I have been to my share of baseball games, but what happened last night in Philadelphia, where the Phillies beat the Padres, was the most electrified I have ever seen a crowd.
When Manny Machado stepped to the plate, the entire crowd began to chant “Manny Sucks, Manny Sucks”, only to be silenced by a two run homer. The Padres would go on to score four runs in just the first inning, which seemed like it would never end, and left the boisterous crowd feeling deflated.
Behind me was a loud and obnoxious Padres fan we’ll call Brad, sporting a dirty beard and long blonde hair, who bombastically berated everyone around him after the four run first inning, even refusing to sit down.
The kid next to me looked like he was going to cry, as did most of the other 46,000 people wearing red, but I couldn’t show it for fear that Brad would find solace in my pain. So I merely turned to the young boy and his father, and said “this is only going to make the win that much so much sweeter”, as I then turned and flipped off the stinking beach bum behind me, and told Brad to take a seat. When he didn’t listen, the very Large Phillies fan behind him very clearly said, “I’m only going to tell you one time, sit down”, to which Brad obliged.
The super fan in front of me was an absolute wild man, with his girlfriend prepared with her own ear plugs for the loud heckles of the pitchers that she knew were bound to happen. Just prior to the start of the game, he apologized to everyone around him, letting us know that he might get a little out of control, and he sure lived up to it.
Several times his girlfriend would beg him to tone it down a little, but the cold beers were flowing, only bringing out the South Philly in him a little more with each inning. He’d turn to stare down Brad, using his two fingers, pointing to his eyes, and then to Brad, letting him know he was watching him, and finishing the move off with one choice finger. He would scream at every pitcher of the Padres, yelling their first names, followed by his signature loud growl that sounded like Chewbacca.
Next to him was a shorter older woman, and her husband who had about a foot on her, and she was encouraging the mad man to become more unruly. Every time a big play happened, she assaulted her husband by swinging the little red rally towel at his head, knocking his hair all over the place, and with the husband ducking for cover.
High fives were all around, even with the dirty hippy after the game got going, who miraculously disappeared after Bryce Harper hit his double in the fifth inning. When Bryce got to second base, he turned to the Padres Dugout, making the motion that Hulk Hogan made so famous when he would call out for the Championship belt, and screamed, “This is my Fucking House”.
In almost all of Bryce’s post game interviews he acknowledges how much the fans mean to himself, and to the team, and how the fans themselves are just as much of a factor in winning as anything. Philadelphia is a tough place, with crazy swings in the weather, going from so ass hot that your nuts stick to your legs, to needing to shovel two feet of snow to try and save a parking spot you might get into a war over. When Antifa showed up in South Philly, they were met by posses of men, and woman, with bats and clubs to protect the Columbus statue that, while it is ridiculously boxed up like a giant cannoli, is still standing, just as the Phillies are right now.
When Philadelphia fans enter a stadium, they become one cohesive unit, screaming and yelling in unison, living up to our reputation as the countries most boisterous, only to curse each other out as the drunk lady in the Jeep refused to allow us to merge in the parking lot.