When I moved to Atlanta, I was impressed at how much Atlanta fans loved their Braves - but they knew nothing about baseball. (I remember having to explain what a balk was to some Atlanta fan sitting next to me - that would NEVER happen in Philly unless the person was someone from out of town.) It was no fun to go to Atlanta-Fulton county stadium - it was like watching the games on TV.

Say what they will about Philly fans - but seeing a game live in Philly beats just about all. As long as you are not a Mets fan. The stereotype fits when the Mets are in town because the Mets suck and NY fans are assholes who come down the NJ turnpike and think that they can cheer for those losers in our stadium. We hate them with passion - and always will.
posted by three blind mice at 2:03 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]



posted by fixedgear at 2:17 AM on March 24, 2011


"Hey look everyone else does it too" is not really a valid excuse.
posted by graventy at 2:23 AM on March 24, 2011


They also booed Snooki at Wing Bowl, booed Sarah Palin dropping a ceremonial puck, and booed a wrecking ball at The Spectrum.
posted by iviken at 3:09 AM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


...thus making them about seventeen times more awesome in my book.

Oh, and pretty broad definition of 'America' there, GQ.
posted by hangashore at 4:21 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


In sports and politics, it's no longer enough to like and cheer for one side, you now have to hate and disparage your "enemy." This trend isn't taking us to a place worth going to.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:18 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


They booed the hand transplant guy.
posted by tommasz at 5:39 AM on March 24, 2011


Winer's eponhysterical article condemns the Cowboys fans for being loyal and the Lakers fans for the opposite.
But it's unusual for me to see a top xx list where I agree with the winner, so that's nice.
posted by MtDewd at 5:42 AM on March 24, 2011


I preferred Zoo with Roy's response, ZWR Magazine Study Names "Worst Fans" Articles Laziest Journalism Crutch.
posted by gladly at 6:17 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


and NY fans are assholes who come down the NJ turnpike and think that they can cheer for those losers in our stadium.

This, right after trying to get people to sympathize with Philadelphia sports fans. Tsk. Just burned the bridge you built there, three blind mice.
posted by grubi at 6:32 AM on March 24, 2011


A Long-Winded Explanation of / Half-Hearted Defense of the Philly Fan, from One Of Them:

Philly fans have a very strong tribal mentality. This is evident in a number of ways.

The Tribe has loyalty. Once you are part of the Tribe, you remain part of the Tribe. Being traded away from the Tribe is understandable and not your fault, and your return will demonstrate that most of the time. However, refusing to play for the Tribe or publically wanting out of The Tribe will make you Public Enemy Number One.

On the flip side, even if you used to play for The Other Guys, if you publically choose to come here, the Tribe will treat you like a rock star.

The Tribe drinks way too much alcohol, before and during games.

The Tribe knows the game, at least when the Tribe is sober. If you play for the Tribe and do not know the rules of your game, or if you make questionable decisions again and again and show no signs of improvement, you will hear The Boos.

The Tribe has high expectations. The Tribe does not expect miracles from mediocre players, as the Tribe is keenly aware that good teams are only blips on the radar here. If you outperform expectations, the Tribe will love you. If you underperform, whether based on your draft position, expectations or contract / trade value, you will hear The Boos. If the Tribe detects less than 100% effort from you, you will hear More Boos.

The Tribe drinks way way too much alcohol, before and during games.

The Tribe loves blood-and-guts scruffy blue-collar types. If you are perceived as being dainty and above the Tribe's blue-collar nature, you will hear More Boos.

The Tribe has a reputation, and a subset of fans who feel compelled to live up to said reputation. Do not come to the Tribe's stadium wearing the wrong jerseys. When wandering amongst poo-flinging monkeys, do not wear visible target circles on your forehead.

The Tribe drinks way way way too much alcohol, before and during games.
posted by delfin at 6:46 AM on March 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


But if all the other incidents were equally isolated, I think the vomit thing justifies a clear candidacy for worst fandom. He did force himself to puke on an 11 year old girl after all. For supporting the wrong team.

