There is a reason that the Philadelphia Phillies have now sold out 123 consecutive games at Citizens Bank Park.
Many people believe that it is because the Phillies have become one of the premier teams in all of Major League Baseball, and there is some truth to that.
Others believe that there are a lot of people who have jumped on the bandwagon or are fair-weather fans, and there may be some truth to that.
However, there is a much deeper reason, and any diehard Phillies fan knows that reason to their very core.
Phillies fans have gotten a pretty gruesome reputation over the years in large part due to a few idiots who do not know how to act like adults in public. The truth is that there is a reason that players want to come to Philadelphia and play for this so-called "rabid" fanbase. If you do not believe that to be true, ask Cliff Lee.
Phillies fans are passionate, knowledgeable and expect nothing but the best from their team. Since when is booing a poor performance considered taboo? Why is it not okay for Phillies fans to hold their team accountable?
Many people in the sports world believe that fans in Philadelphia will turn on their teams faster than any other place in America. Not only is that untrue, it is also offensive and hurtful. The people of Philadelphia love their teams, so much that it becomes a part of their lives.
Phillies fans do not just root for their hometown team; they embody every characteristic that the Phillies display. While a victory at the end of the day is all that really matters, how the game is played matters almost as much.
To Phillies fans, it's about Jimmy Rollins backhanding a grounder deep in the hole and firing a missile to first base to get his pitcher out of a jam. It's about Shane Victorino running down a gapper, slamming into the wall and still holding on.
It's about Ryan Howard stealing second base, when no one in their right mind would think that he would, to get into scoring position in the late innings. It's about Carlos Ruiz standing strong at the plate, even though he knows that the incoming runner is going to slam into him like a freight train.
Aaron Rowand will forever be a legend in Philadelphia for this very same reason. Everyone will remember him smashing his face into the fence, turning his nose into a jigsaw puzzle, and still holding on to the ball. That is the kind of thing that Phillies fans go crazy about. They want their players to be as blue-collar as they are on a daily basis, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Phillies fans are not "rabid." If anything, they care too much, if that's even possible.