Sunday, September 28, 2008

Classless


The abuse started well before we stepped foot into Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Walking out of the Chesapeake House Rest Area on Interstate 95N in Maryland taking a short break from the drive north--some old man in a Phillies Cap yells over: "You can't possibly be heading to The Phillies Game today wearing that crap!!" Yeah, I responded (Sohna and I wearing Our Washington Nationals Gray Away Jerseys). Of course we are, we support our team."

The Old Geezer responds: "You are going to get MURDERED THERE!!"

As it turns out--his prediction was pretty close.

From the very moment The African Queen and I stepped out of our car in the parking lot beside Citizens Bank Park--the insults began. The yelling in our face, the rudeness. The staring and pointing. As we walked to Will Call to pick up our tickets--the shouts continued and did not stop. Two 10 Year Old Kids, WITH THEIR PARENTS WATCHING AND LAUGHING--came so close to slapping Sohna in the face screaming at her--if they had--World War Three WAS ABOUT TO BEGIN.

No one seemed to care. No one showing any respect for visitors. No Adults, No Security, No Police.

No wonder that throughout the entire afternoon and into the early evening in South Philadelphia this Saturday, we only saw four other fans of Our Washington Nationals. Colleen and Jeff (along with Curly "W" their rally monkey), who attend most every Washington home game, and another Father with his son wearing Red Curly "W" Caps. No one else. Not a soul.

As we took our seats, good ones, 20 rows from the field between Home Plate and Washington's Third Base Dugout--the abuse continued. Four early 20 Something Youths decided that whenever Washington was batting with Runners in Scoring Position--they needed to stand up--just to block our view. Repeated requests to just sit down--were followed by more insults and cursing. So bad it became--ONE USHER AT CITIZENS BANK PARK FINALLY STUCK UP FOR US (in the 7th inning)--telling the immature and out of control idiots to stop it--or they would be thrown out.

Immediately followed by another bozo to Sohna's left laughing in her face over Cheering For Our Washington Nationals. "Why should you care about that team?" He demanded, "This game means nothing to you!!" Always one to fire back--The African Queen said: "Who made you The God of Fans? Where does it say in the baseball rule book that any team that plays Philadelphia can not have their fans come here and support them!!" That shut him up--at least until he guzzled another beer.

By that time--Our Washington Nationals were in the midst of a TREMENDOUS COMEBACK. With The Philadelphia Phillies just two outs away from Clinching The National League East--a magnificent choke by Philadelphia was in the works. Thanks to a very rare shaky closing appearance from The Phillies Brad Lidge. A one out single by Roger Bernadina, a walk by Pinch Hitter Ryan Langerhans, a bloop single to left center by Anderson Hernandez scoring Our Number 2 and a slammed single to right by Cristian Guzman loading up the bases. A now 4-3 score with one out in the top of the 9th. A turnabout that now found Philadelphia's fans standing--stunned their Phillies might actually lose their most important game of the season.

How great would that be?!

As Ryan Zimmerman stepped to the plate, you could see the nervousness in each and every Phillies' Fan. They didn't want to admit it themselves, but Washington was about to upend their possible post season chances. When Our Number 11 stepped into the batters box, Sohna looked over at me, both knowing if The Z-Man knocked in the go ahead runs--justice would be served. We wanted to see Baseball's Most Obnoxious Fans suffer a terrible defeat.

No one deserved it more.

And they almost did feel that pain, at least until Reigning NL MVP, Jimmy Rollins, made an excellent stop of a Zimmerman ground ball to his left. With the ball heading up the middle, Rollins dove to his left, and stretched his glove hand out to retrieve the baseball, then tossed the ball, from his knees, to Chase Utley at second base retiring "The Guz" for out number two. Utley then pivoted and threw to Ryan Howard at First Base for a Double Play. A Game Ending, NL East Clinching Final Out that sent Citizens Bank Park into a FRENZY!! Fireworks, White Rally Towels and a combined BELLOW OF CHEER among the 45,177 that was nearly deafening. Was it ever loud!!

The Partying began on the field. The Celebrating continued in the stands. Unfortunately, so did the rude behavior.

Even In Victory--Philadelphia's Fans Have No Class. They Can Not Be Gracious.

And this time it got totally out of control.

As Sohna was standing on The Main Concourse waiting for me to return from the rest room, two drunken idiots attacked her pushing and shoving her. Only stopping after Colleen came over to help and I confronted them upon seeing the incident unfolding.

Believe it or not, it then got uglier.

Four morons began to threaten us, surrounding Sohna and I as we moved toward the exit gate near third base--heading toward our car. Two pushing and shoving, the others verbally threatening to assault us. One claiming they were coming to our car to trash it. "You guys aren't going home alive." Laughing, pointing--and being serious.

We immediately grabbed two Philadelphia Police Officers standing nearby. One of the officers responding: "They are just blowing off steam!!" Blowing off steam? They are threatening us. Only after these two Philadelphia Police Officers realized WE WERE SERIOUS--did they finally decide to help us. Of course, they did nothing to stop the intoxicated ones. Those four, realizing they might be held by Police--ran off into the ever enlarging crowd leaving Citizens Bank Park.

Instead, with Two Philadelphia Police Officers around us--Sohna and I were escorted to the parking lot safely to our vehicle--whereupon one officer informed us that other policemen would be watching out for us as we drove out of Citizens Bank Park. Alot of good that did. While two Philadelphia Police Officers stood on S. Broad Street directing traffic heading toward I-95, more Phillie Fans rocked our car back and forth, banged on our windows and made EVERY SINGLE ATTEMPT to harm us.

The Police Officers DID NOTHING!! They just stood there and watched.

Nothing like The City Of Brotherly Love.

Fortunately, the traffic began to move and the idiots fell away from our car--they had spotted another victim to attack.

America's Worst Fans had set a New Standard. Even after winning The National League East. A Glorious Day for any Franchise hoping to advance and possibly win a World Series Title, Philadelphia's Fans had soiled that fine moment--once again proving they are The MOST OBNOXIOUS, INSULTING AND DISRESPECTFUL FANS IN SPORT.

Classless. No one else comes close.

