Ho hum, yet another athlete departs and says Philadelphia is "hardest city in the world to play in."
In the next life I'd like to see all of these guys who think it's tough here to spend a season each in Boston and New York and then tell us all where Philadelphia ranks on the tough-o-meter!!
You know what? Philadelphia just might be the toughest city to play in because of its expectations and desperation for a winner. It's hard to imagine a city with as much passion for sports which has experienced winning teams as infrequently. It has less to do with the media, I think, and more to do with the context of precedent and projection, of pent-up bitterness and disappointment. New Yorkers and Bostonians may have skin just as thin, but they simply don't have the kind of scarred psyches that Philadelphians do.
Playing in front of passionate fans, whether they are cheering you or booing you, is better than playing in front of nobody. That is even truer if those fans have a knowledge and appreciation of the game.And what should a player expect if he is the highest paid player on the team or in the city? No expectations of winning? Just VIP treatment? No criticism if he doesn't get it done?I cannot imagine anything tougher than playing every night in front of fewer than 4,000 fans as a Florida Marlin when your team is in contention. Or how about the last couple of years as an Expo?Professional athletes are paid to have people watch them perform. What do they expect from their fans? Indifference? Blind cheering?AI will miss the passion of the Philly fans and the city. He was treated well here and got off pretty easy considering the overall results of the team he led.
If you have ever heard portions of a call-in sports radio show in Boston, the contents make WIP in Philadelphia sound like a reading of "Winnie the Pooh".
Iverson is in for a rude awakening. If he thinks he had it tough in Philly, he's going to be shocked when he has to justify his antics to the bible thumping contingency out in Denver.
I'm taking this comment about Philly to being "hard to play in" differently. I admit we're passionate fans and we want quality not crap. I'm glad this is considered a "hard" town to play in...I don't want to be Baltimore, Tampa Bay, or some other place that just doesn't seem to have a vested interest anymore.
C&C: Nearly one thousand fans walked out of Camden Yards en masse last season to protest ownership. You call that a lack of "vested interest"? As for the Ravens, their fan base seems as rabid and passionate as any other around the NFL if the people I personally know in Baltimore are representative. When it comes to the fans in Baltimore your comment is gratuitous and ill-informed.
Oops, looks like someone chose the wrong city to casually dis ;)
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