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Friday, May 5, 2006

Black Eye Awaits Philly

Another black eye is coming for the Philadelphia sports fan. You know it. I know it. The media can’t wait for it. Barry Bonds even knows it.

In all likelihood, Barry Bonds is going to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list for Major League Baseball in Philadelphia this weekend. Without a doubt he will lustily be booed because everyone knows he’s a product of steroids . . . allegedly.

If it ended there it would be fine. But this is Philly, so, of course, it won’t. Somebody with beer muscles, or just natural stupidity, is going to do something extra dumb. My guess is a 20-something punk from South Philly or Manayunk will want to prove that this is Philly, a blue-collar, hardnosed town, and you can’t pull the wool over our eyes. So, he’ll through something. Or run out on the field.

Come Monday morning the media will have another on the list of what’s wrong with Philadelphia fans. Editors at papers throughout the country are no doubt already holding column inches for the story that includes Philly fans booing (a drunk, slovenly, last-minute replacement) Santa Claus, Michael Irvin as he lie injured on the vet turf (forgetting it was Deion Sanders’ phony act of praying for Irvin that was booed), and pelting Jimmy Johnson with snowballs.

It’s a weak, tired image. Almost as weak as those who revel in it. We already have WIP’s Howard Eskin trying to get fans to leave their seats every time Bonds is up. That’s got no chance of happening, but it plants the seed that “we must do something.”

Just once, I’d like to see Philly fans disappoint their critics and do nothing — literally. When Bonds passes Ruth, nothing would send a message better than to have him run the bases in stone cold silence. He’s a fraud, everyone knows it, and his statistics are worthless.

He doesn’t even deserve our boos. So, why oblige him?

Yeah, I know (yawn) . . . because it’s Philly.

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