Yeah, Sohna and I knew we were heading into The Lion's Den yesterday at Citizens Bank Park. A difficult place to watch a ballgame as a visiting fan. But we should be allowed to watch, enjoy and leave The Phillies Ballpark knowing we are always SAFE. That was not the case late Saturday Afternoon.

I am sure Philadelphia's Fans are proud of the way they treated us yesterday. But The Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Club and The Philadelphia Police should be embarrassed. In fact, they both owe The African Queen and I an apology.

She NEVER WANTS TO SET FOOT INSIDE CITIZENS BANK PARK EVER AGAIN. EVER.

You better believe The Philadelphia Phillies are going to be hearing from us.

Game Notes & Highlights

Under the bright lights of a playoff atmosphere, John Lannan pitched well. He survived five innings, giving up just three runs. And got out of one serious jam with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 4th. With two Philadelphia runs already in, and this game about to be broken wide open--Our Number 31 settled down to get Jimmy Rollins to ground out to Ryan Zimmerman at third base. Later, Lannan gave up an opposite field home run to Jayson Werth that was quite remarkable the ball left the yard. The wind was blowing strongly from center to leftfield. Werth got the ball up and even while curving to the right field foul pole, the baseball just went over the fence. He must have hit it hard, but he was also benefited by the short fences at Citizens Bank Park. The Home Run Walls are too close--making for some cheap home runs. This one probably one of them.

Anderson Hernandez and Cristian Guzman both had three hits apiece. Zimmerman two. Hernandez continuing to show some good play at the plate. Today with two of Washington's three RBI. Lastings Milledge knocked a sacrifice fly for an RBI in the 8th.

Sohna and I ran into Vendor Neal at Citizens Bank Park. Most anyone that attended games at RFK Stadium and sat in the lower bowl, must remember Neal, the beer vendor that always ran with his cases of beer back and forth, hustling to sell and then pick up more cases. Neal was MickNats main Beerman in Old Section 320 of RFK Stadium. Neal told us he works not only Nationals Park, but Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium (for Ravens Games) and Citizens Bank Park--"They drink alot of beer here," he laughed. He doesn't work Eagles football games across the street at Lincoln Financial Field because city rules allow only one beer to be sold per transaction. "They also cut off sales earlier, so you can't make enough money," he concluded.

It was a total surprise to see Neal and catch up with him. We had not seen him at Nationals Park for a while.

Finally, walking around the ballpark before the game began, Sohna and I ran right into Our General Manager Jim Bowden and Assistant General Manager Mike Rizzo in Ashburn Alley, The Centerfield Plaza of Citizens Bank Park. Bowden yelling out: "Hey, good to see you guys in your Nats Uniforms!! You look great!! You guys are pretty brave wearing that here."

Sohna replying: "We love our team and are here to support them, despite the fact we are in The Lion's Den and we are going to go down fighting."

JimBo: "Good for you. You guys are great fans. We need more fans like you two."

Of course at that time, we had no idea how close Sohna's fighting comment was to the truth as to what was to unfold later at Citizens Bank Park.

All Photos--Nats320 (All Rights Reserved)

65 comments:

Andrew said...

Way to go! Great story. When I went last month wearing my Nats cap and shirt I got a chant of Expos all game.

Before the game, the bonus for a young boy who stood near me by the dugout was wearing a Lastings Milledge red TShirt and he took it off and threw it to Lastings and got a PREMIUM Lastings sig and trust me, I have seen quite a few Lastings ballpark sigs and this one showed Lastings appreciation for anyone BRAVE enough to wear it to a game in Philly.

As an aside, could you imagine anyone in Nationals Park treating the opposition with hostile chants and threatening them with bodily harm. Alchohol mixed with stupidity and no manners leads to problems.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's almost unbelievable.

I work part-time as a tour guide at Nationals Park. When I point out the security office with two holding cells, I usually joke about how the holding cells are for Phillies fans.

The joke invariably gets a laugh, but it sounds like your experience was far from an amusing anecdote.

On the topic of being a fan on the road, I went to a game at Shea this season in my Nationals fan attire. The Mets fans needled me, but in a fun and playful way. Throughout the game, they also shared information on their players, while I reciprocated with tidbits on our team. It was a really fun day.

Take care, and thanks for all of the information over the season.

MikeHarris said...

Terribly sorry to hear about your experience. That's just awful.

I haven't been to CBP since the first season, right before the all-star break when the Nats were still in first place. My wife and I were decked out in our gear. We feared problems but the people around us were just great toward us. Of course, the Phils were struggling at the time and they were turning the venom on THEIR team. Abreu came up in a clutch situation and popped out or something and a bunch of them starting yelling, "YOU SUCK ABREU."

My wife turned to me and said, "I don't know a lot but those look like good numbers. He doesn't suck."

I've been lucky. I've worn the Nats gear to games in Atlanta, St. Louis, Baltimore, Boston, Seattle, Philly and NY and I haven't had a problem - yet. Seattle fans were the best (and so is their park).

Again, sorry you had such a bad experience. No one should have to deal with that and I hope you get some satisfaction from the Phillies' management.

Andrew said...

I am going to be attending a couple of games in June 2009 when we play the Yankees at their new ballpark. I need to work on my exit strategy as the in-game their security is good but more like what you went through leaving your seats is the problem.

My favorite fight story was at a Capitals Flyers game in the old Captial Centre so you know I am dating myself. There were more Flyer fans than Caps fans and some guys in the row in front of me went after my buddy. It got ugly and security was right on it and threw them out.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I'm sorry both you and the African Queen had to endure this yesterday. I have actually met a nice Phillies fan at one of the games over at Nationals Park---we were talking at Starbucks before the game. (It had to be before because that store closes before the Sunday games end.) The other Phillies fans I have seen at Nats Park have been loud and vociferous---but not abusive.

This crosses the line. Until and unless the Phillies and Philadelphia police are willing to get serious about ballpark security, I will probably not go to Citizen's Bank Park as well.

One more thing. My alma mater---unfortunately---also has a reputation for obnoxious and crude fans. Mike Krzykrzewski will not have his wife or family sit in the stands at Comcast Center because of how they were treated in the past.

