Citizens Bank Puke
After the game on April 14th I double checked the Phillies’ promotional schedule and it was not listed as â€œDrunk Loser Nightâ€ despite what I had seen. It has been about a week and a half since Philadelphia has been held up once again as a shining example of how a few knuckleheads can make an entire fan base the scourge of all sports with their boorish behavior brought on by too much alcohol. Before the game was over a few drunk punks had been tossed and another purposely vomited on an 11-year-old girl and was throwing haymakers at her dad who came to her defense. It was nice to see, though, that the bloated hurler (not Joe Blanton) was given something to remember the game byâ€”a fantastic black eye. If only all people like him could be given such lovely parting gifts for their actions.
See, I can give you a different perspective than what has been reported in the paper. Why? I was there; not just at the game, but in the section where it happened, about three rows up and a dozen seats over. I had not written about it before because I did not want to give readers the same tired story, but a friend of mine suggested I write it because I was actually there and could provide details that the media did not.
This was one of those occurrences where you look back and can say that you saw this (or should have seen it) coming a mile away. From pretty much the start of the game these group of guys appeared to have the I.Q. of a fungo bat. Four of them were all pretty much dressed the same in their powder blue Phils throwback shirts; my favorite one was the lad sporting a Nebraska Cornhuskers National Championship baseball hat with all the championship years listed on the back. I am confident in saying that none of these guys have been on a date since the last time Nebraska football was relevant, which was about 10 years ago. Even better was their inebriated friend who sat behind them and would stand in the middle of the aisle between innings, playing imaginary instruments to whatever song was playing, making it an adventure for the poor fan who was either trying to make his or her way to the concourse or back.
Things started to get interesting when a few of them were fooling around and beer flew into the air and landed on a fan in his mid-thirties with a shaved head and full beard. This guy was sitting next to them already so I am sure their act was wearing on him, and after this happened I turned to my friend and pointed out that he may kill them. You could hear wrestling announcer Jim Ross saying, â€œBusiness is looking to pick up.â€Â As a gambling rule of thumb, always bet on the angry guy with the shaved head and beard if it looks like there may be a fight. Much to my disappointment nothing transpired, the only thing saving these dopes was that he had a girl with him and did not want to get into a fight.Â At least that’s my guess.
Eventually, to my delight, the five of them were escorted away by the ushers about half way through the game. It was not until this story hit the paper did I learn they were ejected for using offensive language, and a dad in the row in front of them asked them to stop because his 11-year-old daughter was with him. Their response was to act up even more by trying to spit on their seats and actually spitting on the 11-year-old girl. Little did she know this was only the start because the biggest bonehead was not at his seat when the others got tossed. Talk about bad timing.
Soon the heavy heaver (paper listed him at roughly 6 feet and 250 pounds) came back to his seat and it was rather amusing to see the look of confusion on his face as it appeared he was trying to figure out where his fellow dregs of society had gone. My friends and I had noticed this champion earlier as the tattoo of the outline of the state of New Jersey on the back of his forearm arm was a lively topic of discussion among us. Who gets a tattoo of a state let alone that of New Jersey (I apologize to my NJ readers)? Needless to say that we established early on that he was a loser and our jobs were safe.
Shortly thereafter we saw that he was leaning to one side and sticking two fingers down his throat. Now if this had been the second inning, a frame Kyle Kendrick couldn’t complete without getting pulled, I may have defended the guy. I had felt the same need to vomit while watching Kendrick struggle against the Nats giving up six earned runs in an inning and two thirds, but this was later in the game so there were no excuses. For the record I would also like to note that the guy was wearing a Roy Halladay shirt. That will probably be the closest Halladay is to a loser all year thanks to the ridiculous start he is off to.
I had turned my attention back to the game when I heard people start to shout and I looked over and saw the pride of New Jersey taking swings at a fan. People were yelling that he had thrown up on them, and as it was reported later, he had ultimately vomited on the 11-year-old girl. The fan he was swinging at not only was her dad, but turned out to be an off-duty police officer. I give the officer a ton of credit for keeping his composure because I am sure he could have easily had this guy tasting concrete with a few cool self-defense moves like you see in the movies. Another man came down to help subdue the fan labeled â€œPukemonâ€ by the papers and security was soon all around.
As they were trying to wrestle him down, New Jerseyâ€™s most eligible bachelor just kept tossing his cookies in projectile fashion to the crowdâ€™s disgust. Upon getting him under control and taking him away our â€œGift from The Garden Stateâ€ lifted both his hands in the air, gave the double middle finger and yelled, â€œF*** all of you!â€ Classy! I enjoyed viewing the guyâ€™s uncle on TV a few days later when he said something along the lines of what a good kid he was, and that he thought he had just gotten sick and was trying NOT to throw up on the girl. Ummm yeah, not quite. As a first-hand witness to this unfortunate event, I thought many things, yet not one was “boy I bet he is a good kid having a bad day.”
I realize I tried to bring some humor to a sorry situation that should never happen to anyone, let alone an 11-year-old girl. People at games deserve better and it was not like this took place in the upper levels, this was in the lower level of the stadium where you would not necessarily expect to see such behavior. Philly fans have to take their stadium back from these punks who could care less about baseball and just want to show up and get tanked and ruin the game for those around them. It is a delicate situation because right now, the Phillies are the toast of the city and the games are the place to be. Citizen’s Bank Park is working on almost 50 straight sell outs and the fans’ momentum is only going to gain as the year goes on.
That little girl is the Philly fan of the future and what a horrid experience she just endured. Would you want to go to a game after that if you were a kid? Here is a cop who puts his life on the line each day, and put his hard earned money down for tickets and concessions. He should be able to relax at a game for a few hours with his kids and not worry. Is that too much to expect in life? There is no way he could have imagined what that night brought in his wildest dreams. The fan base should be angry over what happened because a line has been crossed when a child gets pulled into a situation like this. Baseball in general needs kids as fans, just ask Baltimore, Toronto, Cleveland and Seattle who have seen all time attendance lows already in their stadiums this year. Plus based on Philadelphiaâ€™s franchise history it only took well over 100 years to reach this level of excellence finally being enjoyed, so let us not drive the fans away now.
Matt Aber is a baseball enthusiast and an advocate of the national organization called The Miracle League which allows special needs children to play baseball.Â He encourages you to support this worthy cause and learn more at www.miracleleague.com.