The New Orleans Times-Picayune's Jeff Duncan wrote an article earlier today discussing the conditions the Saints will be facing during tomorrow night's playoff game. The article is scathing and covers virtually every tired, bad Philadelphia fan story. The highlights are below. (I didn't want to add it but here's the link).
If the Saints thought they were treated inhospitably in road playoff losses in Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco, their eyes -- and ears -- are about to be opened this weekend.
Over the years, Philly fans have earned a reputation as the some of the loudest, rowdiest and most mean-spirited in sports. GQ Magazine named Philadelphia sports fans the meanest fans in America in 2011, and with good reason.
Philly fans have booed Santa Claus and their own star players. Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels received the "South Philly Cheer" when he had the gall to lose his first start of the 2011 season -- after the Phillies had started the year 3-0.
In 1999, they booed Matthew Scott, the first person in the United States to receive a hand transplant, after he dribbled the ceremonial opening pitch at a Phillies game with his weakened new hand.
Philly fans once cheered Michael Irvin ... after he suffered a season-ending neck injury.
Stories of fans throwing snowballs, batteries and empty liquor bottles at players and coaches from the opposing team are legendary. A few years back one drunken Philly fan intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl.
"I think (Philly fans) are very supportive, but they keep it real with you," said New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who played his first three NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers. "If you're playing bad, they are going to let you know you are playing bad. Like in basketball they talk about the sixth man, the crowd is going to be their (Eagles) sixth man. They are very vocal. It's going to be fun for the Saints."
"Fun" isn't the word that immediately comes to mind when I think of Philadelphia's hospitality to visiting teams and fans. In fact, I can't think of a more hostile environment for the Saints than playing the Eagles on the road in the playoffs.
My lasting memory of covering a football game in the City of Brotherly Love came in the 2002 NFC Championship Game. The game between the Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the final event at infamous Veterans Stadium, and no one in Philly gave the Bucs a chance that frigid afternoon.
By sheer happenstance, the pregame media shuttle buses merged with the caravan of buses transporting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and coaches to the stadium. As we exited the highway and circled the parking lots outside Veterans Stadium, every green-clad fan saluted us with his or her middle finger.
One elderly woman, an adept multi-tasker, turned bratwursts with her left hand and flicked us the bird with her right -- never once looking up from the grill.
"That place is rough," said NFL analyst John Lynch, who started at safety for the Bucs in that game. "Philly fans are passionate to say the least. Even when I come back here as an analyst, there's still a part of me that feels, 'I'm not welcomed here.'"
I don't really care what Jeff Duncan thinks about us Philadelphia fans. Just a bunch of "he said, she said" stuff here. It's nothing we all haven't heard before. Same story, different voice.
It should be noted that the story told about Phillies fans booing Matthew Scott, the hand-transplant recipient, was unequivocally false. WIP's Josh Innes found a video that is in direct contradiction to Duncan's claim that fans booed him. In reality, they cheered Scott.
I think this is a perfect time to bring Jimmy Rollins' quote from 2010. "“Be out there. Let ‘em have it. Let. Them. Have. It. All of ‘em. For real.”
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