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Living in central Pennsylvania is an interesting experience from a sports fan perspective.  Locally we only have minor league teams like the Harrisburg Senators baseball team and the (10-time Calder Cup Champion) Hershey Bears hockey team.  And, while these teams do have loyal and dedicated followings, the lack of a local major league team makes for interesting times.

The Hershey/Harrisburg area is geographically in the center of a large swath of sports cities.  If you are willing to drive three or four hours you can pretty much hit Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.  It makes for some interesting rivalries between local fans.  However, one thing I have learned since being here is the truly amazing thing that is the Philly Sports Fan.

Sports fans of the Philadelphia franchises (Eagles/Phillies/Flyers) are a very loyal bunch.  These fans do not abandon their teams no matter how dismal they perform or their outlook is.  However, they are not quiet about it.  They will bleed green for the Eagles, but will publicly crucify Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid if they misstep.  I’ve seen countless interviews with players that will tell you that Philly is the greatest city in the world to play in because the fans truly love their sports heroes, but don’t make a mistake because they can be brutally unforgiving. 

Now, as anyone who follows sports probably knows, the Philadelphia Phillies have earned a second straight trip to the World Series and a chance to defend the title they won from the Tampa Bay Rays last year.  Excitement for the series is high throughout the area, and fans are definitely pumped up.  A few nights ago, the New York Yankees managed to knock off the Los Angeles Angels to step into the ring with the Phillies.  The World Series looks to truly pit the two best teams in baseball against one another.

I was riding to work the other day listening to the morning news, as is my usual custom, and I heard a sportscaster talking to a Yankee fan after their victory against the Angels.  He noted that there were a number of Phillies fans at the last game, assumedly to witness who would be facing off against them come the Series.  The interviewer then asked the fan what he thought of Philly fans. His response:

I think they’re a bit obnoxious.

Really?  I mean, I know that Philly fans can tend in that direction, and often cross that line, in their religion like zeal for their team.  But, really? You, a Yankee fan, feel they are obnoxious?  Wow.

I had to laugh.  This was the most hilarious pot/kettle/black moment I had heard in years.  In the top ten list of the world’s most obnoxious fans Yankee fans rank only just below Dallas Cowboy fans.  Granted, Philly fans of all sports are on that list as well, but it takes a true native New Yorker in a Yankee cap to reach levels of obnoxious that even rival Cowboy fans nationwide.  I was a Phillies backer to begin with since their my wife’s team, but now I hope they clean their clocks in a humiliating fashion.

Obnoxious enough for ya?


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