Dave said...

Nate, Watson and I could write a whole blog on how awful Phillies "Phans" are.

There are a lot of annoying fans out there.

But Phillies fans take it to a whole 'nother level.

They're awful. Rude, obnoxious, horrible.

I'll take being a fan of a losing team rather than have to wear that badge of shame.

natsfan1a said...

That's awful - not only the behavior of the fans, but that of the security and police. And how cowardly to go after a woman alone (while you were in the restroom). I'm glad that you made it home safely, as I was wondering about that last night. All I can say is go Dodgers/Wild Card Team!

A poor city said...

Philadelphia fans, even when their teams win, are losers. Their city, outside the historic area, is poor, mean-spirited and ugly.

It is a horrible city, with ugly, mean people inhabiting it. If you buy a ticket, you have a right to enjoy the game in safety, no matter what gear you wear. The host organization owes you that much, and Philadelphia failed -- as they always do. Their baseball team is a class organization, their fans and police and ushers are not. Their fans are thugs, drunks and idiots -- at every park they darken.

Most Pennsylvanians are embarrassed the city is part of the state. They wish New Jersey would annex the dump.

I hope they are soon swept from the play-offs and turn their vitriol on their own team!

natsfan1a said...

If you haven't already done so, you should report your experience to Phillies management and to the chief of police there.

natsfan1a said...

Oh, after re-reading it, I see that you were already planning to contact the Phillies.

carolyn said...

Unfortunately, our group has had experiences almost as bad with Phillies fans at RFK and Nats Park. We seemed to have had more than our share in our Section at RFK and more than once had to call for help from security. My most vivid memory is of some drunken young men who used very foul language right next to two little girls, whose family had to get up and move. On another occasion, we were harassed on the Metro by a man who got off at our stop and followed us to our car. They don't just cheer for their team, they heap abuse on the Nats and their fans. I look forward to the day when we can fill the stadium with Nats fans before they buy tickets.

Let's hope they tank in the playoffs like they did last year.

Anonymous said...

We also work at Nats Park, and went to the last two games at Citizens Bank. A big vacation for us, and we were looking forward to checking out the new Philly stadium while ours was being built.
My husband spent a lot of his time questioning the ushers as to how things are done there, and going to the build a bear shop to get his Nattily attired Philly Phanatic.
I had 4 middle aged ladies admire my braveness for wearing a Nats shirt. I had 6 drunken 24 year olds waiting for me outside a bathroom to berate me about wearing Nats stuff. I asked them if they had been to RFK, and they had, just recently. Asked them what they wore, said I'm sure it wasn't Nats shirts, and told them they should thank us for beating the Mets. They backed off.
We had an 80 year old usher that swore he was there to keep us safe.
And on the way into the park, from the Holiday Inn, had a college educated father of two small blonde sons tell his boys to boo my special ed. son in his Schneider jersey. And you wonder how these things happen? I would not have sent him to a concession stand by himself to buy a coke, the fans that were that unreasonably ugly.
What a shame that they build a great stadium and the home fans are so unpleasant and unruly that no one can visit. We did not go this year, my son was the only one that wanted to make the trip.

MissChatter said...

So sorry about your horrific experience. Mr. Chatter just said "See!" as he wouldn't let me go by myself to Philly for the games.

natsfan1a said...

p.s. Hope that you got the badge numbers of the cops.

Andrew said...

Have you heard what they do to their own players?

Thousands of fans booing Jimmy Rollins at every at-bat last month after his "frontrunner" comments. JRoll was the NL MVP last year.

I can't imagine, but then I can because I was there in Philly to witness it. If you wore a Jimmy Rollins jersey they were harrassing their own.

I may not have been physically harrassed there because my oldest son was with me and he is also a big boy and former offensive lineman, but it was still in the back of my mind that there is certainly the reputation at Eagles and Flyers games that if you wear the opposing colors you will get at the least a beer shower and at the worst into the wrong side of a brawl.

SBF and AQ, I applaud you for rolling out the Nats uni's but I realize that I was lucky when I was there and if I think of going again to Bad Citizens Bank Ballpark I will wear my Nats cap only and probably tuck it in a bag when leaving the ballpark.

A good strategy is a terrible thing to waste.

WFY said...

I didn't have any problems on Opening Day 2005, so much that I was surprised. In the heat of the pennant race though -- I think I'd stay home after what you described.

"Most Pennsylvanians are embarrassed the city is part of the state. They wish New Jersey would annex the dump."

The thing of it is, most of Pennsylvania is awful, so there is not much point in putting much stock in what they have to say. The Philly area is the only place I could imagine living in the Keystone State and frankly, it doesn't have anything we don't have here for the most part.

Andrew said...

I just had the split screen up to see the Cardinals game. Felipe Lopez is 3 for 3 and his September batting average is .412 at this moment with many more at-bats today as the game is in the 3rd inning!

Looks like Felipe turned on his abilities at the right time so he can get a big free agent deal. All I have to say is caveat emptor.

Anonymous said...

Don't you hope that on the day the Nats win the NL East at Nationals Park, there are only 4 people wearing Phillies jerseys? The hostility is unacceptable, but the fact that the Phillies pack the house with Phillies Phans Only is impressive.

Becca said...

that is horrendous! we're driving home from Sunday's game now and all shocked that the nightmares we joked about of Phillies fans were your experience. today certainly wasn't as awful despite plenty of rude and unnessasary comments made to us in our Nats gear. there is no excuse for that behavior no matter how important the game or even how many beers have been consumed.

STILL a poor city said...

There's hundreds of places in Pa. better than Philly -- top of the list is Pittsburgh. Any place with people like those fans is a lousy place to live. It's a lousy city, plain and simple with equally lousy inhabitants

Tom said...

We've all had these same experiences with Phillie/Eagle fans. Even Santa Claus has a story!
Someone should write a book.
Wait until the Nats start beating the Phillies. You ain't seen nothin yet.

Sohna and Jeff: Have a great off-season. I understand ST is starting a week early because of the World Baseball Championship.
You've earned the break.
From all of you fans THANK YOU!

