Phillies Fans PSA: Stop It

The Nats’ efforts to bolster fan attendance in the run up to this weekend’s first home series against the Phillies have been well-documented. It began in February, when the presale for individual game tickets was restricted to D.C., Maryland, and Virginia addresses only, and when COO Andy Feffer, along with other team officials, urged Nationals fans to “take back the park.” The notion has become a bit of a rallying cry for a team that could be entering a new era of competitiveness, one which may even have arrived earlier than anyone expected. Feffer and the team have offered further enticements, such as free tickets to future games with the purchase of tickets to this series. Mayor Vincent Gray gave the whole thing an official sheen by declaring this weekend “Natitude Weekend” and encouraging the locals to “show support of their hometown team.” It will likely not succeed to the extent that the organization is hoping, although they do claim some improvement in the proportion of in-area ticket sales so far.

Depressingly, and predictably, the reaction from Phillies fans and media has been equal parts bitter and condescending. By and large, the Twittersphere has been issuing a collective snort at the whole thing since it first arose. Noted perverted half-wit and habitual plagiarist Kyle Scott of the e-rag Crossing Broad has tweeted and posted endless whining on the topic, and has devoted whole posts to “The Takeover,” a 200 person bus trip (for a mere $120!) that will instantly become the most obnoxious thing happening on the planet for every second of its sweaty, Bud-Light-Lime-soaked existence.

twitter.com/#!/CrossingBroad/status/197684664532606976

What a shock.

Ed Rendell, trying to cling to relevance, also got in on the act. Various Philadelphia media members, including baseball writers and radio personalities (mostly on the Angelo Cataldi tier of the Insufferability Spectrum) have otherwise mocked or chided the Nats’ efforts. Superficially, the tone is haughty amusement, but there is a discernible undercurrent of surprise and indignation — how dare they. Universally, these responses lack any measure of self-awareness and pay no mind to present or historical context.

I’ve lived full-time in the Washington, D.C. area since 2005, and have attended a great many Nationals games. Both in the RFK days and since the new stadium was built, I’ve made a point of going to every Nationals/Phillies game that my schedule could feasibly accomodate, and many other Nationals home contests when the weather was fair and I hankered for live baseball. I had the pleasure of watching Ryan Zimmerman come into his own, Elijah Dukes doing . . . Elijah Dukes stuff, and Adam Dunn hitting the longest of long flies. I vividly remember, on a humid September night at RFK stadium in 2007, watching the Phillies beat the Nationals 7-6 on the strength of a Jimmy Rollins double, and then huddling around a friend’s blackberry as the crowd dispersed, tracking the Marlins’ 4 run comeback against the Mets in the 9th and 10th innings in Miami. The Phillies pulled within 1.5 games of the Mets that night, in a pennant race that inaugurated a new era of Phillies baseball.

After the new stadium was built, the atmosphere at Phillies/Nats games grew more adversarial, as Phillies fans realized that, in the numbers in which they traveled, and the numbers they already had in the DC area, they could create a home away from home — “CBP South,” as it came to be called by many. I can’t say that I didn’t get swept up in it, at least a little bit. It’s gratifying to see your team’s fans showing substantial support away from home, especially after many years of the Phillies being irrelevant to the NL East and to the league as a whole. But I had grown to like the Nationals as a team, along with their new, easily-accessible and cheap-to-attend stadium, and I found that, as the “CBP South” culture took hold, the atmosphere got uglier. It all came to an embarrassing head at the Nationals’ home opener in 2010, a Phillies game, where Phils fans again packed the stadium, bolstered by a few bus trips not unlike the one mentioned above. The Nationals’ Opening Day ceremony had all of the usual rituals. Except, as the Nationals’ roster was announced, and the players ran from the dugout to the first base line, Phillies fans chanted “SUCKS” after each name, and drowned out the music and announcements with booing in between.

They behaved similarly for the rest of the game. It was the most humiliated I ever remember feeling as a Phillies fan. Sitting next to me was a man in a weathered Nationals cap who had to be in his mid-70s, who regarded the whole thing with disbelief. I don’t know if he was a converted Orioles fan, a Senators fan from way back, or even an Expos fan, and it didn’t seem as if he wanted to talk about it to me, covered in Phillies gear from head to toe. I tried to make a show of how disgusted I was by the whole thing, but I don’t think I could’ve possibly done enough given what was happening. No future Phillies game at the park was quite as bad as that, but they weren’t that much better either.