Again, no. The point is isolated incidents aren't valid but if they were there are just as many examples in the other direction. Phillies attendance last year was 3,777,322. There was one vomitguy. There is no rational way to call that a reflection on the fanbase.

Yes, we in San Francisco found the homophobia and personal insults towards our baseball team in Philadelphia

What homophobia was there? (serious question, I remember the hippy trash signs but not homophobic stuff)

Wow. Yeah. This is totally something that warrants the attention of the governor. Yes sir. It sure is.


Ex-Governor, but year he found time for sports commentary the entire time he was in office.

Consider how they treated Donovan McNabb.

Routinely polled as most popular athlete in Philly, even in an era with greats like AI. He was booed when he sucked. He sucks sometimes, NFL fans may have been shocked to see him get benched in Washington, but Eagle fans weren't. McNabb was often carried by the players around him and great coaching. I love the guy though and hope he is starting for a good team again this year.

"Hey look everyone else does it too" is not really a valid excuse.

It apparently works for everyone else.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:46 AM on March 24, 2011


As a side note, some eyewitnesses to the Vomit Guy incident tell a slightly different story as to how it went down.

Also, Philly fans drink way way way way too much alcohol, before and during games.
posted by delfin at 6:50 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


And, by the way, the vomit guy was from New Jersey. Not Philadelphia. There really is a difference.
posted by VicNebulous at 6:58 AM on March 24, 2011


And, by the way, the vomit guy was from New Jersey. Not Philadelphia. There really is a difference.

Was he a Philadelphia fan? You know, the subject of this post?
posted by grubi at 6:59 AM on March 24, 2011


Perhaps not a long-term or particularly fervent Phillies fan.

Tailgating has become increasingly trendy before Phillies games in the last few years; the new stadium helps, as do the Phillies' uncharacteristically great teams in that period. The results are predictable.

Getting completely sloshed before Eagles games is, of course, a long-standing tradition. Who wants to pay stadium beer prices? Better to stand in the parking lot and drink with your buddies until you're sufficiently drunk to piss in the bathroom sink because the urinal lines are too long.

The one time I went to an Eagles game in the upper deck of the Vet, I spent half the game watching the field and half watching behind me, trying not to end up as collateral damage. Remember the Begbie-throws-the-mug scene from Trainspotting? That was in my mind. And I was wearing GREEN and still justifiably wary.
posted by delfin at 7:19 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Regarding LSU (#10):

"We were groped and squeezed by just about every guy we interviewed," they reported. "The women called us 'bitches' and the men called us 'cunts.' " Anything else? "The amount of times we were spit on also struck a nerve."


My alma mater..... wipes tear from eye
posted by The Giant Squid at 7:38 AM on March 24, 2011


I've been going to NFL games up an down the eastern seaboard for the past 6 years. My wife won't let me go Phily games so I can't comment on those. However, I have been going to Chargers home games vs. the Raiders since the 80s. I've seen more fights between fans in a single one of those game than in all the other games in all the other stadiums I've been to combined.

Riot police, mounted police, stabbings, 30 person brawls, and gang signs have all been regular parts of the pastiche of violence that has ruined the atmosphere at The Q for what, at times, has been a great rivalry between two exciting teams.

GQ got its one word summation of the Raiders fans absolutely right: "Criminals"

http://www.gq.com/sports/lists/201104/worst-sports-fans-in-america#slide=12
posted by En0rm0 at 7:51 AM on March 24, 2011


It could certainly be worse.
posted by orme at 8:30 AM on March 24, 2011


This, right after trying to get people to sympathize with Philadelphia sports fans. Tsk. Just burned the bridge you built there, three blind mice.

I think I can speak for all Philadelphia sports fans and say - WE DO NOT WANT THOSE BRIDGES BUILT. EVER.
posted by three blind mice at 8:35 AM on March 24, 2011


McNabb was often carried by the players around him and great coaching
[emphasis mine]

McNabb was coached by Andy Reid for all of his 11 seasons with the Eagles. So, um, no.
posted by dersins at 8:35 AM on March 24, 2011


Can debate the word great but he is the longest tenured coach in the league for a reason.