Dave said...

I loathe the Phillies' fans, for this very reason. They are rude, classless swine. They have acted this way at RFK, and even at Nationals Park.

At the last Philadelphia game I attended at Nats park, there was a group of Phillies fans sitting to my right in section 311. There were two adults (30-something parent types), and a couple of boys about 10 years old.

The kid sitting next to me was, believe it or not, the loudmouth Philly fan in this group. He was generally just obnoxious, screaming "Phillies" every time our crowd chanted "Let's go Nats."

But when he let fly with a "Nationals suck!" in about the 7th inning, about half a dozen of us Nationals adults turned instantly to him and tried to remind him that he was in our house.

The adults with him, however, said nothing.

They grow those creepy, abusive, swine-like fans very early in Philadelphia.

I had been thinking about driving up to CBP to see a game sometime. I think your story just killed that idea forever, SBF. I'm glad you guys got out of there unharmed, and I'm sorry Philadelphia's finest didn't try to protect you.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at how everyone thinks they are so superior to Philadelphia fans. Let me tell you a story about one of your wonderful Nats fans on Labor Day at your half-empty stadium. This happened two rowa in front of me.

There was an 8-year old Phillies fan who had the nerve to cheer for his favorite team. A 40-something Nationals fan turns to him and starts talking trash to him. A grown man, talking trash to an 8-year old. Real nice.

There are fans like this in every city. It's laughable that Philadelphia fans get singled out. Try wearing an oposing team's jersey to Fed Ex Field and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

After reading this account, I can only say that comments from "anonymous" posters seem kind of mild heh?
I did find your story amusing. I've been to CBP and sat in the 4th row of the visitors side with my road Washington jersey. No one bothered me.

The Nationals Enquirer said...

Not that I needed another reason to be rooting for the Brewers to sweep the Phillies, but there it is...

Sadly, it's par for the course for Philly...

brian said...

Phillies fans are the biggest jerks. It would have been great to have swept them, but alas we didn't, so I hope the Brew Crew can sweep them in three games and shut those fans up. I was Phillies message board last month, when they lost 2 of 3 at Nationals Park, and all the "fans" were badmouthing their team and all the players, saying it was all over (they were 3 out at that point), that Charlie Manuel should be fired, etc., etc. What jerks.

Colleen said...

Unlike Jeff & Sohna, we couldn't leave well enough alone. We went back for more abuse on Sunday. I now have a ring finger 3 times the normal size sporting every shade of purple imaginable. All because of a Philly fan's attempt to steal a ball from me that one of our players threw to me. You'd be happy to know that when I realized I could not keep it, I spilled it back into the dugout rather than let this jerk have it. What kind of grown man injures a 46 year old woman to steal a ball out of her hand that was thrown to her? Having seen this, a sweet kid on our team motioned the jerk to back off and tossed me the ball. After the game, I saw a little unhappy guy of about 4 yrs old and asked him if he had gotten a ball when he said "no", I said "yes you did!" and gave him mine. His face lit up and his dad thanked me profusely. A group of guys were shocked and asked why the heII I would do that and swore they'd never give up a ball. I replied "That's how Nats fans operate - good luck in the playoffs". They mumbled "thanks" and looked at the ground.

diehardnatsfan said...

I am sorry that you had a terrible experience. I was at Saturday’s game too and had just about the opposite experience. I had thought about booking the Philly trip months ago, however, made the final decision to go up to Philly after the Thursday rainout. I wanted to get my Nats fix and say goodbye to the team (especially happy with that decision after today’s announcement of the coaches departures). My husband was unable to go so I talked my mom into going with me. We had a wonderful time. Hope you all enjoy my tales of CBP from Saturday, September 27th. (Sorry, it got a little long).

I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and was fully prepared to be heckled all day. I have NEVER had a positive experience with Phillies fans and am in agreement with most that have posted that the fans of Philly are the worst fans in all of sports. I also understand that there are “Phillies type fans” in every city and for every sport, but Philly just seems to the absolute worst.

Despite being warned by many (included Nats players) NOT to wear Nats attire, I proudly wore Nats gear to CBP. Knowing it would be a sea of red, I opted for my blue practice jersey and wore my traditional red curly W hat, curly W earrings and homemade DC Baseball bracelets made prior to opening day 2005. It would be hard to mistake me for a Phillies fan! :)

Indeed, there were only a few of us Nats fans there, however, it would have been tough to miss me and a few others standing at the dugout during the Nats batting practice. I met a Nats Park regular/huge fan wearing Guzman’s road jersey and Collin Balester gave him a game used bat. I also met Jeff and Colleen and saw a few other Nats fans in and around the stadium. The Nats seemed happy to have fans there supporting them in “enemy camp.”

Our seats were fantastic! We were right behind the Nats dugout – section 131, row 6 even with 3rd base. Maybe because there were many season ticket holders around us or because there were some families, I don’t know, but the Phillies fans around us were very nice! I couldn’t believe it myself. Zim tossed a ball my way, but the guy 2 rows in front of me snagged it and the person that caught the Utley foul ball was in my row and 3 people over from me! :) I stood up every single time the Nats did anything good and every time the Nats came off the field to bat. Many of the players would smile or wave at us when they walked off the field.

Don’t get me wrong, the Phillies fans are in no way perfect. When Phillies fans looked at me and realized that I was a Nationals fan they either gave me a sympathetic look or would tease me in a playful manner. After the game, many of them “thanked” us for the win and I would tell them that “we wanted to make them work for it” or “we just wanted to be it more dramatic.” :) Phillies fans around us even offered up directions, sites to see in Philly and places to eat. I was genuinely shocked. We ran into a few obnoxious drunk young guys though on the way back to car that yelled out mean things for no reason just because we had Nats stuff on. I turned around and yelled back that they were the fans that give Phillies fans a bad rep and they shut up. Other Phillies fans actually apologized to us for them.

The top of the 9th inning was so exciting. CBP was nuts! The Phillies fans had legitimate fear on their faces when it appeared as though Brad Lidge might get his first blown save of the year and I really thought Zim was going to come through like he did on opening night 2008 with the walk-off homerun. I had never been to a division clinching game before so pretty wild stuff. When we left the park, the Phillies players and coaches were actually still on the field. The security guard told me that last year they stayed on the field for 2 hours.