This is the root of the “Our Park” movement by Nationals fans, and it’s disappointing that Phillies fans do not, or at least pretend not to, understand why it needs to happen. Fans of a team that have had as rough a go as the Nationals have since their inception need to pull as much enjoyment out of the little things as possible — individual player skills, fanfare, early-season hopes, and the simple joy of a ballpark atmosphere. To have the superior team’s fans flood the ballpark and make a big show of it — just because they can — momentarily ruins that experience. Nationals fans are no less fans of the game of baseball than Phillies fans (probably moreso, if we’re talking about the kind of people that make asses of themselves at Nationals Park), and they know — really, they know — that the Phillies have been the better team these last 7 years, that Citizens Bank is stuffed to the gills all of the time, and that Phillies fans are capable of operating a motor vehicle for two and a half hours on I-95 South. They know these things without a great red horde undertaking every effort to mock them in their own ballpark.

The natural rebuttal to this has been, roughly, “if they don’t like it, they should fill their own stadium.” And it’s true, the Nationals have struggled with attendance, finishing either 13th or 14th in the NL in each season since Nationals Park was built. But it’s easy for a Phillies fan to forget, nowadays, just how difficult it is to fill the stadium for a bad or even mediocre team. The Phillies had a similar run of attendance woes from 1997 to 2003, finishing 14th in attendance 4 times, 13th once, 12th once, and 10th once. True, these figures improved significantly when the Phillies got their new ballpark in 2004, but the team was getting better too; the Phillies averaged 77 wins per season from 1997-2003, and 86 wins per season from 2004-2006. I will happily watch a 100 loss Phillies team every day of the week, but it’s tough to blame fans for not filling the park to see some of the recent Nationals teams.

They did, of course, pack 40,315 people into the park for the June 8, 2010 debut of Stephen Strasburg, a preview of the future of their organization. I had the pleasure of attending, and the atmosphere rivaled any playoff game at Citizens’ Bank Park (particularly the most recent one I attended, game 5 of the 2011 NLDS, in which the crowd was conspicuously subdued). The crowd’s steady roar built with each strike, compounded by each time the radar gun showed triple digits, and the place exploded for each of Strasburg’s 14 strikeouts. Yes, Bryce Harper’s debut was not well-attended, but there is much less of a sense among Nationals fans and baseball fans as a whole that this was his true debut — he was placed on the roster with Ryan Zimmerman heading to the DL, and the consensus is that he’s not quite ready for the big leagues. If this 2012 Nationals team finishes on as high a level of competitiveness as they’re exhibiting now, I don’t think they’ll have any problem bringing people out in 2013.

I’m sure that this weekend, despite the Nationals’ efforts, is still going to be characterized by a dominant Phillies fan presence, and that ignoble bus trip will leave some kind of embarrassing mark on the whole thing. Nationals fandom and media may grow angrier, and that might escalate matters. But any Phillies fan who takes the smallest moment for some introspection should not be surprised or bothered by the Our Park movement. Because it is their park, and because Phillies fans remember what it’s like to see a nine guys who are probably going to lose take the field every day. The “Takeover” and all similar fan and media responses will only validate the rest of the country’s low opinion of the Philadelphia fandom. And, in case you haven’t checked the trendlines recently, the time to show grace in victory may be running out.

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69 comments

  1. David

    May 04, 2012 11:47 AM

    Frankly, I don’t much care about the rest of the country’s opinion of Philadelphia sports fans. I’m not angered or surprised at the Nats, but for the first time in a long time, the Phillies are the establishment. Maybe someday (soon) it will be Nationals fans packing Nats Park North. For now, it’s not though. Let us have our fun and be GOOD fans by going and supporting our team. Don’t you think the Take Back Our Park campaign could be more related to making money then encouraging “Natitude”?

