Welcome to the refreshed The Good Phight! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
I’m sitting here watching another demoralizing Phillies loss, their latest in a long, long string of losses, and I’m asking myself this question: why am I a Phillies fan? Not just now, when they’re playing like a box of burning hair, but ever?
There’s a simple answer to why I’m a fan: because I was born in the Philadelphia area, and I was raised by a lifelong Phillies fan. If you asked me 15 years ago if I was a fan of the Phillies, I’d have told you yes. But if you asked me if I was a baseball fan, I would have said no. I was born in Philadelphia, and I love all of the Philly teams, but I didn’t have a huge interest in sports. Then came 2006, when I moved halfway across the country and was completely miserable. I was desperate for a way to connect to home. I needed a lifeline, and I stumbled across a late-season game between the Phillies and the Cubs on TV. They lost 11-6 (thanks, Jon Lieber), but sitting in my sad, empty Beloit, Wisconsin apartment, I felt hopeful. I had found my lifeline. I watched the next two games (both wins!) and that was it. I was hooked for life.
But that’s not the whole answer. That doesn’t answer the existential question: why do I do this? Why do I run a site? Why do I care about the games, and the players, and how the organization runs things?
The simple answer to those questions is that I’m a sick, sick person, drawn to this failure-hungry team like a moth to a flame. A flame with a 4.91 team ERA.
But there’s more to it than that. I’m a fan because I love baseball, but also because it’s meaningful to love a team that represents my hometown so completely. And this is how my brain wants me to express my love for the Phillies: by writing about them, talking about them, and demanding the best from all aspects of the franchise. It satisfies something in me, something that feels like civic pride. I love my team and I want them to do everything the best they can because it’s what the fans deserve.
But more than anything, I’m a fan because I want to be part of something. I’m from the Philadelphia area, and the Philadelphia fans are my people. Strange, impatient, and demented, but at the same time resilient, devoted, and passionate. Being part of them makes me feel like I’m home, even though I live a few hundred miles away from Philadelphia. We celebrate together, we complain together, we cheer together, and we mourn together.
It’s all about being together. Sports would be nothing without other people to share them with. And being a Phillies fan would have long since lost its novelty without the people I’ve met on The Good Phight and on Twitter, many of whom have become close, lifelong friends.
I’m a fan because of every Phillies fan reading this right now. And because of the guy who lives down your street with the Phillies flag on his lawn, and the guy at Wawa who wears his Kelly green Eagles shirt every Sunday. I’m a fan because of the people I met seven years ago tailgating in Lot K, and because my dad was so excited for me to become a fan just like him. Every Phillies fan I encounter outside of Philadelphia, every fan who finds the site and then finds a home, every fan who takes a few minutes to tell me how wrong I am in the comments, every one of those fans renews my commitment to baseball and to the Phillies.
I love being from people with such voracious, limitless passion. We can always find something to complain about, but it’s because we care. And every time I think I’ve reached the end of my capacity to give a flying fart about this crappy, crappy team, a fellow fan helps me find another reason to care.
Being a fan means we’re part of something together. And being a Phillies fan means even more than that. We have a long, proud history made up of more than 10,000 losses, lifetimes without championships or even remote successes, players who failed and sucked, players who left and got good, players we loved and had to watch break down. I’m a fan because of Chase Utley and Bobby Abreu and Jim Thome, but I’m also a fan because of Kyle Kendrick. Even the players I hate the most have a way of renewing my fandom. Everything about this franchise — the fans, the players, the Phanatic, and every single blessed loss — it all makes my fandom deeper. It’s home.
I’m a Phillies fan. It part of who I am. It’s part of who so many of us are. We’re fans together.
And now it’s your turn to share your story with us. Go to the fanpost section (http://www.thegoodphight.com/fanposts) and tell us how and why you’re a Phillies fan, and why you still are. I want to hear all of your stories! The Phillies are going through a bad, bad time right now, and there couldn’t be a better time for all of us to remember why we’re here in the first place.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. SB Nation Why Are You a Fan Reader Sweepstakes starts on 8:00am ET on May 25, 2017 and ends at 11:59pm ET on June 8, 2017. Open only to eligible legal residents of the United States, 18 years or older. Click here for Official Rules and complete details, including entry instructions, odds of winning, alternative method of entry, prize details and restrictions, etc. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Vox Media, Inc.