Philadelphia is a city with quite the … rowdy sports reputation. It’s unfair to allow a few bad apples soil the bunch/other cliche, but history keeps repeating itself in Cream Cheese Land. Fair or not, few American fan bases see this level of regular hooliganism.
Take, for instance, this story floated by Frank Seravali from Philly.com: word is that there’s a possibility a “flash mob” will gather to harass the Chicago Blackhawks on their way to the Wachovia Center.
FOX 29 reported a notice brewing on Facebook and Twitter today about Flyers fans preparing for a flash mob this afternoon in Center City to attack the Blackhawks’ bus as it leaves for the Wachovia Center.
The group allegedly plans to arrive at the Four Seasons, at Logan Square on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, to cause havoc. A group of bikers – though it was not clear whether bicyclists or motorcyclers would take part – are to follow Chicago’s bus on its route to South Philadelphia.
The Flyers will not comment on the issue, other than to say that the Blackhawks’ bus will have a full police escort to the arena.
Similarly, the Philadelphia Police have acknowledged the threat but will not comment on specific deterrents, as per department policy. They are prepared to take action.
Personally, I would be a wee bit more concerned if a group of bikers harassed me rather than people on bicycles. (Unless I was a bus driver. Then I’d be worried about accidentally rolling one of them over. Bikers make way more noise.)
This hasn’t exactly been a banner summer for Flyers fans trying to prove their civility. Vandalizing a Montreal reporter’s car was bad enough, but if this flash mob actually forms and does some damage, it would be another black eye on the face of Philly sports fans. Seravali provides more on flash mobs.
As the New York Times said in a recent story, flash mobs are part bullying and part running of the bulls. They have caused thousands of dollars worth of damage on multiple attacks on South Street.
Then again, if the turnout is anything like the “Fire Sather” rally, the city of Philadelphia and the Blackhawks don’t have much to worry about. My guess is this movement won’t go very far, but you never know when it comes to the City of Brotherly Love.
(H/T to Kukla’s Korner)