October 31, 2014

A response to the Philadelphians – Frank Fitzpatrick

Great job Phillies, you beat a young Reds team and deserved to win.  This is a sports blog for the Cincinnati Bengals but I felt since this is a bye week I would respond to the article in the Philadelphia enquirer by Frank Fitzpatrick. He thought a little salt in the wound was necessary, so he writes an article bagging on Cincinnati and the fans.

Touch ‘Em All: This Philadelphian has some issues with Cincinnati

CINCINNATI – A quick stroll around Great American Ball Park – which is American and a ballpark, but hardly great – reveals that Cincinnati and Philadelphia have much in common:

 - I find it funny that a Philly Fan takes a jab at Great American ballpark. When Citizens Bank Ballpark was built with a jagged outfield wall for no other purpose then to make it seem like there is character, you can’t really bag on GABP. But we can get into that later.

 

Fans in red, a strong German heritage, a river that separates it from another state, and little concern for the nutritional value of its concession fare.

 - Because most people go to the ball park to enjoy things like salads and spritzers. You would think a guy who has been around sports as long as Frank would know the ballpark fare is an attraction to baseball fans.  You know how the song goes: “buy me some green beans and tofu snacks, I don’t care if I ever get back…”

 

The problem is that Cincinnati appears to have taken our bad ideas and made them worse. I give you goetta and the riverfront.

 - Are you really taking credit for a riverfront? Did Philly dig out a trench just so they could have a place for degenerates and homeless?  Did Cincinnati request the Ohio to be routed through? C’mon, and yeah Goetta is a heart stopper.  Maybe if we sliced it thinner and had poured nacho cheese on it Philadelphia natives would be able to stomach it. Where Philly is letting the riverfront go, Cincinnati is improving theirs.  The concrete you speak of is the beginning of some awesome developments in between the stadiums. 

 

Goetta is a lot like scrapple, which is to say it’s an amalgam of whatever is swept off the slaughterhouse floor. But while Philly’s mystery meat is confined to a fried breakfast side, here it’s an all-day staple.So when Reds fan tire of chili that’s flavored with cinnamon and plopped down atop innocent spaghetti, they can get goetta hot dogs, goetta hamburgers, even goetta pizza. Did we mention goetta Reubens?

 - You describe scrapple perfectly.  It was designed to use every bit of scrap.  Goetta was used to stretch the meat, Philly can have the scraps. Anyway, I just got done with my Goetta lunch and am looking forward to my Goetta snack. No, Cincinnatians don’t eat Goetta for every meal. It is enjoyed mainly for breakfast and has a much better name than scrapple.

 

Small wonder, then, that Cincinnati seems to be the one city in America where you can’t get the Food Channel on

your hotel TV.

 - Holy shit, did your husband make the trip with you? so let me get this right, you come into town to watch some playoff baseball and you end up complaining that you missed the latest episode of Top Chef?  Even the starting pitcher Hamels was in a bar on Sunday afternoon and he was pitching that night.

 

Then there’s the portion of the Queen City that borders the Ohio River, a body of water the indigenous Native Americans called “place where driftwood, the homeless, and drab concrete converge.” Far be it from a Philadelphian to criticize any other city’s urban waterfront, but Cincinnati’s appears to have been devised by the architect of Riverfront and Veterans Stadiums on a bad day. The Cincinnati shoreline is an endless ribbon of concrete – pavement, the foundations to unfinished buildings, the foundations to finished buildings.

At night, from the Roebling Suspension Bridge, you can see the fires of encamped homeless on the shore. Some homeless also live on the bridge, which can enliven a late-night walk to Kentucky.

 - I am surprised you could see all of this from your crystal palace. I guess it is not beneath a Pulitzer finalist to take jabs at the homeless. You should be thankful for these people, they say your writing makes for some of the best toilet paper.