We waited by the gate with the Nats bus and got to say goodbye to several players and coaches (some for the last time!). :( There were only a few Nats fans there and a couple of Phillies fans were waiting for Don Sutton so it was very cool and low key.

I think that if the Nats would have won on Saturday, things would have been VERY different and my experience might have not been as positive. I don’t expect this type of experience to happen again but will remain hopeful. If you have not been to CBP, I hope that all of the horror stories don’t keep you from going. I went to CBP last year, but not for a Nats game. The Nats were on the road and we like to see at least one new ballpark each year so headed up the street a couple of hours. It is a beautiful ballpark with great food and in many ways it is very similar to Nats Park. Tip: Try out CBP when the Nats are on the road and you don’t care about either team that is playing so that you can simply enjoy the park.

As much as I hated to see the Nats lose, it was fun to see fans go crazy for their team and celebrate. Before you jump all over me - It is not like it was a playoff game between the Nats and Phillies, although I would always prefer a Nats win! I have only seen Nats Park remotely close to that crazy – opening night 2008 when Zim hit the walk-off homerun. There have been many exciting moments at Nats Park, however, not during sellout games when all but a dozen people in the stadium are wearing Nats gear! It was very refreshing to see the fans cheering throughout the entire game! Hopefully we’ll have something to cheer about sooner than later. Go Nats!

Medley said...

SBF - what a terrible experience. I hope you'll post what you hear back from the Phillies organization.

During the recent rain delay someone called in to Charlie&Dave and asked about wearing Nats gear to the Phillies games. I can't remember how he worded it, but Charlie's bottom line was: "don't do it." I thought that was telling. And sad.

Anyway, thanks again for all of your write-ups this year. Lots of fun stuff. Spouse and I have a newborn, so we haven't made it to the new stadium yet - hoping to bring the boy next year at some point..

Smirkman said...

I have not been to CBP since OD 2005. I can say that my experience was surprisingly the opposite yours. Many fans expressed congratulations for getting a team back in DC. Perhaps it was the festive OD experience or that it was too cold to drink alot. BTW I was wearing a Nats cap and dugout jacket and expected the worst (although that wasn't close to what you actually experienced). That being said, reading about your confrontations made me sick and I hope these jokes that didn't even support their team until they became winners can be mitigated by a responsive security staff and police. However, I fear that only a truly violent episode will get out neighbors to the north to realize the real situation.

Sassafras said...

As a lifelong Phillies fan and Nationals season ticket holder living in DC, I'm sorry to hear about your terrible, inexcusable experience at CBP. I implore you not to paint all Phillies fans with a broad brush, though. There is certainly a particular breed of obnoxious Philadelphia sports fan who revels in the loudmouth, trashy persona, but I would suggest that most Phillies fans are, like me, respectful of other fans and respectful of the game. As one who roots hardest for the Phils, but proudly wears my Nats gear to Nats Park whenever the nats play anyone but the Phils, I kindly ask for the "all Philly fans are losers" posters to rethink their tone.

Thanks, by the way, for all of your hard work. Your blog is routine reading for me.

diehardnatsfan said...

I took a few seconds of video on Saturday prior to the announcement of starting line-ups. This gives you a sense of the fan excitement and this was BEFORE the game. The rally towels were flying around all game long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BOiOZ4qei0

nynatsnut said...

SBF and the African Queen: My son Frank and I enjoyed your great tour of Nats Park in the beginning of the year. You are graciuos people. Actually as you know we live in NY now and actually go to Shea to see the Nats. Met Fans are not likethat. Mainly the reason being is that the Nats have given them some pastings the last few years at Shea. We will see you next year, and I think I will buy a beer at Nats park to pour on the head of a Phillies Fan(An accident, of course) Our day will come!!

Old Nats Guy said...

Young, drunk, no-necked frat boy types who accosted you and also come to games in DC should be arrested and not allowed to return to a ballpark of any kind until they pass a course on acceptable fan behavior.
Those types of fans give their city a bad name and are a disgrace to fans everywhere. These are the types of fans who mugged Chief Z at the Vet years ago. Big, tough guys, beating up an old man. Wow! I'll bet their families were proud of them. It's no small wonder why the City of Philadelphia sets up a courtroom in the basement of their stadium(s). What are these fans thinking? Where is their perspective? It's a freakin' sporting event, not a life-and-death struggle that will result in the loss of your first born son.
I used to get annoyed at Mets fans who came to RFK and enthusiastically cheered on their team, but that changed after a trip to Shea on Opening Day 2006. Unlike front-running Phillies fans who have no talent themselves but are quick to criticize their players in the worst of terms, Mets fans are passionate, but they are not ugly about it. Mets fans are knowledgeable. Mets fans understand the game. It was fun just chatting with them about the game and the two teams. At the end of the game, we wished each other luck throughout the season and said our goodbyes. We walked to our car without incident.
It is time that the City of Brotherly Love lives up to their nickname and strongly discourages this type of thuggery and moronic behavior. Does someone need to die before something is done? This is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

What a filthy little city. Philly is a toilet.

Anonymous said...

True, your experience was horrible and a sad reflection on what is the norm for fan stadium behavior nationwide (drunk & disorderly)... but you sir, were incredibly studpid and naive to don a bacon suit and get into stormy waters churning with hungry sharks. Wearing tha Nats colors and going to a final playoff-laden game in Philly IS JUST ASKING FOR IT! Especially as a bi-racial couple!
I'm sorry to say this, but you got exactly what you were asking for.
And all the more embarrassing for you is the fact that as a CNN cameraman you routinely enter dangerous situations and I know you know better than to antagonize the agitated locals by wearing inciting garb. Go do a shoot in Sunni Baghdad wearing a Shite T-shirt and see how comfy you feel. Sorry to say, but when the typical Philly fan is fully juiced on alcohol, the situation is the same.
It's a sad commentary on 2008 America, but what you did in Philly was irresponsible and you got what you asked for. You should have known better and to disavow this fact the reflects a total naitivite of the current American sports scene on your part. Alcohol & Anger overrules all reason! Even at the ballpark.
Sad but true. Now grow up, pray for change by some unknown higher force, and quietly accept what happened.
By the way, have you been to a Redskin home game in the last 5 years. It's the same there too. Nobody is guiltless.

