“I’d play against these guys with one leg. We have to beat these guys. I hate the Cardinals. All they do is bitch and moan about everything, all of them; they’re little bitches, all of ‘em. I really hate the Cardinals. Compared to the Cardinals, I love the Chicago Cubs. Let me make this clear - I hate the Cardinals.”
Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds (HT: Kev B/BR Mom)
Cardinal’s fans were enraged by this quote yesterday from the Reds second baseman. Reaction was pretty universal and it was harsh on B. Phillips.
I don’t blame anyone, either. When somebody calls a group of guys that you’ve got a vested interest in pack of bitches, it’s only natural to go on the defensive. Loyalty is a currency that the Cardinals trade in heavily; in some cases you could argue they abuse fans sense of it. This was a public slap across the face right before the biggest series of the year.
But let’s take a second to applaud Brandon Phillips in this space.
Sports, in general, have become more sanitary than a operating room in the past decade. Athletes have grown of age in a culture of evasive sound bites and flat out vanilla personality. Leagues have legislated out anything that could be considered ‘showing up the opposition’ while ESPN puts anyone willing to chastise an organization or player for any minor infraction on roughly 143 shows every single day.
So when you get a quote like this, I bet your FIRST reaction wasn’t rage… it was wonderment. Did Phillips actually say this? Is this from The Onion? Seriously, he said bitches?
Then you read it in the Dayton Daily News or The Post-Dispatch and got mad.
But Didn’t Brandon Phillips make it easier to root against the Reds? Didn’t he increase the fun in this series? Wasn’t that 7-3 beat down more satisfying? Could you wait until the reporters asked him about this quote after the game? I’d probably thought of Brandon Phillips maybe 4 minutes in my entire life. Now I’m actively rooting against the guy, booing through my TV set at him, hoping he embarrasses himself.
And, really, if we’re going to be honest, sports just aren’t as much fun when you can’t hate the other team.
We may say we want guys like Albert Pujols or Matt Holliday on our side, never saying anything disrespectful and always carefully calculating every syllabal of their life. And we DO want that… on OUR side.
But we also want Brandon Phillips too.
Here’s to Brandon Phillips, a true trailblazer. And a bitch.