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Philly vs. DC: Barbs Still Flying

Well, this was inevitable. Who knows whether any unpleasantries will be exchanged in the bleachers today, but the barbs have already started flying in this morning's papers. First, check out from the Philly Inquirer's John Gonzalez, who's attempting to convince us that all those things we've read about our Northern neighbors are shockingly false, and that they're actually a friendly lot.

Kasten should be applauded for his bold vision and truth-telling. He sees the D.C. fans for what they are - inferior. Actually, that's somewhat unfair and inaccurate. To be inferior, you probably have to show up, and the D.C. crowd isn't so good at that.

Finding a Nats fan these days is as difficult as spotting a black-footed ferret - they're both endangered species. Last year, the Fightin's had the fifth-best average attendance in baseball. The Nationals had the 19th.

Nineteenth, eh? Gadzooks!!!!! Slow news day in Pennsylvania, apparently. Having insulted Nats fans, Gonzo then takes aim at Nats writers.

Even Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell did some mindless Kasten/Philly bashing. Boswell wrote that "Philadelphia is a different animal" and suggested that, because of the "prickly inter-city tension," Kasten shouldn't be inviting a regional enemy to invade town.

And that would make sense if, you know, Philly cared even a little bit about D.C. Boswell is a terrific talent, but he's wrong about there being any rivalry between Philly and Washington.

Philly and New York? Absolutely. Philly and Dallas? Yes. Philly and Boston, Pittsburgh, or even parts of North Jersey? Sure. In a pinch - say when the Phils are working toward the city's first championship in 25 years - we can even gin up a little hatred for L.A. and Tampa. But when people around here get angry at Washington, it's usually due to politics, not sports. (They should have thought twice before hijacking our capital and moving it to a second-rate city on the banks of the Potomac. No-good Founding Fathers.)

See, this is why I always stick up for Philadelphibians when my fellow D.C. residents want to call them scum of the earth. Their bon mots are both witty and current. Their grasp of facts on the ground are impeccable. And their clever ripostes are unerringly polite. Kill 'em with kindness, Philadelphibians always say.

Meanwhile, up steps Thom Loverro from The Times to deal likewise with the Love crowd. Let's see, in one column he worked in references to probation officers, motorcycle gang hangouts, mob hits, the Federal Detention Center, porn shops, illiteracy, delinquents and degenerates. Good times. Loverro also talked to Jody McDonald, one of the radio hosts whose interview with Stan Kasten prompted this whole outpouring of inter-city affection.

"When you guys asked Stan to come on the show, did you think he would be trying to sell tickets to Phillies fans?" I asked him.

"We didn't ask him," McDonald said. "The Nationals called our station and said Stan would be willing to come on our show to talk about his team and the upcoming series....Ninety-eight percent of the time, we call the teams and ask them if they would be good enough to come on our show. ... But when they call us, we know there is a motive behind their madness."

Oh, would that the men on the field can provide such drama today.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 13, 2009; 11:33 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Well played, Thom.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 13, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Suggest cheese steak fans
Pick on someone there own size
You know, like Santa

Posted by: HaikuMan | April 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

*their, not there

--blushes deeply--

Posted by: HaikuMan | April 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse


Shouldn't that be "bars still PHlyin," given the annoying habit of turnings f's into ph's for marketing purposes by the Phils and Phlyers.

Posted by: metatext | April 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

People in Philadelphia can read?!?

Posted by: Kev29 | April 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of the "DC fans are bandwagoners!!!!! WEeee R SOoo MUCH BETTER /end tweet" argument. Guess what Mr. High Horse, no one showed up to Philly games for a solid two straight decades while they sucked. Didn' Scott Rolen refuse to play for the franchise it was so moribund? And JD Drew, same dealy? If Nats fans are endangered, then Philadelphians have the memory spans of gnats.

Posted by: ThisGuy | April 13, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The Philadelphia Enquirer writer didn't get it. It has nothing to do with any rivalry. We don't want Philly fans because they are low class scum.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 13, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Philly fans CAN'T read. That's why their papers are broke, lack of patronage.

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 13, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? I will start by stating ho much I like DC. You have a great zoo and great attractions including the Memorials(I will say all of this is man made and designed, Philly was designed in 1770 or before). Every time you mention Philadelphia you talk about how unruly we are, take out Eagles events and we are talking about one or two in my 37 years (for other Philadelphia events it can be one with JD Drew who desrved it, I know in DC you love your Skins as much as we love the birds and things get out of control).

Philadelphia is an awesome city, with great attractions and something that is very different then DC (both some of the best in the country/world) but please dont distract that DC is a bad baseball city. This is the largest croud you have had in year. Your neighbor to the north has had sell outs every time we visit and no problems. 20K in attendance your second day of a new stadium like happened last year is a joke.

Also great job in honoring Harry today. Game should have never been cancelled and helped in the grieving process hearing the answers today, but I have never seen so many people on TV cry.

Posted by: imdeaner | April 13, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Laughable. Sure, the Phils are a better ball club right now - and will be for the rest of this season. But to claim that there is no rivalry between Philly and DC is preposterous. Unless he is making the argument that you have to actually be able to beat the other team for it to be a rivalry, in which case, he is correct. Because lately, Philly isn't beating DC in much of anything except baseball...

Posted by: bizzleboy | April 13, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

...and basketball (but come on. No Gil? No Haywood?)

Posted by: bizzleboy | April 14, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

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