Changing the narrative: Philadelphia and the national media

Everyone knows it, everyone sees it. The city of Philadelphia deserves more praise from national media, but will it ever happen?

Trea Turner walks it off against the Giants | San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies
Trea Turner walks it off against the Giants | San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The city of Philadelphia has a long and polarizing history. From the country’s conception to Live Aid, there has been no shortage of significance in the city of brotherly love. 

However, what seems to be a shared love for one another unfortunately does not translate outside the city itself. 

In 2022 the Phillies proved everyone wrong. They were “too offensive,” the defense “was not good.” 

They were a World Series team after firing Joe Girardi, disproving the national narrative that the bottom Wild Card team with a first-time manager would not go far in the playoffs. 

Individually, in 2022, the Alec Bohm incident changed the course of that Phillies team with Bohm getting a standing ovation from the fans. 

Why did the fans cheer for him? 

Simple: he apologized and then worked his tail off to be one of the best third basemen in the National League. 

Wait, aren’t Philly fans supposed to be mean? Are they going soft? What happened to the booing?

Another narrative pushed by the national media, which was again seen after the Trea Turner standing ovation in 2023. 

It is rather convenient that national praise only comes when the city has a highlight reel moment rather than an everyday love for the team. ESPN, the network with the rights to legendary Sunday Night Baseball, which they have ruined, scarcely covers the city, even with dedicated writers! Only when something works for the network will they praise Philadelphia, other than that the gloves are off. 

The entire city rallied around both Bohm and Turner and both have played out of their minds since then, despite what the media and other fans say about their performance and character.

So how does the narrative change?

Unfortunately, after 2017-18, the city saw that even with the Eagles first Super Bowl win, and their subsequent return in 2022-23, the narrative did not change about the city or the fans. The same situation was also shared after the Phillies lost the 2022 World Series. 

There is no reason for the national media to be against the city of Philadelphia. The doubt and hate towards Philadelphia is not only completely unwarranted, but completely incorrect. Why are Philly fans hated? Why not Mets fans? 

Oh right, this must be about Santa…get over it!

Regardless of what happens in the media, there will always be fantastic players and organizations in the city, and maybe even a few new dynasties as well. Hating on perennial playoff teams makes no sense from a national standpoint. Despite how much one may dislike a team or fanbase, there is always undeniable evidence when a team is good or bad. In recent memory, there has not been much to hate in comparison to the attention other teams in other leagues get. Plus, perennial playoff teams are always good for the league, and viewers know any playoff game in Philly is loud and exciting. “Four hours of hell,” as manager Rob Thomson mentioned after last year’s playoff run.

The media is wrong. Passionate, devoted fans are what makes the city of Philadelphia unique and altogether a place like no other. There is not a single organization with more class, respect and tradition in any league than a Philadelphia team. 

The Phillies are the longest standing single-city, single-name Major League team. The Eagles have been around and have been significantly impactful to the NFL for decades. The Sixers have had eras of success with Iverson and The Doctor. The Flyers, the Broad Street Bullies, Ed Snider and back-to-back Stanley Cups. 

What more is there to say? 

The city of Philadelphia is GREAT because it is UNIQUE. Will the national media ever understand the anatomy of a Philly sports fan? My guess is no, but that is perfectly fine because at the end of the day…