For Philadelphians who don’t like sports, it’s hell week

People in Philadelphia who don’t like sports suffer from it themselves.

They don’t know what a “Schwar-Bombe” is. You’re wondering what labor action you’re talking about when you mention the Philadelphia Union. They never said “Go Birds” and always walk slowly and measuredly up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

This week, when all five Philadelphia teams are playing, when two are fighting for the championship and one is on its way to perfection, these folks are just trying to duck and dodge the shards of Cheez Whiz, cheap beer and bar grease at a citywide Jannado des Sports.

“Wait, what’s the other team playing for a championship?” said one.

We call her “Meghan” because she asked us to.

“I would be happy to speak to you but would request anonymity,” Meghan said before speaking to The Inquirer. “I have to earn my living in this town.”

Meghan, a city dweller in her 40s, said she’s not an active sports hater and doesn’t “want to take the shine off anyone”. Sporty ambivalent, that’s how she describes it.

“But I think I hate the Eagles,” she said.

Meghan recalled walking her dog in a red sweater four years ago during the Eagles Super Bowl parade and being laughed at by a fan for the color choice. However, she went to a Phillies game with kids this opening weekend this year, so maybe there’s hope?

“It was one of the worst days of my life,” she later told her husband.

Nevertheless, Meghan is happy for you, for us, for the whole city. That doesn’t mean she’s picking up a Phillies hoodie.

“Oh god no,” she said.

Germantown’s “Sophia” sent an email to The Inquirer, clearly stating, “I’m not a sports fan.” But the content of that email revealed Sophia’s adept understanding of fandom despite not having “live TV.” .

“The energy and excitement in the city is contagious, but I still don’t like sports,” she said.

“The other thing I want to say, and I’m a little afraid to say it, is that how crazy people are about sports is absurd. It’s not a matter of life or death. Enjoy it, but there are a lot of more important things.”

Mount Airy’s Amy Holland is trying to see the bright side of not liking sports or not going to games. It’s a great time to run errands, she said, or go to the movies.

“It can be extreme amusing when you say you don’t care,” she said. “People can’t care about it.”

There’s a man in Philadelphia who proudly hates sports, but only half of what he said is printable. If a random stranger on the street said “Go Birds” to him, he would say “Go…” well – you know.

“Full name. Conor Corcorán. Print it out,” he said.

Corcoran, 45, is a city attorney and his charges against Philly sports and hardcore fans are damning. When he sees fans in stadiums, what he sees is not Harper’s Heroes or family ties, but social divides and economic differences. Few city dwellers, he stressed, could afford World Series tickets.

The Phillies, Corcoran said, have the “perceived elegance of baseball,” but he believes the team represents a “real demarcation point of the haves and have-nots, with a customer base mostly beyond the Blue Route”. Corcoran compares Lincoln Financial Field, home of the 7-0 Eagles, to the Roman Coliseum, where fans pay exorbitant prices to watch gladiators damage one another’s brains.

“Down with the cheerleaders,” he said. “It’s all a bunch of mouth breathers and knuckle draggers.”

Corcoran, who grew up in Drexel Hill Catholic school, said his life changed as he broadened his horizons with books and new music. He said Philly fans should try to find some culture themselves.

“If these people had self-respect, they would go to the art museum,” he said.

If you sharpen your pitchfork or fire off a malicious tweet, we’ll end on a positive note with townswoman Claire Adler, a transportation planner who grew up in Washington.

“Growing up, when the topic of sports came up, a lot of the time I wanted to hide because I was just going to embarrass myself,” she said. “You could get away with that in DC”

Adler, 29, moved to Philadelphia in 2015. She fell in love with the city and became involved in local politics and neighborhood groups.

“It’s really difficult to do all of this without knowing a lot about sports teams,” she said.

So far she has been to a Sixers game. She watched the Eagles win Super Bowl LII on TV in 2018 but found the football too difficult to follow.

Then Adler watched Game 5 of the NLCS, and Bryce Harper’s game-winning home run, an epic hit for the ages, changed her.

“It was kind of fun.” She said. “We took to the streets and it was so much fun because I love Philadelphia and anything that makes people happy here makes me so happy.”

She ordered a Phillies shirt for Game 3 of the World Series, but it didn’t come, so she went out and bought one Tuesday afternoon. She was planning to go to a bar with friends to watch.

“I’m not sure I would ever go to a full game,” she said. “But it’s all happening here in town at the same time, it’s hard not to be excited.”


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