Analysis

Commentary: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

It’s a question that will never be answered with yes; especially when it pertains to the Phillies and Mets rivalry.  Between two teams that have a genuine dislike for each other, it gives the feel of hockey hatred, not baseball animosity.

As we enjoy back-to-back wins for the Phillies (and hopefully three in a row on Monday afternoon) it pains me to jump back into a sore subject.  Not trying to be the buzz kill.

On Saturday night in Queens, the Phillies got a superb effort out of J.A. Happ once again.  He fought hard through seven innings, giving up eight hits, but only one run, en route to a 4-1 Phils victory.  While Happ fought on the mound, the fighting in the stands came to a head.

Undoubtedly you’ve either seen the live broadcast, the YouTube video, or heard through the grapevine that two parties – one rooting for the Phillies, the other for the Mets – got into fisticuffs in the seats, leading to ejections and the like.  There was beer spilling and haymakers, all in what intends to be a family-friendly environment.

It is yet another black eye for our fan base.  Maybe it wasn’t the Phillies fans fault, perhaps it was the New York group egging them on. But nonetheless, it adds to the already incessant negativity tossed our way.

I’m here to say the machismo has gone far enough. Whatever Mets fans do is their own business.  If they want to brawl in the stands and act like jerks, then so be it.  But lets be better than this, Phillies Nation.  I’m as sick as you are of having to hear that our town is filled with bullies and thugs.  That we care only about drinking and fighting, more so than what goes on within the diamond. That our crime rate reflects on our baseball-loving supporters. That our education system breeds incompetence and unsportsmanlike behavior.

Phillies faithful are often thought of as some of the most passionate and knowledgeable in all of sports.  But they also let their blood spill onto the canvas more than most, and it’s a trend that needs reversing.

As for Saturday, the long, hot day, on top of the alcohol, added to the heated conflict that has been brewing for nearly three seasons. People will fight – it’s nature.  We witnessed this recently in our own backyard as a Phillies fan was killed in the CBP parking lot over a spilled beverage.

However, this shtick is growing tired, and its time for us all to do something about it.  I’m not here to tell people how to live or how to react to a confrontation.  But I can say that I hope we all grow up enough to realize that we are rooting for a team, a band of brothers, and that our own agendas should be set aside for the betterment of those around us.

The black eye continues to grow.  And while some believe they are simply backing their hometown team by fighting for them, in actuality it hurts us as a whole. Unfortunately, it’s the few who believe their masculinity is more important than being a decent person that have pushed this issue to a new level. Let’s use our best judgment from here on out, because the fact is we are the best fans in sports, and we do put forth the most passion and we are the most well informed baseball followers.  But the extra-curricular activities are barbaric and just plain disgusting.

We can at least try to get along.

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