There’s that word again: classless.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo recently used it to describe new Phillies cult hero Cole Hamels. It was also being tossed around like an errant fastball from Jonathan Papelbon in Chicago, where Bulls announcers called shenanigans on Sixers fans. This story has been making the rounds, but picked up steam again this morning since Game 5 is tonight. Judging by the audio, it’s pretty clear that Sixers fans were cheering enthusiastically after Joakim Noah twisted his ankle Friday night, sidelining Chicago’s second-best player (arguably) for two games.
The internet has been abuzz, using words like “trash,” “disgrace,” “despicable,” to describe our fan base. Words quickly followed up with references to Michael Irvin’s career-ending injury being applauded; to Pukemon; to Santa Claus and snowballs; to JD Drew’s battery shower.
Look, we’re not going to defend this kind of behavior.
(We found ourselves walking around most of Saturday asking random people, “Is it OK to cheer for an injury?” We’re still not sure what the correct answer is, especially when you consider that this one pretty much punched the Sixers’ first ticket to the second round since 2003.)
BUT … take a look in the mirror Chicago. Remember in 2002 when two drunken White Sox fans bum-rushed the field and attacked a Royals first-base coach? How about three years ago when a Cubs fan dumped beer on Shane Victorino while he was trying to make a catch? Then, there’s the curious case of Steve Bartman. The headphone-wearing Cubs fan who interfered with Moises Alou and — to most Chicago fans — single-handedly cost the Cubs a shot at the World Series.
Bartman was escorted out of Wrigley Field by security guards while fans pelted him with insults. He was forced to quit his job, stay indoors and walk around Chicago in disguises. No one has seen or heard from Bartman since 2003.
Chicago, you want “bush league?” That’s the definition.
And Philly fans were also taking heat in Washington, D.C. after Jayson Werth went down with a broken wrist that will cost him 12 weeks. The former Phillie claims he was being heckled with chants of “you deserve it” and “that’s what you get” from the Philly fans at Nationals Park. Werth was so incensed that he drafted a letter to The Washington Post.
In it, he writes: “I am motivated to get back quickly and see to it personally those people never walk down Broad Street in celebration again.”
So, can we run down Broad Street?