Be Proud, Philly.
I’m proud of us. Embarrassed, angry and sad, but mostly proud.
I’m so proud of the vast majority of fans sitting around me at the Wells Fargo Center last night who didn’t throw bracelets, who chastised and booed their fellow fans who did. I’m proud of all of the Flyers fanbase on social media that I follow for calling out this reprehensible behavior. I’m proud of Lou Nolan who took the fans acting like toddlers having temper tantrums to task. I’m proud of Wayne Simmonds for expressing his disgust.
This fanbase can be tough. We care a lot about the success of our teams. When they play poorly (and they played VERY poorly last night in a lot of respects) we should boo them. I defend Philly sports fans on a regular basis. We should express our feelings. But not like that. Not by dangerously throwing things onto the ice. Not by adding fuel to the dumpster fire of a narrative that has often been lazy, but is what it is.
We need to own this. We need to own this part of ourselves that provides confirmation bias to the reputation we may not entirely deserve but we plainly have.
I don’t care one bit about what the national media, or fans and blogs from other cities think about us. I really don’t. Let them make tired old jokes, write their scathing columns, lump us into a monolith of terrible people. Go ahead. Have at it. I care what WE think, how WE respond and what WE do moving forward. Do we call out our friends and seat neighbors for this? Do we call them out for racist, sexist or otherwise terrible behavior like we saw last night? We absolutely should.
We must also stay loud, be passionate, be boisterous, whilst demanding the best from our teams and ourselves. Look toward that promising & bright future the Flyers are beginning to show and is just around the corner. I’m proud of us, and what we will be. Just you wait.