  2. AFN

    May 04, 2012 11:47 AM

    I am a Phillies fan, and often go to DC to visit family and see the Phillies play the Nats. Yes, there are plenty of Phillies fans there, and its amusing to hear “Let’s Go Phil-lies!” now and again, but I don’t really see the need to escalate it into a dramatic issue. That’s exactly what the Nationals did with this whole ‘campaign,’ so they shouldn’t be surprised to get some backlash. I can’t say there haven’t been bad incidents, but I have been to many Nats/Phils games over the past few years, and I never sensed a huge problem between Nats and Phils fans. Then again, I’m just a normal baseball fan and not someone trying to drum up dramatic publicity.

  3. clivejameson

    May 04, 2012 11:54 AM

    Good post. I’ll be there tomorrow afternoon attempting to represent the contingent of our fanbase that is reasonable and cares more about watching baseball than asserting dominance over a visiting park. Also I’ll drink a lot of beers, but they wont be Bud Light Lime.

  4. Ryan Sommers

    May 04, 2012 11:55 AM

    David and AFN — Of course, I’m not saying that Phillies fans shouldn’t go to Nats park and support their team. Nor will I claim that Feffer’s motives are entirely pure. I’m saying that “Our Park” thing is in response to some very obvious incidents, is totally harmless and understandable, and the backlash to that is silly and lacks self-awareness.

  5. Heather

    May 04, 2012 11:55 AM

    I don’t have a problem with Phillies fans going to other parks, but I hate the way they behave at Nationals’ games. Last year, Opening Day, I felt like I was the only Phillies fan there who wasn’t just there to boo Jayson Werth. I found it embarrassing. I’m skipping it this year. It’s just a matter of time until those games become as bad as Phillies games used to be when Mets fans took over our park.

  6. Christopher Seay

    May 04, 2012 11:56 AM

    I was at the 2010 Nats opening day you mentioned, living in Arlington at the time. I was supremely embarrassed and did everything I could to show my appreciation for the hometown team. I stood and cheered while every player, for both teams, was introduced and even stood on my chair and cheered when Ryan Zimmerman was presented with his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. The Nats fans around me seemed to appreciate that even though I liked the Phillies I could appreciate my current hometown’s team in their stadium on Opening Day.

    As a side note, the Nats fans that I knew living in DC are all great fans; they know and love the game and their players and team, even after only a few years in DC. I root for them every game they aren’t playing the Phillies.

  7. southonbroad

    May 04, 2012 11:59 AM

    Hear, hear. I may think that the whole “Natitude” thing reeks of desperation, but I don’t think being obnoxious is a valid response. I took a trip down to Nationals Park last summer for a day game, sitting in the first row in right field behind Werth, and some of the other Phils fans in the section (which, admittedly, was pretty much the entire section) were downright awful. I wanted to apologize to the few Nats fans seated nearby and tell them that we’re not all like that. Eventually I yelled at the two guys who were being the most obnoxious, and the friend who’d gone to the game with me (another Phils fan) told me to be quiet — he didn’t want beer thrown on him or worse.

    When you’re worried about taking crap from your own fellow fans just for asking them to remember the *friendly* part of rivalry, that’s not a very good sign. It would be nice if people could remember that this is all supposed to be in good fun.

  8. Shawn

    May 04, 2012 12:03 PM

    1. It’s cool as long as the Phillies fans don’t act obnoxious or like thugs

    2. Phillies fans didn’t like it when the Mets fans invaded CBP and what did we do about it? Not much because seats were available for the Mets fans to buy because the Phillies weren’t winning.

    3. Mets fans haven’t been relevant at CBP since the Phillies started winning big

    4. The Nationals have one possible way to combat the Phillies fans from taking over their park and that is to start winning big. I say possible because I don’t know if they will really ever get the fan support like in Philly.

    5. Phils advantage for now is their spending power so Ruben needs to keep the team in the elite status

    6. Just win

  9. Keith

    May 04, 2012 12:06 PM

    I agree totally with this. It’s one thing to pack a park that isn’t our own as fans, and cheer as our teams does something good. But it’s completely obnoxious to boo the opposing team players and consistently yell you suck as they are being introduced is pathetic. But in 4 years down the road, as our horrible contracts take over and as our roster ages, and the Nationals are at the top of the NL East, we aren’t going to like how they come to our park and start booing our players. You may act all tough and be OK with it now, but when you actually go to the games (if you even go, as most of you won’t when the Phillies are losing again, which they will) you will be angry with how the Nationals fans are acting towards our team and our city.

