Philadelphia Jewish Culture Examiner arrived at Citizens Bank Park last night a bit before his father (who had his ticket) and nephews did, leaving a little time to kill before the game (which the Phillies ended up losing to the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants, 4-1). This writer took the opportunity to spend those minutes talking with fans walking into the stadium wearing Giants attire.
Woody Kumetat, a 26-year-old manager of a Center City sneaker store, moved to the Philadelphia area from Sonora, 3 hours east of the Bay Area. He says, of the reaction of Phillies fans to him when he wears a Giants jersey: “They hate me, but 90% of them are pretty respectful.”
Prior to the game, Barry Hess of Boyertown was relatively ecstatic, as were many Giants fans, about the Giants’ acquisition of perennial All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets earlier in the day. According to Hess, “The Beltran acquisition will definitely help the Giants by making the batting lineup so much stronger.”
Hess has been a Giants fan since he was a child growing up in Boyertown, a habit he picked up from his father, who “loved Willie Mays,” and, later, Will Clark.
Hess’s friend Kevin Bean, a 6th-grade teacher in the Spring-Ford School District, surprised this writer with the information that mercurcial Giants bullpen closer Brian Wilson, known for his thick beard and strange post-game interviews (in addition to his outstanding on-the-field play), is actually quite religious.
According to Bean, part of the reason Wilson is his favorite player is that he “is a Christian, and so are we. He’s kind of goofy, but he’s serious about spirituality, and that’s the way I am.”
Bean mentioned that Wilson has previously said that his unique end-of-a-successful-save-to-end-the-game gesture involving crossing his forearms has to do with his desire “to recognize one God.”
As for the somewhat notorious reputation of Phillies fans for the way they treat fans of other teams, Bean said, “Normally, we’re treated fine, but [sometimes there can be uncomfortable hostility] when people start getting drunk.”
Bean said that the most hostile looks tend to occur when he and his friends are walking to their seats, as well as that “the outcome of the game really affects” how nasty the looks are that he receives from Phillies fans.
Bean continues: “I purposely wore a black shirt [with a very small Giants logo] because it is kind of inconspicuous.” Referring to an unwelcoming home crowd, he say, “I don’t want that kind of interaction.”