Anonymous said...

LOVE YOUR DEDICATION, COMMITMENT & BRAVERY. TRUE FAN!!!!! MAKE ME PROUD TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH YOU GUYS. GLAD ALL IS SAFE....PP
YOUR #1 FAN PP

Anonymous said...

I know you are both pretty smart people, so I have to ask why would you put yourself into a situation where exactly what could have happened, happened? You're not a spring chicken and your wife would be described as diminutive in size at best.

Regardless of whether you have the "right" to go somewhere, and wear what you want, common sense should over rule fan allegience. Your attire was a direct cause of you your issues. Travelling in a small group did not help either.

Choose your battles wisely and in this case, wearing Nat's gear (As pointed out by Jimbo no less) was probably not a good idea.

Does this excuse the behavior of the philly fans? No, but you did not help yourselves.

I find it hard to believe that you did not expect to get grief in your attire. With the game being as important as it was, fanatic stupidty was bound to be in high abundancy.

I know you have attended Philly games at PNC before and I guess you were still feeling lucky.

Your safety is paramount and one must take appropriate precautions not to put that in jeopardy.

I know you knew better.

I attended a Nats game in Milwaukee this year, wearing a Nat's Jersey and maybe it's me, but the fans there were nice, we had some good hearted jawing and they were buying my wife and beers throughout the game. Maybe because I am 6'6" and 320? ;)

Anonymous said...

The comments I see here are hardly any more classy than the idiotic fans described in the post. "The fans are awful." "The fans are losers." "Rude, classless swine." If I made these kinds of comments about a race or gender I'd be beaten. But because it's just about the inhabitants of a city you're allowed to make broad generalization based on one group of idiots.

What the blogger went through is horrible and should not have happened. I have to question his intelligence though. He went to what turned out to be the most important game of the season wearing "enemy colors". Emotions were high and alcohol was flowing. You kind of had to expect it. You wouldn't walk down a dark alley in a big city at night. Should you be able to? Sure, but it's still not advisable.

As for Philly seemingly being the only place this happens, I cry foul. I guarantee you if I'd have gone to Shea Stadium this weekend wearing Phillies gear I would have received similar treatment.

LetTeddyWin.com said...

Every team and every stadium has it's share of jerks. What's crazy about Phillie fans is that they embrace and nurture their reputation as rude, loud mouth, fair-weather boo birds. They wear it as a badge of honor.

I used to sit right behind the visitor dugout at RFK, where we were frequently surrounded by guests of the visiting team. You want scary? Try sitting with a bunch of Philly fans within earshot of their own dugout. I can't imagine wanting to play for that team.

I think it's great that people are afraid to go to their stadium. Let their ignorant fans nurture their beloved reputation, while Nationals Park becomes known as a the friendliest place for a New Yorker or Philadelphian to spend a summer weekend. I'm sure Stan will happily take their money and pour it into salaries.

The African Queen said...

Anonymous at 9:54PM & 10:45PM (One In The Same)

It took you long enough to get to the COLOR issue. I guess being a "BI-RACIAL" couple as you say is also a reason to be abused, but we weathered that storm over 25 Years Ago. We've been there and done that!

You would have us believe that we were singled out because we are an inter-racial couple. Any excuse for bad behavior and bad manners?! Right!?

Here I thought we were living in The United States of America--"The Land Of The Free." Thanks for revealing your bias.

Traveling to Philadelphia to support our team (in case you don't know is where The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776), we went wearing our team colors, just like thousands of other baseball fans do at ballparks around this great country every day. There is nothing wrong with that. The very fact that you believe that Philly Fans have the right to "TERRORIZE" those fans who show up at Citizens Bank Park wearing opposing colors leads to the root of the problem.

It's OK to be disrespectful to anyone. It's OK to make their visit as miserable as possible. It's OK to be a lout? Even little children, who don't have the excuse of being drunk, are encouraged by their parents to show hate. Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?

There is something VERY UNAMERICAN about that!

We have been to many danger zones throughout the world, but you would make everyone believe that going to a ball game in Philadelphia qualifies as going to Baghdad (under the current circumstances). We will be sure to notify The State Department next time.

Once again your analogy is far off base and a ridiculous statement. Coming from someone who has no understanding of what is common decency toward others.

"IT'S A SAD COMMENTARY ON 2008 AMERICA" when someone like you can excuse the fact, as you say, we were abused because we happen to be an inter-racial couple in a place where you believe we had NO RIGHT TO BE? What you see is a color line and boundaries. That's not how SBF and I see the world.

We are not bound by narrow minded limits. Sadly, you seem to be.

The fact that these comments are coming in the guise of anonymous from someone who claims to know us, is itself sickening. Your desire to stir up hate through racially motivated comments have no place here.

Just like the title of this original post--your words are "CLASSLESS".

Ray D. said...

This is to Mr. "anonymous" a couple posts above.

I used to get really offended when people said that Philadelphia people were the ugliest in the world. How can you so characterize an entire city? It is rude, insensitive, and mean.

Then I went to Philadelphia, and realized it was true. These are the fattest, ugliest, and sadest people I have ever seen. I would estimate the Ugly Quotient at about 85%.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Philly is a little racist.

Anonymous said...

Do you all really think that "Anonymous" is one person? If so, you are very wrong. If you do not have a Google account or a blog and want to leave a comment, you simply click on the Anonymous button. It is not like everyone actually has the username of "Anonymous!"

Anonymous said...

Sohna and SBF You are doing a great job, don't let the fools get you down

Ray D. said...

Not entirely true. The blog owner (who I believe it was who asserted that two were the same) can determine if one "anonymous" is the same as another.

nynatsnut said...