  10. BakedMcBride

    May 04, 2012 12:08 PM

    I’ll admit: I usually find this author’s harping – whining, really – about one or two basic sabermetric points repetitive and indicative of the shrinking critical approach so many (quite intelligent) analysts are taking to the totality of Phillies baseball. This, however, is a really terrific post – well written, cogently argued, and much-needed. Great job.

  11. Cole Handsome

    May 04, 2012 12:08 PM

    Is your point that the Phillies fans shouldn’t spike the ball? Who wouldn’t argue that it’s crass to heckle the Nationals in DC?

    I see this weekend’s bus trip as the last throes of the Phillies bandwagon. Considering the pitching matchups, Sunday’s game may be an early attempt to salvage the division.

  12. Heather

    May 04, 2012 12:08 PM

    Wait, it wasn’t opening day last year. I forget which game it was.

  13. JB

    May 04, 2012 12:09 PM

    The only thing that bothered me initially about the whole “Take Back The Park” movement was that the Nationals’ CEO had been offering up tickets to Phillies fans on a silver platter for years prior, publicly extending invitations to come down to DC. In that sense, he made his own bed.

    Everything else, however, is spot on.

  14. ThisPhillyFan

    May 04, 2012 12:18 PM

    I completely understand why the Nationals are trying this Nattitude stuff, and Take Back Our Park, and all of that. It does make sense. Being a Sunday plan holder my entire life, I remember what it was like in the Vet and first years of CBP when thousands of Mets and Braves fans would almost match the home team’s contingent. It’s been wonderful these past few years of overwhelming support, and it doesn’t hurt when those extra dollars can bring in better talent to keep up the good work.
    While I don’t know all of the information, I haven’t heard of this Nattitude or TBOP push against any other team. And while it did take time for the Phillies to pack their park with loyalists, I don’t recall the marketing dept. doing anything like the Nationals FO is doing: no over-the-top appeal to team pride, and certainly no denial of ticket purchases to rival teams’ fans. The open refusal to sell tickets to people in this area in the name of team pride is disgraceful; the team certainly can appreciate what the extra sales did for their coffers, whoever the owner(s) is/are, considering they can look down I-95 to another division rival and what the lack of a ticket-buying fan base causes (remember hearing the Marlins shutting down their entire upper deck for the last month or two of 2011?) or even look to their own past.
    I can’t remember who tweeted it, but someone made the salient point earlier today of showing our support by not buying one more Nationals ticket again. sure, the Phillies players would lose that swell of support on the road, but it would show the new DC ownership exactly how strong we can be, and how much (however slight it may be) their ability to acquire talent with money relies on out-of-town buyers, and the difference in their bottom line without Phillies fans showing them what they might be able to become.

  15. Mark

    May 04, 2012 12:21 PM

    @JB

    I will clear one thing up. The CEO that was offering tickets to Phillies fans was Stan Kasten, who is now long-gone from the organization and is the incoming President of the Dodgers.

    In fact, many of us turned on Kasten when he started that practice. Frankly I’d rather have empty seats or even *shockingly* astadiumful of Phillies fans that have made their way south on their own, than to have a team executive encouraging the other team’s fans to come out.

    It was embarrassing, and frankly unacceptable.

  16. katekirk

    May 04, 2012 12:25 PM

    I really appreciate your thoughtful take on this. I have no issue with anyone being a fan of their team and/or traveling to cheer on the team. I’ve just never understood the compulsion to excoriate, boo, heckle and otherwise harass not only the other team’s players, but their fans, staff and anyone in the general vicinity.

    It seems that a certain contingent of Phillies fans (who, as you point out, have experienced their own down as well as up years) have been more interested in ruining the game day for everyone than simply cheering for their team, and that is a shame for the many people who I believe just want to have a nice afternoon and see their team win. It gets all of you labeled as hooligans and you’re not. But I’m a STH and opening day 2010 was the last Phillies game I went to at Nats park because it was just so ugly and unpleasant.

    As for my Nats, when we win more, we’ll get better attendance. Until then, I wish people would behave like civilzed human beings and cheer FOR their teams and not AGAINST each other.

