Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

26 August 2008

One area in which the Brits rule over us

One of my earliest memories of going to 700 level for a Birds game at the Vet was heading up the ramps, almost near the top, and seeing a dude sprawled out on the cold concrete. On his back was a Giants jersey. On his pants was a whole lotta urine. I've always figured it was his, but you never can tell, right?

This story (and the time pre-teen me was heckled mercilessly for sporting an Elway jersey) came to mind when I read Bob Ford's traveling-fan column in the Inquirer this weekend, kicking off the paper's printed variation on HBO's Hard Knocks series, following the team step by step over a week of preparation.

It would be nice to report that the Eagles legions who pack the airplanes, haunt the hotel bars, and roam the streets are goodwill ambassadors from our fair city, the kind of representatives who leave behind a warm regard for Philadelphia once they have departed. Unfortunately, that would not be entirely accurate.
The great majority of traveling fans are grown men. If one were to generalize about them, it would seem they like to wear uniform jerseys that celebrate other men - not that there's anything wrong with that - like to consume alcohol to excess, and are not slaves to their fitness regimens. The contingent often travels like a portable frat party from something less than the brightest house on campus.

You'd think we were savages, right? Well, not if you happened to also read the Sunday NY Times, which had a fan piece of its own.

Fan might not be the right word. Fanatic British travelers would better describe it. And good frickin' Lord do they tear shit up when they head over to the mainland. To wit:

Earlier this summer, flying home to Manchester from the Greek island of Kos, a pair of drunken women yelling “I need some fresh air” attacked the flight attendants with a vodka bottle and tried to wrestle the airplane’s emergency door open at 30,000 feet. The plane diverted hastily to Frankfurt, and the women were arrested.
In Laganas, on the Greek island of Zakinthos, where a teenager from Sheffield died after a drinking binge this summer, more than a dozen British women were charged in July with prostitution after taking part, the authorities said, in an alfresco oral sex contest.More alarmingly, a 20-year-old British tourist partied with her sister and a friend into the early hours in Malia also in July, then returned to her hotel room and — although she had d
enied being pregnant — gave birth. Her companions say they returned later to find the baby dead; she has been charged with infanticide.
And in Dubai, also this summer, a British man and woman who met during a drinking bout were arrested and charged with having sex on a beach, after repeatedly shouting abuse at a police officer who ordered them to stop.

Um, bravo?


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