Here’s another reason (one of many) why nobody reads newspapers anymore. Pulitzer Prize finalist Frank Fitzpatrick is an accomplished writer, a veteran Inquirer columnist, and a published author. – golf claps – However, as you know, often times those who dwell with their heads just above the stratocumulus stratiformis are in no position to understand the mindless masses below, let alone to tell them how they should act.
That’s right, from the same guy who told you not to wear jerseys or tailgate comes this gem, “Are Philly Fans Going Soft?," in today’s Inky. And it's not a sex joke.
At first glance, FP raises an interesting issue: Are we too forgiving of the current crop of Phillies stars? He starts out by wondering if our skepticism has dwindled. He’s talking about the Type 2 fans – the ones who refuse to acknowledge the flaws of our 2008 heroes. He should have stopped there: [Philly.com]
Once we took pride in our capacity to question any managerial decision, regardless of context. Now, like tittering schoolgirls, we compose the kind of brainless love notes you'd expect to find at military homecomings or Justin Bieber concerts.
What would Sign Man say?
He would probably say “what’s the internet” or “Bill Barber for life!” In fact, he pretty much created the culture of supportive signs and taking grammatical jabs at opposing players.
Then there are Flyers fans and their monochromatic mindlessness.
This team has gone 36 years without a Stanley Cup – longer than the Phillies went between pennants (1915-1950) when they were the worst organization in sports history – yet Flyers ticket buyers apparently believe it's more productive to collectively wear orange T-shirts to home playoff games than to hold management's feet to the fire.
One doesn’t relate to the other. That’s like saying that because you hate your job, you shouldn’t wear a suit to a meeting. The Flyers care much more about the gate revenues than they do about you wearing their orange shirts, which are actually one of the few unique-ish fan stunts in all of sports. They’re not thundersticks or hand-jobbing monkeys, rather, they’re simple tools that help to create a distinctive home ice advantage, Frank. Perhaps it wasn’t present against the Bruins (neither was the team’s defense), but ask the 2010 Montreal Canadiens or Ryan Miller how they liked playing in front of that mass of humanity. I’m the last person to mindlessly buy into marketing ploys (I see you, Philadelphia Tea Party), but there’s no reason to fight the establishment on something not worth fighting.
Is there some fear that in normal clothing they might be mistaken for Rangers fans? Is there some equally irrational belief that by dressing alike they help influence the outcome? Do they fear their peers? Do they fear the jeers? Did they drink too much beer?
No, they’re having fun. It’s pretty simple, really. Who brought this guy?
Somehow the Flyers managed to win two Stanley Cups when their fans were attired sanely.
If you call bell-bottoms and disco shirts “sanely attired,” well, you’re on your own.
I didn't see any gatherings of like-tinted lemmings in New York or Boston, two cities whose passionate fans are often compared with ours.
In fact, there was a kind of poetic justice to the Flyers' being eliminated in Boston, where Bruins fans appeared to be free-minded individuals.
Poetic justice? Yes, sage thinkers are lining up to point out the pitfalls of orange t-shirts.
But next spring, when the Flyers embark on another frustrating postseason, try something different, sartorially speaking.
You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.
Funny, the guy who accuses YOU of not being a free-minded individual is telling you how to dress, while he pulls the strings from his press-perch. Dance, puppets. Dance!
And you wonder why nobody reads newspapers anymore. It’s the sports reading equivalent of, well, the exact mindlessness Frank hates so much.