National media members never fail to rile up the local fan base when they criticize the treatment of Donovan McNabb and other star Philadelphia athletes. The brutal, unforgiving attitude in the City of Brotherly Love constantly draws criticism from outsiders.
However, most simply don’t understand that the relentless passion of the best fan base in sports includes a unique level of accountability for their athletes in good times and bad.
Philadelphia Athletes and Passionate Fans
Star players experience the highest of highs when local teams reach the pinnacle of their sports. Just ask Jason Kelce and Nick Foles about fan reactions after the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII.
Some players bring a hard-nosed attitude that appeals to fans in pretty much all circumstances. Chase Utley and Brian Dawkins built a reputation for the constant hustle and intangible skills that helped their teams throughout their respective careers.
This is the same city that glorified the Broad Street Bullies in the 1970s and Macho Row in 1993. The attitude has persisted into the new generation.
The age-old cliché of the “blue collar” fans who bring their lunch to work in a pail has important roots. No matter how overstated it’s become, it’ll always have some influence on the way people react to situations in Philadelphia sports.
Throughout the history of Philadelphia sports, incredible passion has led to complicated relationships between fans and star athletes.
People still want to see more anger and strong will from Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Questions about Aaron Nola’s ability to perform in the clutch have crept their way into conversations throughout his career with the Phillies.
Some former players, like Mike Schmidt, have seen the big picture after retirement. Others still have the same reputation among the fan base regardless of the benefit of hindsight.
All of them still have complicated legacies in the city of Philadelphia.