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San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was beaten by Dodgers fans, but what would happen if that was in Philadelphia?


Does a sports fan have to be beaten into a coma and suffer brain damageGiants fan Bryan Stow. Photo: http://modebayarea.com for people to realize the discrepancy between sports and real life?

The brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at the hands of two Dodgers fans at Dodger Stadium is probably the most poignant example in recent memory that sports is indeed a game and nothing more.

Yes, there are diehards (yours truly being one of them) all over the place who stick by their teams every day for half a season or more. You literally live and die with your teams. When they lose, you hurt. When they win, life seems a little easier as a whole.

Although Bryan Stow is reportedly in stable condition, he might have suffered permanent brain damage, and could literally die. Why? Because he’s a Giants fan, and some worthless pukes didn’t like that. Chances are, he might never be able to wake up in the morning and experience the thrill of another Giants victory. Or if he ever gets out of a coma, will he even be coherent enough to realize this?

Do I despise the San Francisco Giants? Absolutely. Am I still peeved they beat the Phillies? You bet. However, I am adult enough to put things in perspective. Win or lose, my life is still the same. Chances are, the Phillies are going home to their multi-million dollar mansions, while I struggle to pay my mortgage. That’s a real problem. The day after the Phillies lost, I still got up that morning and was lucky enough (not to get religious) that I was given another day to live life like a healthy functioning human being.

In saying this, I couldn’t help but contemplate what kind of massive witch hunt the national media would go on (and rightfully so) if something like this ever transpired in Philadelphia. They are lazy enough to bring up throwing snowballs at Santa time and time again (and for the final time, Santa was drunk as a skunk, and probably deserved it), but something of this magnitude would top that by a landslide. While the media will touch upon something like this briefly in L.A., they would bring this up here every chance they got.

I can hear Michael Wilbon right now: “Well you know, it IS Philadelphia. I’d expect nothing less from that crew.”

In saying that, there have been some pretty gruesome sights involving fights with players and fans and-or fans fighting each other in the history of professional sports.  

Proudly, you will not find our city in that dubious top ten list. Not even close. Sure, the 700 Level was absolutely crazy back in the day, but I’d be hard pressed to find any example of violence at The Vet that matched what happened the other week at Dodger Stadium.

Moreover, that building has become a haven for violence. When the Phillies played the Dodgers in the 2008 NLCS, Phillies fans were brutally harassed by the locals.

To be fair, one or two fans, whether it’s Philly or L.A., shouldn’t define the makeup of a team’s fanbase. In fact, some civilians dressed in Dodgers gear recently held a vigil outside of the hospital where Stow was taken.   

Yeah guys, I know. They make movies out there, and the Lakers will probably make another deep playoff run. Is that why they’re excused? God forbid you trash Los Angeles. And I am a fan of that city, but place the blame where it’s deserved, regardless of where it is. It’s not that I want another city to be targeted instead of Philadelphia. I (and most sensible people) just want fans to stop acting like senseless morons when it comes to stuff like this.

So in closing, Philly2Philly wishes Stow a full recovery. Don’t get me wrong, reading someone the riot act if they support the opposing team is fine. You can still hate the Cowboys, Giants, Mets, Yankees, Penguins, and everyone else. This isn’t a public service announcement by any means, but just remember not to take it too far. It would be an awful thing if Stow’s quality of life forever changed just because someone didn’t like the team he was rooting for.

And it would even be more awful if it was your fault.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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