A photo appeared in Sunday’s “Philthy Inquirer” that basically sums up why I could never be a Phillies Phan, or any other Philly sports fan. It gave me a phlashback to all the times I’ve had beer thrown at me while attending sporting events and concerts in “The City of Brotherly Love.”
You’ve gotta LOVE the place. Brimming with history, it was our nation’s first capitol. Like any big city, it has it’s downside, but overall, it’s a great place to lose oneself. It’s easy to find your way around the city, and if lost, it’s easy to find someone to point you in the right direction. The people are friendly, the music is world-class and the food is…well, cheesesteaks and hoagies…which brings me to my point.
A few years back, when the Phillies won the World Series, I posted a congratulatory message on the website of the creator of my favorite little widget of all time, appropriately titled “The Cheesesteak of Suffering.” <http://www.jerseydatabase.com/beta/blog.php?p=8> It was a sad little sandwich assigned the daunting task by some poor, disgusted Phillies fan, to count the number of days since Philadelphia had won it’s last championship. Even worse, one could choose from various options of loser’s delight by size and whether condiments were preferred.
In the year of Our Lord 2008 A.D., The Cheesesteak of Suffering exploded, theoretically speaking, when the Phillies finally won the World Series. As a Yankees fan, I could never root for Philadelphia, but I found myself both excited for their fans and relieved that the whining had finally stopped. Philadelphia had earned it’s place inside the Winners’ Circle and peace ruled the Delaware Valley.
I had hoped that would not only squelch the incessant complaining about their team, but remove the giant, collective chip on the shoulders of every Philadelphian. Phinally, the citizens of this phounding colony could shed the weight and that darned inferiority complex, earned by being sandwiched between and consistently overshadowed by (at least in their minds) it’s sibling cities, namely New York and Baltimore.
You see, human nature dictates that when we are insecure in our own skin, we tend to point out our own deepest flaws in others. When we are happy and confident being ourselves, we are happier and more content with others. When that raw nerve is no longer exposed, our need to scream out vanishes. This transfers to sports and everything we do.
So, when the Phillies became World Champions I was truly happy and elated for their fans, many who are my good friends and neighbors. I was thrilled that they finally had the chance to experience the exhilaration, bliss, sheer joy and confidence that comes with being on top. Finally, we had something in common to share and I was glad to ride that wave of cheese wiz with them all the way up Broad St. to the Liberty Bell.
Perhaps, that is why I was so troubled and sad (like that old Cheesesteak widget had been) when I opened the paper and saw this photograph of Phillies Phans mocking one of the best pitchers in baseball today.
A scene out of “Dumb and Dumber”
As I stared at it with my jaw agape, I had to resist the urge to go look in the mirror to check my own teeth, or to wonder if my hair needed a trim or if the big wart on my giant nose needed to go. I thought about Tim Lincecum’s parents and wondered how they must feel seeing their pride and joy in the highlight of his career being bullied by a crowd of cruel, (assumed to be) drunken idiots holding up nasty signs dating back to elementary school recess. Is this any way to treat a guest? Is this how Philadelphians want to be remembered? Seriously?
So, my dear Yankees fans, kindly learn from another’s mistakes or you may find yourselves pictured as below in my next blog!
Who’s the Freak, now? That stupid hat fits in, afterall!
(Disclaimer: My sincere apology goes out to anyone whom I may have offended and to those innocent parties who have been dragged into this debacle against their will. Perhaps, you will reconsider your seating arrangements the next time some rudenick repeatedly shoves a sign into your line of sight.)
Now, go have fun, root for our team and play nice! WE are the champions that everyone looks up to (despite what they may say out of envy). Show everyone how REAL CHAMPIONS treat their guests and each other. Set the bar high and you will be rewarded.
Remember, the eyes of the world are watching you!
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P.S. – HAPPY 28TH BIRTHDAY, ROBINSON CANO!