Friday, July 23, 2010

Four Scores and Seven Shutouts Ago

The Civil War has begun.

It has mostly been a one sided war….. so far. You see it’s between the diehards and the so call bandwagon fans. I was hoping the sweep of the Reds would put the kibosh on the feud, but the Phillies lackluster performance to start the second half has only intensified things.  The weapons in this war, however, are not guns or cannons, but taunts, sarcastic remarks and disgusted outbursts.

“C’mon, get a clue!”
“Hey Buddy, better hurry up and beat the traffic.”
“ Don’t worry, we’ll see you next time they make the playoffs”

These phrases can be overheard at most Phillies home games these days when they are on the short end on the scoreboard. I have 2 problems with this situation. And you might be a little shocked that as much an instigator as I am; I am going to play the role of the Swiss in the battle.

First, I was there during the lean years. When you’d go to an afternoon game and see the likes Steve Lake, Kim Baptiste and Stan Javier take the field, not for an at-bat but in the starting line-up. But I also remember going to the Vet on May 26, 1990. The Phillies got trounced 12-3. Why do I remember this brutal beat down? Because Don Carmen got lit up? No, because it was Mike Schmidt night and it was my first experience with a packed stadium going nuts. I’ve been to my fair share of Phillies games but until the final year of the Vet, I could count on my hands the number of times I was at a game that was near capacity. I want the stadium FULL. Full of PHILLIES fans.  I don’t care if it takes bus trips from day camps or the senior center and most of them have never been to a game before. If they are supporting the Fightins then I will welcome them anytime.

Second, is the use of the term “bandwagon fan.” To me a bandwagon fan is someone who trades their “favorite team” like they are a fantasy baseball asset. One year you’re all about the Phillies and now you like the Yankees. To me, these are the scum of the earth….lower than Mets fans even. I think the correct term is fair-weather fan. You only show up or support your team when they are doing well. I’d say more than half of the average attendance on any given night at CBP falls into this category. I don’t mind these folks as long as they know their place. Like you don’t need to jump up on every fly ball like it’s a homerun. Seriously, if Shane calls off Jimmy Rollins at the last second to make a catch, you’re a tool for jumping out of your seat. If you don’t know the game well enough to make witty jabs at the opposition or insight comments, then just shut the hell up. You might learn something. And then probably my biggest pet peeve of the fair-whether fan is this: I know misery loves company, but when the Phillies get whooped on the night before don’t make that the one time a month you talk to me.  When I respond back, “Do you think they should have put the rotation on or just played the infield in?” And you’re comeback is “Ummm….yeah” or “Uhh..huh” You have no business talking baseball with the diehards. I don’t say “Wow, your kid was really cute before they got cancer” (I know its very Dwayne Wade-esque, but it makes my point.) Save the baseball talk for the book club or your Dungeons and Dragons meeting.

So for now I am a peacemaker. We all want the same thing: the Phils to make a run at this thing and play like I know they can. But my mind is sharp and ready for battle so don’t test me or the other diehards you will feel the wrath of someone who had to see Pat Combs, Don Carmen, Darrell Akerfelds and Jeff Parrett all pitch in the same game.

Jay Wrizight

1 comment:

  1. Great job Jay. Way to put down in words how a lot of us feel at the ballpark. The other crumb at the park is the Eagles fan disguised as a Phillies fan. The Birds go to camp soon, you know the chants are coming. I guess that's for another blog.