Philadelphia fans give city another black eye
Philadelphia fans are under attack for juvenile behavior again. This time it is the Flyer fans that are being roasted across the nation.
The fans drew a two-minute penalty for throwing tribute bracelets onto the ice during a 6-1 loss to arch rivals Washington in the first-round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. They set off a powder keg and have given a city that booed Santa Clause another well-deserved black eye.
This of course is not just a Philadelphia problem because fan behavior has become a nationwide issue. Los Angeles Dodger fans are beaten up by San Francisco Giants fans and vice versa. Fans visiting Ohio State, Penn State and other college campuses complain of violent behavior simply because they were wearing opposing jerseys.
The Philadelphia incident is the fault of officials that let the game get out of control, Flyers management which gave fans projectiles to throw and fans who do not know how to behave themselves. It was a trio of ugly.
It began when Flyers fourth-line center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare rode the Flyers Dmitry Orlov head first into the boards. It was a vicious hit that earned Bellemare a one-game suspension. The building turned into chaos when the Capital scored. Fans began throwing bracelets that were featured in an opening ceremony for deceased owner Ed Snider onto the ice.
The PA announcer pleaded with them to stop. Fans did not. The Flyers were given a two-minute penalty and the Capitals scored again to put the game on ice. “That was Ed’s game last night I felt like,” Flyers PA announcer Lou Nolan told CBS Philadelphia. “It was just rude, like come on Philadelphia. Why do we in Philadelphia continually try to find ways to embarrass ourselves?”
The team issued a lame statement saying Philadelphia fans are the best in the world. The team claimed only 100 bracelets were thrown from a crowd of more than 19,000 and that represents less than one half of one percent of the fan base.
Still the game was delayed and the team was given a penalty and the city took another hit as one of the worst fan bases in the United States.
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski joined Nolan in ripping Philadelphia fans.
“They embarrassed themselves, all of them, in every possible way,” he wrote. “When spectators scream during a pregame moment of silence for a team’s patriarch – as several Flyers fans did Monday – and it’s not the most graceless, dishonorable episode of the night, that’s telling.”
Philly.com ran a poll asking if the incident tarnished the image of Philadelphia fans again. More than 81 percent of pollsters said yes.