AQ and SBF- I must say I really feel bad that you were treated and talked to like you were. It says nothing about you, and everything about them. My son Frank and I went to Philly last year for the final Nats game. As you know the visiting bullpen is in a place where fans can look at the relievers. The vile language heaped on the Nats bullpen(comments about their mothers, filthy language referring to women , etc. They absolutely do nothing about behaviour at Citizens Bank Ballpark. We were wearing our curly W hats and Nat Tees. I am in my sixties, and would never tell my son what was said to me. If I did, the words "Louisville Slugger" would be imprinted on the side of their heads. We should not call them Phillies Fans however. Fans don't behave like that. Thugs do.

I think the Nats(with an Adam Dunn or Mark Texiera in the lineup next year) will be contenders. We just have to stay away from the demon of injuries. Have a great winter. Only about 41/2 months until pitchers and catchers report. My fantasy phrase to hear" Nats clinch the NL East...details at 11:00"

Anonymous said...

I was at the game on Saturday too and this sweet older man was with his grandson (both Phillies fans, but also loved Zim) and when everyone was on their feet in the 9th with 2 outs and starting to go crazy, he leaned over and said, "Don't worry, the Nats will be in contention next year!" I just smiled and held up two fingers and said, "In two years the Nats will win the divison." He shook his head in agreement. Thought it was a nice thing to say considering his team was about to clinch the division.

natsfan1a said...

One of the Anonymous posters said: If you do not have a Google account or a blog and want to leave a comment, you simply click on the Anonymous button. It is not like everyone actually has the username of "Anonymous!"

And I reply that you don't need a Google account or a blog to stand out from the Anonymous crowd. Click on Name/URL and type your name or moniker (the URL field is optional).

Tom said...

For those of you who don't know Colleen. I've seen her perform that same act of kindness at National and RFK Stadiums. Yes, she is a special person.

PS I hope Philly gets it first inter-racial President in 35 days!

Kristen said...

While we personally had no problems at CBP and actually had a wonderful experience there for 3 games at the end of the last season, nynatsnut is right about the comments made toward our bullpen last year by Phillies fans. They endured a lot of heckling last year, mostly awful racial comments. The guys did a great job of ignoring it, despite the close distance there between fans and the visiting bullpen.

forssell said...

Thanks for testifying to the embarassment that is Philadelphia sports fandom. The way I was treated at Citizen's Bank park at game one of the DLCS last year, doing no more than wearing my Rockies jersey, was the worst experience of my life as sports fan an possibly as a human as well. The whole story is far too long to post here (I'm working on writing it up to send to Phillies management, city officials, and other powers-that-be). But suffice it to say it was every bit as bad as the story you posted, complete with thrown beers, an entire section of the stadium chanting "A--hole!", direct threats of violence, non-existant stadium security, and uniformed Philly police officers that stood by and watched - laughing.

I wish the Phillies, their fans, and all Philadelphia sports franchises for that matter (Eagles and Flyers fans are no better) nothing but bad luck and misfortune. They deserve every bit of it. I did get the last laugh though, with the Rockies winning not only the game, but sweeping the series as well.

Bottom line: I will *never* patronize a Philly team in anyway whatsoever. Ever. This is all a terrible shame as my affection for the city itself is strong. The mayor of Philadelphia, the city council, the business community and the team itself need to recognize they have a serious problem and get busy fixing it. City of brotherly love it is not.

In my experience, no other team in no other city has such a persistent problem and severe problem with their sports teams, and I'm including all the New York teams.

Let's Go Brewers!!!

Anonymous said...

I am appalled. That goes far beyond the line of good natured needling. This just lets me know never to go to Philadelphia. And to never root for them in the playoffs.

Conversely we had a wonderful experience at Wrigley this past August for all three Nats games. Yes we got a lot of ribbing, but it was all good natured. Everyone was surprisingly nice. And there were about as many Nats fans in the stadium as there were in Philadelphia. I have never had a problem in New York either. What makes Philly fans so awful?

Robert Tyson said...

Listen, there are knuckleheads at every stadium, including your beloved Nationals Park. In no way did you deserve what happened, and in no way were you "asking for it", but you have to know that on one of the biggest days of the year in Philly there would be an overabundance of meatballs in the stands.

Philly fans are not always model citizens, but by in large they are not the monsters that you encountered, or the hate-filled boo birds that the folks at ESPN or FoxSports would have you believe.

forssell said...

I would certainly not paint all Phillies fans as being knuckleheads. In fact, after the game I attended, a couple of Phillies fans shared a very hard to find cab with me and paid for my fare! No doubt the city is full of wonderful people, some of them sports fans. But even the 2 gentlemen I shared a ride with oconceded and were fully aware (and embarassed) of their home town fans' reputation.

I do believe it is within the power of the team management, security, the police, and the city to reign this in. They put a stop to it (expel/restrain rowdy fans) if they want to. They do not do this at CBP.

Anonymous said...

WOW.....I am sorry that happened to you. I was there that night and I am HUGE phillies fan. I know what you are saying about the beer drinking youth. I am 30 yrs old and it is appalling TO ME how ignorant and obnoxious my fellow Phillies fans have become, especially at night games. My father is 70 and he won't go down at night because it is soooo out of control with the cursing, drinking and there even watching the game! He has been going to Phillies games since he was a kid! He sells his season tickets when its a night game because he can't deal with it. Just understand that there are some of us out there who are very nice Phillies fans, who enjoy the game, and are not assholes.

Aaron G. said...

Hey, "anonymous" people:

No one should endure what SBF and TAQ did. Respect your humanity and theirs and at least acknowledge that we all deserve and should expect basic courtesy, even from Phillies fans. Any obnoxious, disrespectful or misdemeanor-worthy behavior should never be defended.

There are some police officers who are likely a disgrace to the rest of the Philadelphia Police Department, no doubt, and I am sorry you ended up with one of them. That must have been one of the most frustrating aspects of your negative experience.

I absolutely can't stand the more obnoxious Philly fans' behavior: booing their own players any time other than immediately after a lax performance (which even then is just barely acceptable to me!), harassing fans of the opposing team, and especially acting like dangerous (and/or bigoted) thugs.