  17. dl

    May 04, 2012 12:28 PM

    Personally, I wish Phillies fans would STOP going to Nationals ballpark and lining their pockets with coin. Let them pay for the ridic Werth contract without our help, people.

  18. JB

    May 04, 2012 12:33 PM

    @Mark

    Thanks for the clarification, and for the sake of Nats fans, I’m glad he’s out. I can’t imagine what the response here would have been if David Montgomery publicly extended an invitation to CBP to Mets fans on NY sports talk radio in 06-08.

  19. Let Teddy Win

    May 04, 2012 12:35 PM

    Here’s the deal.

    Everybody including Crossing Broad has sensationalized a fairly sensible change in policy, and the result is a PR bonanza for Andy Feffer and the Nationals. Remember this was a team that was never even mentioned nationally just 1 year ago.

    The policy change was simple:

    The Nats have commissioned salespeople who used to be paid commission to sell large blocks of advance tickets to groups from Philadelphia. When individual tickets went on sale, DC fans were surprised to find the best seats for the Phillies games already taken.

    Now, those same groups can still buy tickets, but not until after individual tix have gone on sale to the locals.

    The result: There will still be plenty of Phillies fans at Nationals Park, but they won’t be packed together in huge blocks that make it look like they took over the place.

    CrossingBroad is doing just what Andy Feffer of the Nationals has done — taking a relatively benign and sensible policy change and trying to turn it into media attention for himself. Kudos to both of them. Now lets play ball.

  20. TH

    May 04, 2012 12:35 PM

    Folks like Scott and Cataldi getting pissed off because an owner wants his fans to attend his ballpark is the kind of shit that they would rip Yankees/Red Sox/Mets fans for writing if there was a similar situation where they’d invade CBP during lean years. No perspective whatsoever.

  21. NatMeg

    May 04, 2012 12:36 PM

    @ Keith: I HARDLY think that any Nationals fan would go to CBP and boo any one of the Phillies. Nats fans (and I will admit that there are very few of us) are all baseball savvy and know what a competitive, brilliant team the Phillies are and have only the utmost respect for the Phillies’ organization, so there would be no cause AT ALL for booing. “Natitude”, Take Back the Park, Our Park, all of that stuff is just marketing fluff, and frankly – I think it’s stupid. In any case, Nats fans love baseball as much as you do and just want to see our team win. As many other commenters have pointed out, that’s all that matters.

  22. Chuck

    May 04, 2012 12:40 PM

    Nailed it. As a lifelong Phillies fan living in DC for the past 3 years, I am truly ashamed of our our fans. Articles like this are badly needed in more mainstream publications to develop some self-awareness. Thanks.

  23. Ryan Sommers

    May 04, 2012 12:40 PM

    The open refusal to sell tickets to people in this area in the name of team pride is disgraceful; the team certainly can appreciate what the extra sales did for their coffers, whoever the owner(s) is/are, considering they can look down I-95 to another division rival and what the lack of a ticket-buying fan base causes (remember hearing the Marlins shutting down their entire upper deck for the last month or two of 2011?) or even look to their own past.

    They’re not refusing to sell you tickets. They had one exclusive pre-sale, and added other positive enticements for Nats fans to buy more tickets. This isn’t a bread line or something. They’re not obligated to make it as easy as possible for you to attend.

    I can’t remember who tweeted it, but someone made the salient point earlier today of showing our support by not buying one more Nationals ticket again. sure, the Phillies players would lose that swell of support on the road, but it would show the new DC ownership exactly how strong we can be, and how much (however slight it may be) their ability to acquire talent with money relies on out-of-town buyers, and the difference in their bottom line without Phillies fans showing them what they might be able to become.

    I just don’t get why the reaction has to be “Screw that!! Stick it to them!!!”

  24. TH

    May 04, 2012 12:43 PM

    It wouldn’t matter if they did come here to boo. It’s your God-given right to cheer or boo whatever team you wanted to do.

  25. David

    May 04, 2012 12:46 PM

    @TH agreed

  26. Joe the Phanatic

    May 04, 2012 12:51 PM

    Silly post. You’re generalizing Phillies fans in the exact same way the Nationals, DC, and the rest of the sports world tends to do. As such, your point is rendered invalid.