Among coaches with 100 games under their belt, Reid's winning percentage is 2nd among active coaches (Bill Belichick).
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:53 AM on March 24, 2011


^ And a lot of the carried by great players and coaches I was referring to is Jim Johnson and his defenses. They won a lot of games for Reid and McNabb.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:54 AM on March 24, 2011


In sports and politics, it's no longer enough to like and cheer for one side, you now have to hate and disparage your "enemy." This trend isn't taking us to a place worth going to.

What? Trend? This is not a new thing.
posted by maryr at 8:56 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Among coaches with 100 games under their belt, Reid's winning percentage is 2nd among active coaches (Bill Belichick).

Let's re-sort that list a bit.

Super Bowl rings during Reid's tenure (since the 1999 season):

Bill Belichick: 3
Dick Vermeil: 1
Brian Billick: 1
Mike Tomlin: 1
Tom Coughlin: 1
Mike McCarthy: 1
Bill Cowher: 1
Tony Dungy: 1
Jon Gruden: 1
Sean Payton: 1
Andy Reid: 0

NFC Championship Games under Reid: 1-4
NFC Championship Games in which the Eagles were the favorite going in: 1-3

Reid is not a terrible coach; far from it. He has helped keep the Eagles consistently good over the last decade-plus. However, "good" demonstrably does not win the Super Bowl. Even the most faithful are getting restless.

Also, McNabb discussion was inevitable in the "That whole vomit thing was an isolated incident" thread.
posted by delfin at 9:20 AM on March 24, 2011


Trust me, I am WELL aware of the playoff record. The pain is thoroughly burned into my soul. The loss to the Panthers was worse than 9/11.

As I said, you can debate good/great but the original premise here is the degree to which McNabb was carried by coaching and teammates. Reid has shown getting full potential out of quarterbacks to be one of his strengths and the contributions of players like Westbrook and coaches like JJ can't be denied.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:04 AM on March 24, 2011


I do a lot of work in a field that is, let's say, quasi-sports. It's also very popular in Philadelphia, which has been a notable hotbed for at least the last twenty years. And if you talk to anyone who works in pro wrestling, and mention "Philly fans," they will know exactly what you're talking about. Philly fans are bloodthirsty. They boo the good guys and cheer the heels. They throw stuff at the ring. Someone messes up and they chant "you fucked up!" with glee. Even back in the Eighties, Philadelphia was known as a market that demanded brawling and blood, where the fans would have no problems shitting all over the show if they felt their needs weren't being addressed. And, yes, they can be loyal; it's no accident that the New Alhambra is such a storied venue in the field.

Now, obviously, not every fan is like that. And as far as I know, for the last few years the best drawing shows at the New Alhambra have been Chikara shows, where you're much more likely to see masked Egyptians use their sinister hypnotic powers than see bleeding men smash through flaming tables. But the difference in fan culture, in normal expectations of behavior, is readily evident between Chicago crowds and Philly crowds, at least in my favorite athletic activity. When I see discussion here about Philly sports fans, and people say the stereotypes aren't true, I have at least some reason to doubt them, or at least filter their comments through the lens of hometown pride and boosterism... And aren't those qualities important to being a sports fan?
posted by jtron at 10:28 AM on March 24, 2011


I wouldn't be surprised if it's still rowdy as hell at wrestling events. To the degree the stereotype is true for Phillies and Eagles fans it has dissipated a lot since the Vet has been gone. Higher pricing and corporate atmosphere drove away a lot of the blue collar fans. Wrestling is still blue collar as hell.

They even closed the jail at the Linc shortly after the move.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:08 AM on March 24, 2011


Philly fans are bloodthirsty. They boo the good guys and cheer the heels. They throw stuff at the ring. Someone messes up and they chant "you fucked up!" with glee. Even back in the Eighties, Philadelphia was known as a market that demanded brawling and blood, where the fans would have no problems shitting all over the show if they felt their needs weren't being addressed.

E C DUB! E C DUB! E C *ahem*. Sorry, reflex response.

Of course, the New Alhambra (formerly known as the fabled ECW Arena) was home to a wrestling promotion that not only acknowledged bloodthirsty, genre-savvy mutants as fans but explicitly and blatantly catered to their tastes. Those who picture Hulk Hogan and Cyndi Lauper when they think of pro wrestling should grasp the difference ECW offered by watching this clip.