I hope, SBF and AQ, if you do decide to brave the Citizens Bank crowd (an unfortunately necessary turn of phrase), you sit near me; I would have had your back giving it right back to those people/reporting them to the ushers. As other commenters here have mentioned, these bullies will usually back down if assertively confronted.

I was mindful of the Mets fans at Shea and mindful of the Nats fans at RFK and kept my cheering to an enthusiastic if muted level. I got glares from Mets fans and some Nats fans, but no one bothered me The more civilized of us Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park (myself included!) need to step up and police our own a little more.

Most of us may have no more rational reason for being a fan of our local team than the fact that it's there, or that we like its colors, or that our family roots for it. For someone to act angry at other people just because they're fans of another team and cheering that team on, well, there's no excuse for that.

If we think of ourselves as baseball fans first, then I hope we can respect each other on that level and enjoy the ballgame anno matter what we're wearing!

(People who shout E-A-G-L-E-S cheers at a baseball game, however, deserve all the (nonviolent) derision they get!)

Fred Benson said...

Learning about Philly fans in this story has given me an idea: You know fan violence is spurred on by excessive alcohol consumption. It's time that Budweiser (the official beer of Major League Baseball) would team up with MLB and tell home team fans to respect visitors from other cities at their ballparks. If Anheuser-Busch and MLB do these PSAs about fan violence and its problems on ESPN. FOX, TBS and local broadcasts, then fan violence would be cut down completely. That's what I think.

Anonymous said...

i live in philadelphia and go to probably a dozen games a year, and there is definitely a drunken jackass element sometimes. it usually depends where you're sitting as to whether you experience it or not. it's a shame. sorry you were treated that way.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

It's sad that I have to bump this thread, but guess what just happened in Philadelphia?

World Series: Phils' fans live down to their reputation

This is how Phillies fans have reacted.

Dave said...

The St. Petersburg Times column reports essentially the same kind of abuse SBF and AQ suffered. So that's just a confirmation of what we know.

But if you want to see how widespread the low-life Philly attitude is, and how long it will be before anything changes in their Neanderthal behavior, read the link to the fan reaction.

It is appalling how many of those online comments express exactly the kind of abuse--based in an inferiority complex--that we've all seen and experienced from Philadelphia fans.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Dave, one thing about "inferiority" complexes. Baltimore is said to have an inferiority complex regarding Washington, which is part of the reason why many Baltimoreans resent this city and area so much.

Anyway, I went to an Orioles/Nats game at OPACY last year. Maybe it was the area where I sat, but I got the distinct impression that I was the ONLY Nats fan in the entire stadium. Nevertheless, I felt perfectly safe during my visit and at no time felt the need to call for security.

Orioles fans---whether from Baltimore or D.C.---know there are certain lines that shouldn't be crossed. Many Philadelphians need to learn.

Anonymous said...

i went to a Rays game in st louis, wore my rays gear, and intro'd myself to the cardinals fans around me before the game started. They were great sports fans: they said they understood, they'd cheer their team at our stadium. We got along fine.

At the first series game we had philly fans in front of and behind us. I started conversations with them both before game time, and got the fella behind me to brief me on philly players from time to time. Those fans were great sports fans. We got along fine.

What's been described here in philly is not the behavior of sports fans.

terry

Anonymous said...

I am truly sorry you were treated that way. Coming from a South Central PA city, the Phillies are my team. It seems to me that you ran into a small subsecton of jerks. Most Phillies fans are not like that, and they are certainly not proud of their reputation, but at the same time, I don't know any Phillies fan who would appreciate being referred to as classless swine, fat, ugly and any number of other things I have read in the comments. A couple of posters even went so far as to lump ALL of PA into this category.

Phillies fans do get very passionate and very attached to their team. For sure there are some that take that to an unnecessary level of drunkenness and rudeness. I'm truly sorry you ran into that. I guess you can run into it everywhere.

My husband, some friends and I went to see your new stadium and root for the Phils last year. As our friend, in his Phillies jersey was using the restroom, he was pinned against the sinks and screamed at with vulgarity for being a Phillies fan. Someone spit on him. And by the time we left, fellow fans near us had been doused by beer. I don't believe that these idiots represent all Nats fans. I hope you will begin to see that the idiots you encountered do not represent all Phillies fans either.

I hope that if you decide to come back to CBP that you will sit near someone who will welcome you and be glad to share the baseball game.

Reveal Data said...

As a Phillies fan with season tickets, I'm very sorry this happended to you. Of the 6.5 million people who live in the Philly area, 6 million of us do not act in this manner. However, I've often seen the BLUE COLLAR trash behave this way. You see the stadiums are surrounded by the blue collar areas. The nice suburbs (where I live) with traffic it takes 1-2 hours to get home from the stadium. For the blue collar, 5 - 25 minutes. The good thing and BAD thing about the Philadelphia sports teams is that many of the blue collar people can afford tickets. That's the problem. They talegate before the game, drink at the game, and act like jerks. Actually, they would act like jerks when sober too. But all teams have these trolls. Yankees, Mets, Cubs, White Sox, RedSox, Dodgers, etc. The difference though, is that our trolls can afford to the tickets, while other trolls can't.

Again, I'm truly sorry you experienced that. I would never do that to anyone. In fact, I like to talk fans of other teams.

Note, when I went to Citi Field this year; even the people who worked for the Mets were mean to me. However, I was ok, because I purchased $89 tickets, so I was surrounded by mostly white collar people.

At Citizens Bank Park, the MOST expensive tickets are only $65, while at other parks, these same tickets are hundreds.

Ultimatly, tailgateing is the problem. The Phillies do NOT allow tailgating in their parking lots, however the Eagles do (Eagles' parking lots are right across the street) and are open during Phillies games.

And for the record, I think most good fans usually don't say anything unless it gets totally dangerous because some of these trolls are criminals.

But again, we have our trolls, but we are not the only team. Search on Youtube for "Yankees Fans fights," there are over 8 thousand videos. Yankees fans spit on a old lady in Yankee Stadium just because she was wearing a RedSox hat. People not wearing the correct colors have been MURDERED in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium.

This crap does happen every where, and it's usually the small minority, ruining everything for the majority.