Hey, New Jersey: Philly sports fans are not that bad after all
Sports rivalries in the Northeast part of the country can get pretty nasty. The city that stands above the rest for nastiness is always Philadelphia. The majority population of sports fans in our state resides in Central and North Jersey. They generally despise Philly sports fans. The southern part of the state is in fact mostly Philly sports fans, and we have to live with the stigma of the nasty reputation.
Being born and raised as a Philadelphia sports fan I never believed the hype. I thought other big cities were just as bad, if not worse. Then I had a revelation when my 9-year-old son wore a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey of his favorite player, Jaromir Jagr, to a Flyers-Penguins playoff game.
He was taunted and harassed by some Flyers fans. Adult grown-ass men! That’s from the light that went off in my head, and I said yup, everybody was right.
They’re not all bad. The majority are actually very polite and thoughtful fans. That was never more in evidence than this past weekend. Phillies shortstop Trea Turner who signed a $300 million contract before this season, was in a really bad slump in the last month or so. He knew it. The team's management knew it and most of all the fans knew it. But rather than boo him vociferously every time he came up to bat, they came up with an alternate plan.
The plan was Friday night in the first game of the series against the Kansas City Royals, everybody should get up cheer and give him a standing ovation for every turn at bat. They did. I was lucky enough to be at the ballpark Friday night. The first two at-bats, despite all the crowds cheering, Turner didn’t get on base. But the third time was a charm. He got a single that knocked in a run, and the crowd went wild.
They continued to give him a standing ovation the rest of the night and into the next night. It must’ve helped Trea Turner because in Saturday night's game, he hit a three-run homer and a two-run double. The idea came about on X (Twitter) and spread throughout the area.
Local Philly sports talk radio talked about it as well and it worked like a charm. So the City of Brotherly Love finally lived up to its name at a sporting event. They saw the guy was struggling and he was down about it, so they lifted him up. It was truly a touching moment in sports. And it actually happened in Philly!
Play ball NJ: These MLB pros are from New Jersey
NFL pros from New Jersey
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite best friends anytime, anywhere and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.