There’s something about a phan who supports their city, their teams, and their players regardless of wins or losses. At times it may be mixed in with some tough love but that love is genuine and true. A people that stand behind their city, one city that they represent and call home. They didn’t choose to love these teams or city, they were born into it. It was a rite of passage passed on down from generation to generation. Listening to stories about Chuck Bednarik and the Whiz Kids from your grandpa. It’s in the DNA.
This brings me to what I like to call the “Vending machine fan.” (Originally coined by my esteemed collaborator and brother, Scott E. Glick.) Let me explain. A vending machine fan has no deep rooted love in one city. They like to pick and choose whatever wets their appetite at the time and moment, whatever is “good.” They don’t claim to be bandwagon but let’s face it we all know the truth. They grew up in Doylestown but love the Lakers, Red Wings, Cowgirls, and Red Sox. Oh and most likely the Florida Gators too. Most likely in the last few years the Phillies have become their “NL team.” And they have actually liked them all along; it was just hard to watch when they stank.
They have no loyalty, or deep rooted passion for their teams. How can you when most of the cities you support you have never been too and probably don’t even know more than two people who live in these cities. Sorry if this is upsetting to some “fans.” I have and always will be a Philadelphia sports phan through and through. I may not have grown up in the shadows of South Philly but Philly is home. Let’s say I dislike fans who can’t make up their mind. Who pick and choose from a variety of tempting options until they assemble what they call their favorite teams.
When you support a city you support everything about it, from World Champion boxer Bernard “B-Hop” Hopkins to the Philadelphia Union. If you want to know what a Philadelphia sports phan is all about look no further than the bottom of the Art Museum steps. Grit, heart, determination, passion, toughness. Philadelphia in a nutshell, how can you not love this city!?
So back to the vending machine fan, it typically starts during a magical run. The 49ers of the Montana, Young, Rice days or the Lakers with Kobe and Shaq. As a young kid you get attached to winning and latch on most likely because your dad was the exact same way. He either didn’t care much for sports or was a vending machine fan himself. You weren’t sure what you wanted so you picked whatever was pleasing to the eye.
The supposed loyalty comes out when vending machine fans explain how they went about choosing these strange array of teams. It is always attached to a player, i.e. Kobe Bryant, to deflect the notion of being a bandwagon fan. Yes maybe you have stuck by your teams since that fateful day in front of the vending machine but where does your loyalty belong?? LA? Detroit? Boston? I am just as confused as you.
Everybody is different; I’ve seen the strangest array of mixes but can’t help but be partial towards a phan who represents one city and all the teams that come with it. I don’t care if you’re a Yankees fan, as long as you like the Giants, Knicks, and Rangers too (okay so maybe I care.)
So this is to all my Flyers, Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Soul, Union, Nova, Temple, Wings phans. The city of Brotherly Love, represent it well!