Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yes, Yes, We Get It: Philly Fan Is The Worst Person In The World

You might have heard about this little kerfluffle: Washington Nationals' right fielder / free agent contract millstone Jayson Werth broke a wrist on Sunday night against the Phillies, and claims to have heard Traveling Philly Fan say unkind things, among them, "You deserve it." Which makes one wonder, really, how unspeakably manly Werth is, to ignore the pain of a broken body part to determine the crowd noise. Personally, if this had happened to me, I think I'd be cursing or screaming too much to hear what people say a couple of hundred feet away.

In other news, Jayson Werth either has bionic ears, or he hears what he wants to hear, which means he's Filled Of The Brown Stuff. But enough about that.

What's more telling, of course, is that no one really thinks Werth is lying or unstable or unreliable; everyone is convinced that Philly Fan said that, because Philly Fan is always saying impossibly awful things. Just as Boston Fan is racist and spoiled, LA Fan is blase and superficial, New York Fan is insufferable and jaded, Atlanta Fan doesn't exist, and so on, and so on...

Well, it gets old. Not as old as the B-roll footage of cheese steaks on a grill (amazing, really, how a metropolitan area can be reduced to a sandwich), or the fake-equal talk over how the fans here are so passionate that any bad behavior should be excused, but old nonetheless.

I've sat in the stands in New York, and Cleveland, and Chicago and Detroit and Oakland and San Francisco and plenty of other places. There's nothing magical about Philly Fan's invective and dislike; he's utterly ordinary in his dislike of the zebras, sense of permanent angst, willingness to turn on his own laundry, etc., etc. Close your eyes and listen to the crowd when the game is close and something bad happens to them; that sound is universal.

If a crowd cares about a game's outcome as something more than the background for their own corporate life, if they feel that the home player is not giving his full effort, or if they spy someone who has been particularly mercenary in their pursuit of money...

Well, some among them might say hurtful things, or do things that seem irresponsibly unkind.

And if you'd really rather have a sports world without those people, you'd also have a sports world where everyone watches the game as if it were a computer game, with the allegiance of gamblers and roto players (i.e., lesser gamblers).

So cut Philly Fan some slack. Raise your eyebrows in appropriate disbelief or sympathy when an ex-player says over-the-top things. Realize that poor fan behavior, like racism or homophobia or sexism, is a worldwide weed with a million cracks in the sidewalk to grow out of, and likely to get worse as the cost of going to a game makes people care way too much about the outcome, and the Internets ensure that every bad moment gets worldwide exposure.

But do not, under penalty of developing the same rabbit ears that Werth seems to be suffering from, think that there is something unique going on here. It's just the reporting -- sloppy, lazy, pathetic reporting. Boo...

1 comment:

snd_dsgnr said...

Philly isn't reduced to just a sandwich, there's also Rocky.

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