    The Nats are being smart and marketing their team in a way that’s getting attention. And you bought into it.

    Save your high horse sermon for some other time and let Phillies fans revel in their success before the window closes.

  27. JB

    May 04, 2012 12:51 PM

    @NatMeg

    Success can transform a fanbase. Maybe Nationals fans wouldn’t go into Philly NOW and boo their players, but – and I speak from experience – a few years and a division title or two can change a lot. I’m not talking about the fans who were there for the whole ride, for the losing seasons and empty seats, but the new fans you’ll pick up along the way who only know pennants and champagne showers, and have no idea what it’s like to lose 90 games.

  28. Gaël

    May 04, 2012 12:52 PM

    TH: just because you have the right to be a dick doesn’t mean you should act like one.

    Ayn Rand would be proud, though.

  29. TH

    May 04, 2012 12:53 PM

    @Gael

    Booing =/= acting like a dick. It’s free expression. Acting like a dick is harassing someone because of the team they like.

  30. Gaël

    May 04, 2012 01:03 PM

    Again, just because you’re legally allowed to do something doesn’t mean you’re not being a dick for doing it. Coming to another team’s stadium to try to ruin their Opening Day ceremony (which is exactly what Ryan is describing in this post) is most definitely being a dick. This isn’t a free speech issue, it’s a common decency one.

  31. Ryan Sommers

    May 04, 2012 01:09 PM

    Silly post. You’re generalizing Phillies fans in the exact same way the Nationals, DC, and the rest of the sports world tends to do. As such, your point is rendered invalid.

    The Nats are being smart and marketing their team in a way that’s getting attention. And you bought into it.

    Save your high horse sermon for some other time and let Phillies fans revel in their success before the window closes.

    I’m not “buying into” anything, I recognize perfectly well what’s going on. And I’m not generalizing anyone. I’m talking about a specific subset of Phillies fandom, and things that I witnessed personally. These aren’t myths or legends, you damned well know that.

  32. TH

    May 04, 2012 01:12 PM

    You totally aren’t getting what I’m trying to say, but whatever. I agree with the OP wholeheartedly, but the Nats fan trying to say that those fans are better than us because they don’t boo is absurd. There are obvious levels of what protocol is and isn’t, but equivocating what Kyle Scott and his troglodyte followers are doing to someone going to a ballpark and booing their dissatisfaction is just as bad as Scott yelling “DON’T TELL ME WHAT I CAN’T DO” as if he was as cool or relevant as John Locke.

    There are many nuances to being a fan, and there’s a fine line between booing and acting like a baby. If you can’t see that, then maybe you should stop trying to look all cool with your hip burns on stereotypical libertarianism and gain a little perspective.

  33. JC

    May 04, 2012 01:12 PM

    @TH

    Booing = acting like a dick if the goal is to heckle a player (or, as you put it using a different example, to harass someone.) I personally don’t understand the need for people to boo all the time.

  34. JC

    May 04, 2012 01:24 PM

    “There are many nuances to being a fan, and there’s a fine line between booing and acting like a baby. ”

    (fine line)

    “If you can’t see that, then maybe you should stop trying to look all cool with your hip burns on stereotypical libertarianism and gain a little perspective.”

  35. DesperateNats

    May 04, 2012 01:28 PM

    You lost me when you said a June 8 Nationals game was more exciting than any Phils playoff game. Did you sleep through 2008?

  36. Kevin from Macho Row

    May 04, 2012 01:39 PM

    This is just a flat-out well-written piece that should show everyone that reasonable side of the Phillies and Philly sports blogosphere. Thanks for writing this and “spittin’ truth” about the whole situation.

  37. ChasingUtley

    May 04, 2012 01:40 PM

    Hey! I like Bud Light Lime at the park!

