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On Sunday I went to the Phillies-Mets game with my fiancee Suz, her brother Greg and my sister Caitlin. We had great seats and high-fived when Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley hit home runs off Johan Santana and when Brad Lidge struck out the side in the ninth inning. But it wasn’t until after the game that the real action started.

We were sitting in Cait’s Honda Civic, trying to exit the parking lot and going nowhere fast. Suz was pumping Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” on the stereo and dancing (imagine something like this, but seated). It’s one of her favorite songs, and a little celebration was in order as the Phils had just secured a sweep of the Mets.

Then I look to my left and see a guy sitting in an SUV pointing at me and shouting. I couldn’t tell what he was saying, as the windows were up in his car and we had the music on in ours, but he was clearly upset. He was gesticulating wildly, simultaneously yelling at us and yelling at the girl seated next to him.

I turned down the music, and while I still couldn’t hear most of what he was saying, it became clear that Suz’s dance moves were what set him off.

Then we heard a honk. Then another. He was punching the steering wheel with the palm of his hand and accidentally hitting the horn.

Next, we heard a bang. “Did he just hit our car?” Greg asked.

“No, we would have felt it,” I said.

I turned around to see what was going on. The guy is still seated in the driver’s seat, but now he’s punching the roof of his car, ripping a hole in the roof. Bits of padding are floating down like snowflakes. Then he starts punching his rear view mirror, until it becomes dislodged. The mirror is dangling from a wire and he’s hammering it like he’s a boxer and it’s a speed bag.

Next, he punches his windshield until it shatters. That’s right: he shattered the windshield with his fist.

The whole while, the girl who’s seated next to him is trying to look away. She’s clearly embarrassed, and I’m guessing more than a little scared.

I become convinced that this guy has bigger problems than just Suz’s dance moves. I notice he’s wearing a blue tee-shirt. Maybe he’s a very disgruntled Mets fan?

Turns out it’s a blue Phillies shirt.

We never found out what was bothering the guy. Fortunately, his wild behavior attracted a nearby group of tailgaters, who started pointing and laughing, which of course bothered the crazy guy even more than Suz’s dance moves. And he eventually got out of his car to go nose to nose with a couple of the tailgaters. Then his girlfriend finally had enough and stormed off. When he tried to convince her to come back she actually gave him the “talk to the hand” gesture, a move that Suz, a Boston native, thought hadn’t been used since the 1990s.

“Nope,” I told her. “Welcome to Philadelphia.”

6 Responses to “Scene from the Phillies’ parking lot”

  1. I went to a couple of Phils/Mets games last year – but I have to say – both games – bad vibe, really bad vibe.

    One game was one of the Saturday afternoon 4:00PM deals. That gives everyone just enough time to put on a nice lather before the game. Multiple fights broke out – I was gone by the 6th inning.

    I’d like to say it is the Mets fans – but as you point out – Phillies fans aren’t exactly well behaved. Who can forget the Rays families (with kids) needing security to protect them as they left the stadium last year? They watched game 5 from their hotel – b/c they did not feel safe.

    There must be some middle ground between booing Pat the Bat for all he did and tearing up your own car (after a victory).

  2. Sean, the guy I wrote about clearly had some issues. He was psychotic. I didn’t meant the post as an indictment of Philly fans. It was just a wild story, is all, and I felt compelled to share.

    Other than that one crazy guy, I’d say the fans were on their best behavior on Sunday. The biggest surprise, for me, was the lack of Mets fans at the game. It used to be that whenever the Mets played the Phillies in Philly, the stadium was full of as many blue shirts as red. But on Sunday there were very few blue shirts. I think I saw maybe 10 Mets fans. Kinda sad. But not as sad as New York’s makeshift lineup!

  3. Also, I was surprised to see that corn hole has become the most popular pre-game tailgating activity. Makes sense. It’s a lot more sanitary than beer pong.

  4. Paul Moro says:

    You just couldn’t resist taking a dig at the Mets lineup, could you? Kick a brotha when he’s down.

  5. Just for the record– “Put a Ring on It” isn’t one of MY favorite songs, but the video puts my brother Greg into a hypnotic trance…

  6. Phils fans have calmed down quite a bit since the championship. I was only able to make it to one game so far this year – and the vibe was WAY more relaxed than recent memory.

    Good story though – and I have been to many games at CBP – and some at the Vet – there are more people like that guy than you would like to see. I think the new park and bandwagon fans has kept their numbers down.

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