There’s a story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal about efforts by the Washington Nationals to keep Philadelphia Phillies fans from taking over the ballpark when their team visits town. The Nationals are a losing franchise that can’t fill the seats, while the Phillies are winners whose fans love them so much they don’t hesitate to make road trips to the capital to cheer on their boys. That presents two problems for the Nats — one, there are more people in the stands rooting for the visitors than for the home team, and two, Philadelphia sports fans have a reputation that leans well over the obnoxious line.
Which reminds me of a story told by Dave “The Predictor” Murray, the sports guy on my morning radio show on WCXR/Washington many years ago. Dave had gone on a weekend hockey trip to Philly to watch the Capitals play the Flyers. When he got back to work Monday morning, he shared the experience with our audience, complaining about the loud, crude fans he’d encountered, including one in particular who kept shouting obscenities at the visitors while spilling beer down Dave’s back and smoking a disgusting-smelling cigar.
Dave paused, then added, “and her husband was worse!”