Yesterday, we posted Adam's experience at Game 5 in Boston. He was not treated so well by Bruin fans, having multiple items thrown at him, including a contraceptive.
Today, we received a somewhat apologetic (and introspective?) email from "Rob from Rhode Island." The letter is actually pretty well written and humorous, but my favorite part is at the beginning, when Rob addresses the letter to "Adam– the gentleman who had a condom thrown at him." I really hope Adam does something more significant in life to shed that moniker…
I can just see it now:
HERE LIES ADAM GONSIEWSKI
THE GENTLEMAN WHO HAD A CONDOM THROWN AT HIM
Read the email after the jump.
Hey…. this e-mail is for Adam — the gentleman who got the condom thrown at him.
As a Bruins fan, I can't help but be appalled and slightly amused by your experience at the game. I only say this because I was in attendance for Game 4 inPhiladelphia, and am still surprised I escaped such treatment. (It probably had a lot to do with my team losing Game 4 and yours winning Game 5. Either way I'm sorry.)
That game was my first and only experience as a visiting fan, my first hockey game in person, and my first playoff game. It was intense, amusing, and as fun as I expected it to be. I went to the game fully expecting to be harassed, doused in liquids, and potentially involved in a fight. Only the first of those three things actually happened.
I went to the game with a female Flyers "fan" who conveniently forgot her Flyers sweatshirt. She was in a black and white Temple sweatshirt — which I surmised was worn so that she could choose to accessorize with either my yellow Bruins hat or an orange towel based on who won the game. She also informed me that I was "on my own" if people start to "puke on or tase" me. While she claimed to be very embarrassed, she took joy in all of my phoned-in misery at each Flyers goal, and I doubt she'd trade the experience of seeing me heckled. I know I wouldn't. (The one time she may have felt awkward was when the occasional drunk Philadelphia fan asked her why she was dating a Boston fan — which was only awkward because we are no longer involved.)
I got to the game just as the first period began. I saw several Bruins fans outside the Wachovia Center, and the only comments I got from Flyers fans were basically warnings to not expect much more joy once I got inside. Sure enough, the first Flyers fan I made eye contact with inside the arena let out a "fuck you asshole" as soon as we crossed paths. If we hadn't shared a "knowing" smile beforehand, I might've been more surprised.
The people in my section were a bit varied. The two guys behind me immediately saw the humility in my eyes and surmised it had a lot to do with being raised aRed Sox fan. They could respect that. (Also, a lot of the anger in my section was directed towards a teenager who had the balls to wear a baby blue Sidney Crosby jersey.) We saw an awesome game, and it went by mostly without incident. I — unlike far too many of my New England counterparts — can bury the fact that I'm an asshole for 3 hours or so.
It wasn't until we left that the dam broke. My female companion needed to use the women's room, and I found it much easier to be a target of ridicule when I'm stationary as opposed to moving. As I stood by the door, I was first met with my own personal "assssshoooole" chant by about 20 exiting Flyers fans.
After a handful of middle schoolers let me have it I was approached by two fans about my age. They both seemed to be the bookworm type, and their rosy cheeks implied that they were "wound up" and probably intoxicated. One asked me "how does it feel?" My response was that it felt great to be up three games to one. "Fuck you! Go back to Boston, fag!" Once the other joined in with the "fag" remarks, I had gotten a bit fed up. I met a "fuck you" with an ever-clever "fuck YOU" retort. One of the bookworms laughed as he questioned "fuck me?" With perfect timing, my female companion returned from the bathroom and assured the fan that "nobody wants to fuck" him. The moment was precious.
As expected, the rowdy fans on the way out let me have it. There were plenty of fans who were personable but just as interested in what would happen to me next, as my friend and I were as well. We got to the subway… I got some grief… but it was mostly in fun. (Riding the "Nite Owl" down Broad from Temple back to the Wachovia Center by myself at 1AM was less fun.)
What I did notice after the game was that as I ran into more Boston fans, their ultimate defense to "go back to Boston" was "come with me!" Their argument was that it took a lot of balls to come to Philadelphia and root for our team, which I hadn't thought of. I suppose it did… and it takes no balls to use the odds in your favor to be a brave asshole in your home arena. (This applies to both me in Philly and you in Boston being abused by chowdah heads.)
I'm just happy that this series is becoming an actual series, and that I've found a Phildelphian who can relate to my experience. I'm really sorry about what happened to you in Boston… but it leads me to question something: Are Boston fans rowdier and bigger assholes, or does it have everything to do with the road team winning in your story and not in mine?
While Boston is my "home," I'm from Rhode Island. I was in Philadelphia looking at graduate schools, and I've really taken to the city. I truly love everything about it, and personally I think it has an undeserved bad reputation. Boston does too… but hopefully this story will do something to temporarily quell some of w
hat Philly has been wrongfully getting in recent months with the tasings and Matt Clemens stuff.
Rob from Rhode Island
You’re a cool guy, Rob from Rhode Island. You’re welcome back in Philly any time! We’ll still give you plenty of shit should you have the audacity to root for the wrong team, but we’ll be smiling. Sometimes.
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