Love Them or Hate Them, Philadelphia Fans Are The Best

Steve DolanContributor IOctober 25, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 21:  Ryan Madson #46 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the top of the eigth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers as fans cheer in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Whether you live in Glenside, Lansdale, Kensington, Mayfair, Rittenhouse Square, South Jersey, North Jersey, New York, Boston, LA or anywhere else.... There is absolutely no question about the passion and dedication of Philadelphia fans.

Philadelphia sports fans are some of the most loyal sports fans in all of sports.

The Philadelphia Phillies have more losses than any other franchise in any other sport. No other franchise has ever lost 10,000 games and the Phillies managed to do it by 2007. Despite this fact, the Phillies, over the past two seasons, have managed to draw over 7 million fans and 3.6 million fans in 2009.

Phillies fans always have been supportive and passionate. The Phillies sold out 73 of 81 home games in 2009 and EVERY home game between May and October. Yes, the losingest franchise in all of sports is selling out over 90 percent of its home games.

The Philadelphia Flyers also hold a strong fan base. They have been described as the most intimidating fans in the entire NHL. Philadelphia was voted the No.1 hockey city in America. That is a pretty high accolade considering the competition (Detroit- the self proclaimed "Hockeytown, USA"). The Flyers fans have remained loyal and intense. Even after the dismal 22 win, 56 point season of 2005-2006.

The Flyers games were still packed and loud. It is easy to get fired up in the atmosphere the Flyers fans have created in the Wachovia Center. Not to mention the incredible charity work the fans do with the Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival (In the 32 years of the carnival, they have raised nearly $22 million).

Philadelphia has the most criticized fans in all of sports; the Philadelphia Eagles fans. Eagles fans are some of, if not THE, most loyal fans in all of sports. The Philadelphia Eagles fans, according to Bizjournal.com, filled 99.8 percent of their seats between 1996 and 2006.

In that 10 year period, the Eagles had four losing seasons including the 3-13 campaign in 1998 that cost Ray Rhoades his job. After the 6-10 2005 season, when single game tickets went on sale for the 2006 season, tickets sold out in minutes both online and through the ticket office phone lines. The Eagles ranked second in merchandise sales in the NFL after the 2005 season; loyalty at its finest. In 2008, Forbes Magazine ranked the Philadelphia Eagles fans No. 1 among America's most die-hard fans. They too are loyal and passionate.

Never will Philadelphia fans turn their back on their teams. Loyalty and passion defines Philadelphia fans.

Many people argue how good Philadelphia fans are. The most common story is, yes, "they threw snowballs at Santa Claus!" Well, the story is not that black and white. In The Great Philadelphia Fan Book by Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano, the story is straightened out. In the final game of the 1968 season for the then 2-11 Eagles, a Christmas parade was scheduled for halftime of the December 15th game against Minnesota. A snowstorm in Philadelphia created too much snow to have floats come onto the field.

In an act of desperation, the Eagles had a 19 year-old season ticket holder in a Santa suit and fake beard come running down the track at Franklin Field between the cheerleaders. The fans of the soon-to-be 2-12 Eagles, lost it. The frustration of the poor coaching, poor front office, the trading of Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen, and the poor excuse for a Santa Claus exploded in the throwing of snowballs at the teen.

Was it right to throw snowballs at the 19 year-old surrogate Santa? No. Did they throw the snowballs just because its fun to watch St. Nick dodge them? Most of them - no. It was another slap in the face from the front office to the fans; simple frustration.

Was there an "Eagles Court" in Veterans Stadium? Yes. Out of town fans have to be conscious of their surroundings. If you are out numbered in any setting, it is not wise to run your mouth and upset the majority around you. It is common sense, sometimes Eagles fans needed to remind the fans of that.

However, Veterans Stadium was imploded on March 21, 2004. The Vet has been gone for over five years, but people who have vendettas against Philadelphia fans harp on the Eagles Court in the Vet; it is time to let it go.

Ignorant sportswriters, such as Skip Bayless, insist upon harping on the negativity surrounding Philadelphia fans. Thanks to people like Mike Missanelli, Philadelphia should start getting a better reputation. Click here to hear exactly what happened.

So, whether you love them or you hate them, Philadelphia sports fans are some of the most passionate and loyal fans. Hate 'em or love 'em, they won't change; hate 'em or love 'em- they are the best.