Many of the same principles I ranted about above applied, however. Most ECW fans were as likely to appreciate a good lucha-style match (for the uninitiated, gymnastics-meet-on-Halloween-gone-horribly-wrong) or a long 'traditional-style' match (say, Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn) as they would a good bloodletting. They understood that New Jack and Rey Mysterio had drastically different talents and expected from each according to their abilities. Tommy Dreamer was the poster child for "If you outperform expectations, the Tribe will love you"; he was HATED when he first showed up, but won the crowds over one transfusion at a time.

Glad to hear CHIKARA's still doing well -- I need to catch King of Trios one of these years.
posted by delfin at 11:15 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


It didn't warrant the attention of the governor.

It did however warrant the attention of a campaign staffer now working in his communications office. And that person deserves a gold star!


One, he's a FORMER governor. Two, he's a passionate sports fan with a whole parallel career as a local sports pundit. He's a regular analyst on the Eagles pre-game and post-game shows and has a non-regular column in the Daily News. I think you'll have a hard time finding very many people in Philadelphia who would believe that he'd delegate something like this to a staffer.

Also, I love how he threw in an implied threat at the end of an article defending us from charges of being mean:

Jim, I understand you come to Philadelphia often to dine at Vetri, one of our great gourmet restaurants. Perhaps the next time you come into town you should head down to Pat's Steaks at 9th and Passyunk and give the people of South Philly a chance to talk with you about the article.
posted by snottydick at 11:34 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kenny Powers, why doesn't he play for the Phillies?
posted by not_on_display at 12:25 PM on March 24, 2011


For fuck's sake, what does the bad behavior of some people who attend games in Philadelphia have to do any other people who attend games in Philadelphia?

"The fans" are not an entity. The fans who believe that they do define "the fans" sure as hell aren't speaking for me or anyone I know. In fact, the one generalization that I will put forth is we Philadelphians tend not to wholly agree with anything that anyone else says.
posted by desuetude at 2:58 PM on March 24, 2011


Also, I love how he threw in an implied threat at the end of an article defending us from charges of being mean:

Jim, I understand you come to Philadelphia often to dine at Vetri, one of our great gourmet restaurants. Perhaps the next time you come into town you should head down to Pat's Steaks at 9th and Passyunk and give the people of South Philly a chance to talk with you about the article.


That's only a threat if you lack the conviction to argue. (Now, if he'd suggested that the writer argue his point at Geno's in Spanish, that'd be a different story.)
posted by desuetude at 3:04 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Super reply, Delfin. I actually asked some of my friends about the whole thing after reading your post... the consensus was that Philadelphia wrestling fans have been of those tastes at the very least back to the days of Tri-State Wrestling, and even before. To quote from an email I got from one zebra-shirted friend...
In looking through old Observers there was a lot of anger from fans in and outside of Philly at the level of violence and how overboard it was. But then there was the side that loved every second of it. But Philly was always known for loving on the heels. The Midnight Express would get huge face reactions when the NWA started running in Philly. There was one story in particular when the Express faced the Dynamic Dudes in Philly that Cornette talked about.

The Dudes were hated anyway for just being dorks no matter where they went, but Philly took it to a new level. Huge pops for the Express and huge boos for the Dudes. I think the Dudes went over, and in the resulting expression of hatred, clear as day some fan made the suggestion that Johnny Ace was always sucking Shane's dick. So I guess the Express, Cornette and Ace were in the back after the match, and Johnny was particularly dejected. So as he gets up to go and change, Corentte asks if he will be ok and Ace apparently answered something along the lines of, "Yeah, I'm just gonna go and suck Shane's dick, I guess."
Anyway I'm gonna dig out my Hallowe'en Havoc 89 tape and my copy of the Jim Cornette book and do some "research" later.

As for King of Trios, in the recent thread about the Osirian Portal a METAFILTER KING OF TRIOS MEETUP was talked about... I'm only 50/50 going (transportation issues), but F it, I' ll make a post on IRL...
posted by jtron at 3:14 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


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