Stop Whining, Philly Sports Fans

McQuade: A fan was shot outside the Cowboys game Sunday. Gloating that it wasn't a Philadelphia fan is a bit much.

cry baby

Something terrible happened Sunday night in Texas. After the Patriots beat the Cowboys, a fight broke out in the parking lot. Police say a man trying to break it up was shot.

A suspect, who police and witnesses say had pointed a gun at another man earlier in the evening, was apprehended. The victim was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

On the Internet, Philadelphia sports fans made it about themselves.

Philly sports fans do not have the best reputation. Jeremy Affeldt, who just retired, said the fans are among the worst he’s encountered as an athlete. Polls frequently name Philly fans as the worst in the country.

As a Philadelphia sports fan, this is tiring. Every Philadelphia sports fan has had good experiences watching games with other Philly sports fans. My experiences with boorish fans at Philadelphia sporting events have been pretty minor (especially since I’m not a teenager any more). Lots of people have the same experience. It gets tiring to constantly hear you’re the worst fans in sports.

But that doesn’t mean we have to react like this.

Here’s Crossing Broad:

But before we really get upset about a guy getting shot in the head because of a parking lot brawl, let’s check to see if anyone threw loosely packed snow at an inebriated fan pretending to be a jolly old elf. Because that’s the real tragedy.

This isn’t a new trend.

Philadelphia fans respond to literally any bad sports fan behavior in the world with a sarcastic rejoinder about how the media is unfair to Philly fans. I get it! It feels like it’s unfair how often the media harps on Philly fans. Those cliched lists are dumb.

And part of the fun of sports is the camaraderie you have with friends and strangers over your devotion to a particular team. It’s fun to make it an us-against-the-world situation. It’s fun to complain about the media. It’s fun to make fun of other teams when they lose, or their fans do something stupid. (The newest thing, for some reason, is videos of fans doing cocaine at sporting events.) And it’s especially fun to make fun of the Cowboys. Obviously, as a Philly fan, I believe the Eagles stand for all that is good in sports while the Cowboys are the worst sports franchise to have ever existed.

But come on. Someone got shot at a Cowboys game. Your first thought probably shouldn’t be to rush to the computer and gloat that it wasn’t Philly sports fans. It’s a dumb cliche. We should stop doing it. It’s a little crass to whine about how the media treats Philadelphia in response to a shooting in Texas. We don’t even know the victim’s name. Isn’t this the type of rude behavior we’re not looking to be known for?

Complaining like this is not going to change anyone’s opinion of Philly fans. Philadelphia is supposed to be a proud, hard-working, blue-collar town where the sports fans shouldn’t care what the media thinks. What are we, Laker fans?

I think we need to take a little advice from a great fictional Philadelphian.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

Listen to Rocky Balboa. Be willing to take the hits. Stop pointing fingers.