10 rules to take to Bank

The Devil made him do it. Fans can get away with chatting on their cell phones between innings, but really need to shut things down when the game is going on.
The Devil made him do it. Fans can get away with chatting on their cell phones between innings, but really need to shut things down when the game is going on.
Posted: June 22, 2009

A friend recently went to a Phillies home game. He had some food and some drinks and the Fightin's won.

There was one problem: An inconsiderate fan in his section kept jabbering loudly into his cell phone. The man placed one long call after another. It didn't matter if the Phils were at the plate or in the field. It didn't matter what drama was unfolding. The guy just kept talking.

The ballpark isn't a movie theater. Silence isn't required. But it would be nice if everyone could pay more attention to the game and less attention to the stranger who's making out with his Blackberry in public.

We should all be more considerate of our fellow fans. In that pursuit, we submit Page 2's 10 Citizens Bank Park Commandments:

I. Thou shalt not talk on a cell phone during an inning. Failure to obey will result in thy body being struck by lightning (or, failing that, a foul ball).

II. Honor the team that broke the drought - no Eagles, Sixers or Flyers chants at the park.

III. Thou shalt not wear thy personalized Phillies jersey to the park. Until the Phils call you up to the majors from single-A Bensalem, it's probably best to keep that "Flocco No. 1" alternate home uniform in the closet. All other jerseys honoring actual Phils - past or present - are perfectly acceptable.

IV. Thou shalt not call balls and strikes from the upper deck. Really, this could apply to any part of the ballpark. Unless you're on the field or super close to it, it's awfully hard to see where the ball crosses the plate. But if you're in the upper deck and you're doing the whole "come on, ump, that was a strike" thing, then you've either had too much holy wine or not enough. Either way, settle down.

V. Remind thyself that the ballpark is a place of worship and not a fashion show or an office. No high heels or pink hats for women and no suits for men. If you come straight from work, at least ditch the jacket and tie.

VI. Thou shalt not leave early to beat traffic unless the home team is up or down by more than six runs after the eighth.

VII. Thou shalt not start the wave.

VIII. Honor thy row mates. That means no getting up during an inning to hit the bathroom or grab a Schmitter unless you're on the end of the aisle. Beer runs are acceptable, but only if you buy for every person you inconvenience while baseball is being played. If three people have to move out of your way, you owe three beers. Nothing light/lite. If one of your row mates is under 21 or doesn't drink, you luck out.

IX. Thou shalt not take the Phillies' names in vain. Unless the pitching staff implodes or the Fightin's blow a lead at the end of the game, at which point it's cool and the sports gods will absolve you of your sins.

X. Thou shalt not wave to the TV camera while sitting behind home plate. Violators will be cast down with the unwashed and the Mets fans.

That concludes today's sermon. Go in peace.

First he questioned Philly's intelligence. Now he's questioning the intelligence of the Phillies' manager. What's Colin Cowherd's beef with our fair city?

On Friday, the ESPN radio host - who has a syndicated national show that can be heard locally from 10 to 11 a.m. weekdays on 950 AM - was talking about why baseball isn't nearly as complex as football. To make his point, he took a shot at a guy who won the World Series last year: "Oh please. See ball, hit ball. You think Charlie Manuel is on the same intellectual level as Bill Belichick?"

It was a low blow, and it came out of nowhere - as usual. A little over a month ago, Cowherd levied a different ad hominem attack on Philly. He said NFL fans who question play-calling drive him "bonkers."

"Andy Reid watches 45 hours of tape," Cowherd said on his show in early May. "Andy Reid knows the Eagles' tendencies. He knows the opponents' tendencies. He knows injuries and probabilities. They actually use these things called computers. He knows his personnel. He's got 15 assistant coaches. He watches film all week. Monday through Wednesday, he sleeps at his office. And Bobby from the Shipyard calls [the radio] on Monday and tears him apart."

These things called "computers"? Whoa. Slow down there, guy. Maybe use smaller words in the future so you don't overload our inferior circuitry.

Attempts to reach Cowherd were unsuccessful. Probably gets bad cell reception up on his high horse.

By the way: Cowherd is getting an hourlong, weekday TV show on ESPN. It starts July 6. I wonder what kind of ratings he'll get here. . . . Saturday's Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida brawl should be a UFC fight of the year nominee. . . . Congrats to Tony Rakozzi and Cazz's Niners for reaching the semifinals of the American Poolplayers Association state nine-ball tournament in Valley Forge over the weekend. Rakozzi is a former Marine who was injured in Iraq. . . . Rest in peace, Gary Papa. You'll be missed.


Contact columnist John Gonzalez at 215-854-2813

or gonzalez@phillynews.com.

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