  38. mdc

    May 04, 2012 01:43 PM

    “Depressingly, and predictably, the reaction from Phillies fans and media has been equal parts bitter and condescending.” One example in your piece in which you offer up unfair generalizations of “Phillies fans.” There are idiot fans at every park in every city. I have been to every stadium and witnessed similar things…especially when they are division or geographical rivals playing. You have witnessed Phillies fans turn into the bully rather than be bullied and you feel sorry for the poor Nats fans that don’t even care enough about their team to show up. This is life and you are right…it isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair either. I love the Phillies and I think our idiot fans get a lot more press than idiot fans of teams nobody cares about, and you are adding to that problem. But lumping all “Phillies fans” together or shaking your finger at fans that care enough to spend their hard earned cash and take a bus trip to DC to support their team seems a little self serving.

  39. Tcostant

    May 04, 2012 01:43 PM

    It’s one thing to cheep your team, but a whole another to boo the other. Go and cheer for your team, but reframe from boo unless Strasburg throws a little to high and tight.

  40. ChaySutley

    May 04, 2012 01:44 PM

    I agree with this post, and this is coming from someone who despises the Nationals. I think it’s completely fine to have more Phillies fans at the park, being that it’s their fault for not having more fans show up, but not to boo the home team’s lineup being announced, that’s ridiculous. I’d be pissed if another fanbase did that shit at our park on opening day.

  41. Traveler8

    May 04, 2012 01:45 PM

    I think you have absolutely nailed it in this writeup. The only thing I would add is that a lot of the behavior seems to be fueled by alcohol – not consumed at the game but busloads showing up already drunk. I don’t think anyone in Philadelphia would like to bring their children to a game at CBP and expose them to that.

    One thing I have learned from the Phillies fans is to cheer louder and longer for my team, and I thank them for that. I don’t much see the point of booing, unless it is to comment on bad sportsmanship or dubious calls by the umpire.

  42. ChaySutley

    May 04, 2012 01:47 PM

    I love how some people are just completely missing the point of this post.

  43. James

    May 04, 2012 01:49 PM

    I’ve been to several games down in DC over the last several years (not opening day 2010 though) and I have seen none of what you are accusing Phillies fans of. Outside of what happened on opening day, and a couple idiots in RF booing Werth, I haven’t seen anything worse than harmless ribbing from our fans. In fact the game I went to last year I was harrassed by a group of Nats fans who continually trashed our city throughout the game.

    I think the whole thing is completely overblown, like most things when it comes to Philly fans. People shouldn’t act like idiots, but they also shouldn’t be expected to be saints. Mets fans back in our lean years were much, much worse than we are in DC.

  44. Ryan Sommers

    May 04, 2012 02:00 PM

    You lost me when you said a June 8 Nationals game was more exciting than any Phils playoff game. Did you sleep through 2008?

    You lost me when you said that I said that

  45. KH

    May 04, 2012 02:06 PM

    Reading the gargantuan post to start and all the self flagellation that followed the only thing I have stuck in my head is “thou dost protest too much.” Of course fans should always react with class and dignity regardless of ballpark. Does it always happen. No it doesn’t. This whole thing is totally overblown.

  46. cn

    May 04, 2012 02:26 PM

    I don’t like what CB is doing, but I think the marketing campaign is really an embarrassment for the Nationals franchise They’re fomenting the same kind of buffoonish behavior among their fans that they ostensibly want to discourage.

    I’m a Phillies fan in DC. I’ve never acted obnoxiously at Nats Park. But since the campaign started I’ve noticed a considerable uptick in Nats fans heckling me on the street. And not good-natured heckling — I mean mean, get-out-of-our-city heckling. I can take a good-natured jeering; that’s all part of the fun. But if you’re going to complain about dickish behavior from other fanbases, don’t do the same. And if you’re a professional sports franchise, don’t encourage your fanbase to foam at the mouth, either.

    I don’t know if I’m going to the game tonight. I’ve been waiting for it all year, but I’m not really interested in having to sit through the sideshow that will inevitably ensue. Sure, the Phillies fans started it, but fans will be fans. The Nationals franchise didn’t have to make it worse for the sake of a marketing gimmick.

  47. DesperateNats

    May 04, 2012 02:33 PM

    “They did, of course, pack 40,315 people into the park for the June 8, 2010 debut of Stephen Strasburg, a preview of the future of their organization. I had the pleasure of attending, and the atmosphere rivaled any playoff game at Citizens’ Bank Park”

  48. Ryan Sommers

    May 04, 2012 02:47 PM

    do you know what “rivaled” means

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