Kevin Garnett, for all intents and purposes, called the Philadelphia fans frontrunners. I believe his exact words were “fair-weathered”. This was on Monday night, a night in which the great fans he referred to in Boston were dead silent… at least until the third quarter. From where I stood, I saw fans who have been treated to championships countless times over the last decade courtesy of the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox sit quietly with concern that their team might be letting the series slip away to a younger, relentless and (perhaps most importantly) superstar-free Philadelphia 76ers.
During the 2011 football season, the Eagles WR Jason Avant echoed Garnett’s current sentiments. With his teammate sitting beside him, Jimmy Rollins infamously indicted the Phillies faithful for being “frontrunners” when they appeared on The Best Damn Sports Show Period! back in 2008. In twist of fate, the fans would cheer their beloved Phils down Broad Street at the end of that very same season and collectively hoist the city’s first championship trophy in 25 years.
That’s right folks, that is a combined 100 seasons of loyal support for all four major sports teams without tasting supreme victory. Let us not forget that the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, and you would have to go back to 1960 for their most recent championship. The Phillies were the first team in any sport to reach 10,000 total losses,and it sure looks like the Flyers, in retrospect, have gotten a free pass given that they haven’t won the cup since the mid-70s. The Sixers have been extremely streaky as a franchise, with long spurts of agonizing basketball in the previous two decades. The fans had to enjoy yet simultaneously endure two of the most polarizing and, effectively, frustrating athletes ever in Allen Iverson and Donovan McNabb.
Yet Garnett–a guy who should empathize with the torment of the Philadelphia fanbase considering his years of treachery back in Minnesota–has the nerve to call them fair-weathered, and two of the cities current athletes agree.This makes absolutely no sense, yet this accusation has been all the craze over the last few years. In order to be a front-runner, your team has to be in front. In order to be a fair-weathered fan, the weather has to be fair.
For those of you who do not understand, let me explain that booing does not equal apathy; it means fans care! They’re disappointed! Typically, Philly fans boo over two things: laziness and stupidity. And, unlike casual fans across the nation, know when to boo! That is likely due to their undying passion and dedication to their teams. The fact that they intently follow every action, on and off the field, and bleed each team’s respective colors, and they only expect the players to reciprocate their efforts. Ironically, Philly fans, while they ultimately want to win a championship more than anything else (just like any other fanbase), they still only demand their players give it their all.