Ten Most Infamous Philadelphia Sports Moments: From Taser Guy to Booing Santa Claus
With the recent rash of events that have continued toÂ giveÂ Philadelphia a Rocky Balboa-worthy black eye, itÂ makes one ponder: what are the definitive topÂ ten most infamousÂ moments in modern-dayÂ Philadelphia sportsÂ history?
10.Â Tot drinkingÂ beer at the Phillies game (though, in all fairness, the bottle was probably empty, even as the babe’s chugging form is preternaturally impeccable).
9. Taser gate (the back story to this one is the kidÂ actuallyÂ phoned his dad to checkÂ whether it’d be alright for him to storm the field. “Can I go get tasered in front of forty-thousand people, pop, can I?”)
8.Â “O.D., O.D., O.D, O.D…O.D., O.D.” (thisÂ chantÂ is also up there as one of the all-time funniest moments).
7. Booing Santa Claus (snowballs were also thrown) http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/30/sports/football/30nfl.html
Those famously churlish Philadelphia fans cannot hide behind the urban legends. The truth is out there: they simply booed Santa Claus. Frank Olivo, the Santa in question, was not drunk, nor was his red suit in tatters that December day in 1968, when he walked onto the field for the halftime show, only to be met by a chorus of jeers and a snowball fusillade from Eagles fans.
6. Booing draftÂ selection of DonovanÂ McNabb (warranted or not, expect manyÂ more ofÂ theÂ Broad-cheersÂ when #5 returns to the LincÂ in a Washington Redskins uniform).
5. Cheering Michael Irvin’s career-ending injury at the Vet (while Irvin and so many of his old Cowgirl teammates have continued to prove their lack of characterÂ off the field, there wasÂ certainlyÂ no excuse for this)Â Â Sports Illustrated article here.
By cheering Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin as he lay motionless on the turf Sunday with a neck injury, the fans brought the city’s reputation for boorishness to new lows. It disgusted even those who thought they had seen it all in the “City of Brotherly Love.”
4. Flare gun-firing (who shoots a flare, honestly?)Â More details here on the Daily Whim.
And that Eagles Court and jail I mentioned yesterday? â€œIt was instituted in 1997 after a particularly rowdy Eagles-49ers Monday night game in which McCaffrey estimated there were 650 fistfights. And one flare gun firing.â€
3. Eagles’ Court (great Philadelphia judge, Seamus McCaffery, actually parlayed this gigÂ into a Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointment)Â More information about Judge Seamus
“I really am a judge, and I really work on criminal cases,” he said. “Everybody says, ‘Hey, Seamus, you’re that Eagles Court judge.’ But I really handle real cases.”
In fact, McCaffery explained, in the week prior to the PDAC meeting, he heard 250 cases. Philadelphia’s Municipal Court is considered the fourth-largest court in the nation, yet it has just five judges in its criminal division.
2. A fusillade of…AA batteries (though J.D. Drew has continued to hurt the Phillies much more thanÂ Philadelphians ever did him)Â See the Sports Illustrated story on the game
Drew was booed and serenaded by the crowd of 48,514 in his first game in Philadelphia because of his contract squabble with the Phillies two years ago. The game was delayed nearly 10 minutes in the eighth after debris landed near Drew in center field.
â€œThey were throwing batteries,â€ La Russa said. â€œWith that history, to me, the first battery that comes out on the field the game’s over. I hope that precedent’s set. Somebody throws a battery, Phillies lose.â€
1. Vomit guy (this story, literally, makes me sick) See the WV Gazzette story on the incident.
A 21-year-old New Jersey man pleaded guilty Tuesday to vomiting on another spectator and his 11-year-old daughter in the stands during a Philadelphia Phillies game.
Matthew Clemmens, of Cherry Hill, N.J., pleaded guilty to one count each of simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment for his conduct during an April 14 Phillies-Nationals game at Citizens Bank Park.
*Though it is easy toÂ blame many ofÂ these momentsÂ on historically awful teams and, (of course),Â the al-al-al-al-al-alcohol, it is time that we as Philadelphians band together as one and start taking greater responsibility for our actions.
**For a further discussion of these, and other heart-warming Philly sportsÂ moments, check out this book:
The Great Philadelphia Fan Book