 

Pete’s Rose Garden

One of Great America’s few redeeming qualities is the adjoining Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. There, through a rear window, you can see a Rose Garden that sits at the spot where Pete Rose’s record 4,192d hit landed. Another of its exhibits is a display on the 1869 Reds, the first professional baseball team. The payroll for that team’s starters, by the way, was $10,500, or roughly what Ryan Howard spends each week on hoagies.

That team’s catcher was Doug Allison, a Philadelphian, no doubt lured here by the goetta.

 - This back handed compliment makes me the most enraged. Yes, the Hall of fame is nice. Philly could have placed one in their stadiums instead they built a jail to house the fans. I guess when you hold the distinction of losing the most games in the history of any American sport, what the hell are you going to put in a hall of fame? I can’t believe you come to Cincinnati and have the gall to critique the ballpark when you are too cheap to even enter the museum. Some sports fan you are. And while we are talking about players, remember when the Reds lent the Phillies Pete Rose? He helped you win your first ever world series after being the worst team in baseball for almost 100 years. I am sure he was lured there by the integrity and quality of the journalism. 

 

Some ballpark musings

Unlike Citizens Bank Park, where the concession stands all have Philadelphia-themed names, they don’t fuss with such things here. Two side-by-side kiosks were called “Beer and Liquor” and “Beer Only.” In one area of the main concourse, they were conducting a Cornhole Challenge. I didn’t bother to inquire further.

 - What kind of an asshat doesn’t know what cornhole is? This statement alone dates you, this is a game invented here that is enjoyed around the country.  Maybe the Food Network should do a special on it. My favorite part about Citizens Bank Park is the area known for one of the greatest Phillies ever Ashburn Alley.  This is the place to find those fancy kiosks for the “fans” that go to the ballpark to not watch the game.  Leave it to Philly to name irrelevant pieces of the park after some of their favorite sports icons.  On the second level there is a restroom and the third urinal is known as Mike Schmidt zone.

 

It’s hard to call a ballpark with a replica steamboat in center field unimaginative, but Great American is maybe the least special of this new generation of baseball-only stadiums. It’s as if they cut a hunk out of Riverfront and dropped it into a new footprint, dressing it up with more and better concession stands, a single deck in right field, and a steamboat.

 - You rip on the Steamboat when your ballpark has a giant blinking Liberty Bell? Are you serious? The Steamboat functions as a meeting area, a party deck and a stage for the smokestacks that are freaking awesome. The Bell functions as a beacon for degenerates to come and be miserable that they are not living in NY. It also serves as a guide for the Philly fans to run to when they decided to run onto the field and get tased.

 

things overheard before the game

1. An usher in right field urging a group of beer-drinking young men to behave themselves because Cincinnati would be in the national spotlight.

“I love Cincinnati. I could have lived anywhere, but I stayed in Cincinnati.”

Yes, cities all across the United States are desperate for those with the ability to wipe off a seat.

 - Wow, you really are an elitist piece of shit. Are you angry because you are employed in a profession that is being replaced by blogs? Cities all across the United States have more of a need for seat wipers than for sports writers for a dying media.

 

2. One of the young men in that group explaining Philadelphia’s fans to another: “They threw batteries at Santa Claus. Who does that?”

 - Philly fans also throw batteries at players, who outside of Cleveland does that?  When you rank anywhere with Cleveland fans than you know you are bottom of the barrel. Forget about the 700 level where Philly fans go to fight and piss on each other. They boo Santa Claus, and their own players. They constantly interrupt the game by running on the field. It seems like they do everything at the ballpark except watch the game. For 3 innings the other night I saw a woman behind home plate engaged in conversation with the people behind her. She had no clue what the hell was happening in the game.  There were even fans in the stands wearing McNabb jerseys.

 

5. One female fan to another: “This is the first time I’ve been here. I love the Redlegs.”

 - Again, ragging on someone who may not be able to afford to go to every game. It is not like having a press pass and getting your free food is it? At least we have a female friendly environment, not like Philadelphia where the “Hot Pants Patrol” was a solid idea to bring fans to the game.

 

Frank is a Philly native like people from New Jersey say they are New Yorkers.  You are not a Philadelphian if you live in West Chester.