From the PSL Soccer Desk: Haters Gonna Hate

admin Last updated on: February 17, 2024

It’s started.  It’s unfortunate, but it’s started.  The Philadelphia Union have officially become a Philly sports team.  Not because this is their senior year in Major League Soccer.  Not because they are starting to get more and more recognition and advertising from the city.  No, the Union are now officially  a member of the Philly sports family because the fans and media have started to find things to complain about, even when the team is winning.  On top of that, like what happens when most teams get popular, fans are starting to feel entitled.

‘Well aren’t you a member of the media?’ you might ask.  Well yes, and I do sometimes find something to complain about, but I’d like to think I only do so when it is completely warranted.  Mind you, that’s not the Philadelphia way.  Remember, we boo Santa.  If Jimmy Rollins doesn’t get a hit in every game, we moan.  Hell, if Michael Vick doesn’t get sacked in a game these days, Birds fans are calling radio shows complaining that they didn’t get to see Vick get hit and how they wish Chip Kelly never re-signed him.  This is actually true by the way.  Now, without naming names  or going into specifics, Union news outlets and blogs seem to always be looking for some story about how poorly the Union’s front office is run or how sloppy games are won.

I’ll be the first to admit,  the Union’s two MLS wins were both sloppy.  No doubt about that.  But you know what?  They won.  People have to stop thinking that there is some special way that teams have to win games.  Some of the great coaches in sports have said and it holds true, “It doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win.”  Meanwhile, the Union are going into a game Saturday against the Red Bulls and the odds of winning are horrible.  That’s a story, and even if we win or lose, that’s the story.  Not about how we could have won better.

Then there are the fans.  I was at Chickie & Pete’s for the Union’s propaganda radio show the 90th Minute on Tuesday and fan favorite Sebastien Le Toux was the special guest.  The minute the first commercial aired, a line of fans rushed Le Toux, who being the great guy he is, was happy to sign autographs.  However, one of the media relations people from the Union informed fans that Seba would be signing autographs when the show was over and most folks obliged and went back to their seats.  Let me tell you, she was right to tell people to wait until the end of the show.  Radio is touchy, and even just recording a Podcast weekly, interruptions can screw things up.

That’s when something truly shocked me.  A woman and her friend decided that they were entitled to get Le Toux’s autograph then and now.  When they were told it doesn’t work that way, the woman made a scene.  And during every commercial break for the rest of the show, the woman went up to try and get Seba’s autograph and made scene after scene.  Now if you know me, you know that I have a big mouth and I just couldn’t help myself.  I told her in so many words that there is a system and that she was making a scene and should wait her turn like everyone else.

What really bothers me is that if you know anything about the Union or the players on the team, especially Sebastien Le Toux, it’s really easy to get pictures or autographs with them.  They are some of the nicest people you’ll meet.  All they ask is that you show them some respect and decency and they’ll go out of the way to make you happy.  I just kept asking myself, ‘when did these fans all of a sudden become so entitled?”

The cruel truth is at the end of the day, especially in the City of Brotherly Love, that fans will feel a sense of entitlement and media, including myself, I’m not an innocent party here, will find something to bitch about.  It’s the way it goes.  The Union could win the MLS Cup this seasons and I’m sure someone would find something wrong with how they did so.  It’s the nature of the beast…it just sometimes isn’t fun to read or see.  I ask you the next time you suit up to go to a Union game either as a fan or a member of the media to ask yourself why you became a fan of this team in the first place?  Why did you decide you wanted to write about the Union?

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