The story of the weekend should have been the fact that the red-hot World Fucking Champions just took two of three from the NL Central-leading Cardinals, keeping Albert Pujols in check while winning their seventh straight series. Instead, it's about murder and alcohol and laser pointers. Ugh.
I have to admit, I laughed when I saw the laser pointer schtick directed at Juio Lugo on Saturday. The guy was 3-for-3 in the game, after all, so anything you can to get him out. As Tim McCarver was waxing poetic about how disgraceful it is and how the other fans would do themselves proud by turning the perpetrator in, I sat back and laughed. But really, there is no need for something so childish to take place. It's definitely an unfair distraction to the Cardinals, to Lugo and Albert Pujols. Once was enough, people. Let's leave the laser pointers at home.
To make matters worse, on the same day that Philadelphia was getting another black eye thanks to the laser pointer delay on national television, tragedy took place outside the ballpark. A 22-year-old male, part of a bachelor party celebrating at the ballpark, was beaten to death. Talk about a double-whammy. There's certainly nothing funny about that, especially since it hit home. I went to the Phillies game yesterday for a bachelor party, tailgating early and going all out. Thankfully, our group was simply out for fun. No fights, no yelling matches. Just a group of guys getting drunk and having a blast at the Phils game. The way it should be.
The sad thing about all of this is that when it all boils down, Philadelphia comes out looking bad yet again. Do other cities boo? Of course. Do other cities have drunken fights and fans acting a fool? Absolutely. But honestly, we aren't doing ourselves any favors in that regard. We're all tired of the stereotype, the boarish fans who look for trouble, the ones who throw batteries and snowballs and garbage. It doesn't represent us well, and honestly, it doesn't even represent the majority of Philadelphia fans accurately.
Yet here we are, branded again as savages … and how can we even argue? We interfered with a game. More importantly, more horrifying, we created an atmosphere where a fan, seemingly just out to enjoy some beers, a bachelor party and a ball game, winds up dead. For no good reason other than booze and male pride. Certainly, when you mix alcohol and testosterone, things are going to happen. But how could anyone let it get this far? It's embarrassing. I'm embarrassed.
You'll hear plenty about how ridiculous we are from all over the place. As pathetic as it is that just a few bad seeds can ruin the reputation of a whole, it's true. And as long as these things keep happening in our stadiums with our fans, however few, it will keep up that reputation we all get tired of hearing about. Sports are supposed to be fun. To be an escape. To be enjoyed. Yet here we are, in the midst of another pennant race, scorching hot and in pursuit of one of the greatest pitchers of our era, and the headlines read murder, booze and laser pointers.
I'm as tired as the rest of you when we're branded as low class neanderthals. But when things like the transgressions from this weekend occur, it certainly shines light on why so many outside the city look down on us in disgust.