Philadelphia Fans Give Respect, Not Participation Awards
Philadelphia fans are tough on their players, but don’t confuse boos with lack of love or disrespect. In the tough competition of the NBA, 76ers fans know its survival of the fittest.
If you play for the Philadelphia 76ers, there is no talking around the subject. Play well and you will be adored. On the other hand, play poorly, but work hard enough to get mentioned as someone putting in extra time, and you will be encouraged. Thirdly, play poorly but don’t work extra hard, you will get booed. But worst of all, play poorly and make excuses? You will be the focus of fan discontent.
Philadelphia is a passionate town, and demands passion from her athletes. Production comes second to passion.
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While it may be painful for some fans to hear the rain of boos from the stands, it’s okay. Whenever a player struggles with a prolonged shooting slump is met with fans reactions, it’s part of the game. In fact, if a players is out of position on defense and that allows the opposition to make a critical score, don’t cheer. Boo.
The vigilance of the Philadelphia fans is not directing hate towards a player at all. But its a constant vigilance, ensuring that when athletes take a play off, or production falls below average or expectations, that athlete will hear about it.
In professional sports, boos rain down on athletes all the time. The stiffer the competition, the more likely to impassion and activate the crowds. Boos and cheers are part of the fans language, the direct and instant feedback to the performers on the basketball court to hear the approval or disapproval of the faceless observers.
Of course, there is always the risk of direct one on one confrontation
— FOX Basketball (@FoxBasketball) October 27, 2016
But those are rare, and it’s not always initiated by the fans. Confrontation between athlete and fans happens in every city, in every stadium. But when players hit a slump (such as that of either Robert Covington or Nik Stauskas), fans will voice their displeasure. Some will misinterpret that vocal response as directed to the player.
They couldn’t be more wrong. It’s more akin to the loving scolding of a misbehaving child. The Philadelphia 76ers players are family. Family love is tough love. It’s meant to be. To achieve greatness, one must embrace discipline. Discipline must embrace focus. Focus must reject all distractions.
Don’t discount the power of fans boos. Athletes who understand use those boos to train harder, to focus more. That “extra” heat from the stands forges greatness. In Philadelphia, the city gives respect to those who earn it. There are no participation awards in Philadelphia.
No fan base is more electrified when a player succeeds than those of Philadelphia. But success takes so much to achieve consistently. Philadelphia fans “get” it. If you don’t, that’s okay. But don’t deride fans who do. It’s not only their right, but their responsibility.