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Papelbon: Like Philly Phans over Fenway Faithful? “Blow a Save, Wear a Helmet”


"“The difference between Boston and Philadelphia, the Boston fans are a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball,”"

                                                                                     [Papelbon, CBS radio, Philadelphia.

Really, Jon? Really?

It may have seemed like a good idea to try to get on the good side of Philly fans by “brown-nosing” them on the local radio station, but, if you blow a save, wear a Santa suit, or attend a ring ceremony, you will find out just how well “Philly fans know the game.”  and long for the good-natured hysteria of Fenway fans.

And, heads up, watch out for those batteries and bottles, as you walk to the home dugout after that first blown save.

Shortly, Jon you will learn what the real “difference” is between the fans in Philly and Boston.

Here is a clue…

A review of fans nationally concluded:

"“All told, Philadelphia stadiums house the most monstrous collection of humanity outside of the federal penal system.”"


Before you bring your family to a game, study a little history.

First, don’t dare be the best player on the team: remember Mike Schmidt?

"“Hall of Fame third baseman popularly considered among the greatest third basemen in the history of Major League Baseball. He played his entire career for the Philadelphia Phillies” [Wikipedia]"

Mike was regularly booed by home crowds during his career.

Your new-found Philly fan friends cheered when a Dallas Cowboys receiver was laid out in 1999 with what turned out to be a career-ending neck injury. They booed as he lay motionless on the turf.

And, good thing you’re not black. Even though he was the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1964 and hit 40 home runs in 1966, fans at Connie Mack Stadium would hurl racist insults at Dick Allen as well as sharp objects such as old batteries and spare change. Allen was forced to wear a batting helmet on the field.

The Phillies were one of the last clubs in Major League Baseball along with the Boston Red Sox to integrate its teams.  But, the Boston fans did not throw objects at the first black Red Sox player; On April 17, 2009, Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green was honored by the Boston Red Sox in a first-pitch ceremony, in recognition of 50 years since his breaking of the Red Sox color barrier.

The most viscerally racist reaction [Jackie] Robinson received was in Philadelphia. In Arnold Rampersad’s book, Jackie Robinson: A Biography, Robinson said his visits to Philadelphia were among

"“the most unpleasant days in my life, that brought me nearer to cracking up than I had been.”"

Whenever the Brooklyn Dodgers played at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia, Jackie Robinson heard racist taunts from Phillies players that included: “Hey ni**er why don’t you go back to the cotton fields where you belong?”

There’s a long history of moronic fan behavior, but we have saved the worst for last at the end of this piece.

*  Violence during Eagles’ games became so bad that Philadelphia installed a court, judge and jail inside Veterans Stadium.

*  Phillies fans booed pitcher Adam Eaton at the ring celebration after they won the World Series, then brawl in Ashburn Alley as the title flag is raised.

*  Eagles’ fans traveled to Manhattan and boo newly drafted quarterback Donovan McNabb.

*  In 1968, Eagles fans boo and then pelt a man dressed as Santa Claus who was part of a halftime ceremony. Stories vary on the legendary incident. In 2003, the same man was asked to appear in the same Santa suit at a Sixers game. He was booed again.

*  In 1949, the Phillies are forced to forfeit a game with Giants after fans unleash a 15-minute barrage of glass-bottle throwing.

But, hey, Jon, that was then, this is now:

Michael Vangelo and his 16- and 11-year-old girls drove down from the Lehigh Valley to watch the Phillies take on the Washington Nationals. From the moment his family took their seats, a group of unruly men starting disturbing anyone near them.

“They were yelling vulgarities, obscene language,” Vangelo said.

Vangelo and his older daughter asked the men to stop, but that seemed to just cause more trouble:

“I had beer thrown on me and water and then one individual started spitting at the back of my daughter’s chair and he actually spit on my 11-year-old daughter,” he said.

Vangelo went to report the men to ushers, who promptly ejected them from the game. The man says everything seemed fine until another fan got involved.

That fan, identified by police as , was sitting with another, unrelated group of fans who were also disciplined for acting out when he allegedly did what Vangelo, an off-duty police officer, describes as the “most disgusting thing” he’s ever seen.

Clemmens, 21, positioned himself behind the 11-year-old’s chair, stuck his fingers down his throat and…

“He leaned forward, he projectile vomited all over me and my daughter,”

When Vangelo pushed him away from his daughter, Clemmens then began punching him in the head and neck, causing his ear to bleed.

Welcome to the “City of Brotherly Love,” Jon.

Photo credit: “2005 Hershon” [http://media2.myfoxphilly.com/slideshows/worstphillyfans/1/med/booed_santa_claus.htm]

NOTE: Self-defined moron in photo is not Matthew Clemmens.

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