Coming to school in Philadelphia after having lived in a small town outside of it, I knew I was only further consolidating my already inherited love of Philadelphia sports, finally having the ease of a half-hour Septa ride directly to Citizen’s Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field to see my favorite teams.
Compound this current ease of viewing with the Penn sports passion scene, as well as my own background, and you arrive at the culmination of almost twenty years of Phillies following – twelve years of which have been filled with a familial obsession with infielder and (once) power hitter, Ryan Howard.
For as long as I can remember, we’ve widely made the joke in my extended family about just how much my mom has been obsessed with Ryan Howard – and, twelve years after his career began for the Phils, this weekend I had the privilege of watching him play his final game as a Philadelphia Phillies player.
Finishing a prolific career with a World Series title, NL Rookie of the Year, and 3 NL All-Star titles under his belt, I watched as Ryan Howard was sung out of the stadium one last time this past Sunday, a tearful celebration I also got to share with my parents.
And, watching the crowd around me stand and commemorate an impressive time with our favorite team, I remembered just how much I love the Philadelphia fan base. As aggressive, sometimes unforgiving, and frequently drunk as they are, I know there is also no fan base that I’d rather be a part of, especially now as both a student at the University of Pennsylvania and, in general, as someone living in the city of Philadelphia.
Though some of the abuse we Philadelphia fans receive is definitely warranted, there’s no group of humans I’d rather watch all the ups and (majority, right now, considering all our teams are momentarily kind of garbage) downs with – even if that means a lot of unneeded belligerent yelling at the actual events. But, I’d like to think that’s part of our charm.