Baseball season. It’s the time of the year every Phillies fan looks forward to. As soon as the post-season is over, they’re already counting down the days until spring training. Philly fans are the best and worst fans. They’re the best if you’re the Phillies, but the worst if you’re any other team, especially the Yankees.
However in the mix of the sea of red shirts at Citizens Bank Park, there are fans that aren’t actually at the game to watch the Phillies win. In fact, many people just go to the game for the tailgating, the beer and overall social aspect of the whole experience. The real fun starts hours before the game even begins over in the parking lot. There, you can find people grilling, playing games of washers and ladder ball, and drinking through out the whole place.
“Tailgating to me is the next best thing of actually being inside the stadium when I don’t have tickets,” junior accounting major Nick Casey said. “The social aspect of everyone having a good time while listening to the game is just a good experience. I normally go with friends but I imagine that it would be just as fun as going with family.”
Many people like sophomore criminology major Tyler Grau like to go to the tailgates just to be around all the crazy Philly fans. “As long as your wearing something with the Phillies on it, anyone will come talk to you in the parking lot. At Phillies tailgates, you talk to complete strangers but no one cares because you all have the same thing in the common. Everyone just wants to have a good time and for the Phillies to win.”
Post-season gets even crazier. In fact, after the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, they made a new rule that people tailgating must leave when the game begins because it was getting so out of hand. More people jumped on the band-wagon and wanted to be a part of the “Phillies Phever” and be apart of the fun of a championship team.
“The best tailgates were when they were in the World Series last year,” junior accounting major Eric Collins said. “Just all the people there and the atmosphere were absolutely insane.”
Although a lot of fun goes on outside of the stadium, there is plenty of fun that goes on inside of it too. There are many promotional games where the fans get things such as bobble-heads, rally towels and hats like Cabrini Night.
“Cabrini Night is always so much fun,” senior math and secondary education major Francesca Pizzigoni said. “I love getting the Cabrini knit hats and it’s so cool to look around and see everyone in the stadium wearing hats with our school on it. We’re such a small school and to see over 45,000 people wearing our school is awesome.”
Other fun events in the ballpark include Dollar Dog Night, Fan Appreciation Day, 1980s Retro Night and different heritage nights. There’s also a small jungle gym in front of one of the entrances for little children and of course the Philly Phanatic that makes every game worth while.
Tailgates are the pre-game show to every Phillies baseball game. Without them, the atmosphere inside the stadium wouldn’t be the same. The fans tailgate to get pumped up for inside the stadium and carry it over into the game. From the food, to the beer, to the games and social aspect, Phillies tailgates draw even the most clueless “baseball fans.” And for those couple hours before the game, everyone is best friends; just as long as your not a Yankee fan.