Are Phillies Fans Frontrunners?

John MulhernContributor IAugust 14, 2008

Recently on "The Best Damn Sports Show", Jimmy Rollins made some inflammatory remarks about the Philadelphia Phillies fan base. To paraphrase Jimmy claimed that Philadelphia fans are front runners. I am hear to say that Jimmy can not be more wrong. These statements have absolutely no bearing whatsoever. 

Let me concede that Philly fans can sometimes be unfair of their criticism of their own players, but they need to understand where this criticism is coming from. Philadelphia fans are for the most part so largely invested in our teams that when they struggle we need to criticize something. Just because we criticize however, does not mean we are any less loyal. The fact that this is coming from Jimmy is even more of a shock. Philadelphia has given this guy a total free pass this year. His offense is not even close to what it should be and yet he has only been showered with praise. Not only is he not hitting, he also seems to have lost his edge in terms of his personal focus as well. Twice this year he has been benched by Charlie Manuel for an apparent lack of effort or focus. For heavens sake he showed up about twenty minutes before one of the biggest games of the year against the Mets. Even with his short comings this year he has remained unscathed by the media and by the Philadelphia fans. 

As a lifelong Philadelphia fan there is nothing that I find more offensive then an attack on our fan hood. If anything Philly fans are the opposite of front runners. For twenty Five years we have watched our teams fail, but we are there again and again with even more passion than before. Like any city it is easier for us to show off our team colors when they win. Give us a reason to get behind you and we will be there in full force. Three examples come to mind, the first being in 2001 when the city was buzzing with 76ers fever, the second being in 2004 when Eagles fans took over Jacksonville creating essentially a home field advantage for the Birds, and the third being just last October when you could not go a foot without seeing Phillies colors. How quick Jimmy forgot about the support that was poured out for his team. Of course when the Phillies went out and won exactly zero playoff games nobody called for Jimmy's head, but instead they look upon what that team accomplished with content and approval. Phillies fans were beyond fair in this circumstance, yet that must not be enough for Jimmy. No need to worry though Dave Montgomery, the Phillies will still sell-out a good amount of games down the stretch, but that is only because we are all front runners, right Jimmy?