They don’t win championships in Philadelphia. If they do, it’s a fluke—something that someone pulled over on God.
Every three decades or so, one of the teams will screw up the ecosystem and snatch a title out from under fate’s nose.
What’s happening now is a travesty. The Phillies are in the World Series for the second year in a row. What’s worse, they actually won it last year.
This is all wrong. Philadelphia is a city full of miscreants and crabapples, with a fan base so jaded and tormented that it makes John McEnroe look like Dale Carnegie.
Philadelphia—City of Chumps, not Champs.
The biggest winner in Philly is Rocky, and he’s not even real.
The football Eagles annually tease and flirt with their fans, batting their eyelashes and giving the “come hither” look, only to turn into Margaret Thatcher once in the bedroom.
The Eagles last won the NFL Championship in 1960. Before that, 1940 something. It took them 20 years after the ’60 title to get to the Super Bowl. Then it took over a dozen years to get there again.
The Flyers won their last Stanley Cup in 1975. They’ve made it to the Finals five times since then, but not since 1997.
The last time the 76ers were world champs of the NBA was in 1983.
It took the Phillies about a hundred years to win their first World Series, in 1980. Took them another 28 years before they’d win their second, which is about the schedule they run on in Philadelphia—an accidental title every generation or so.
This is the City of Brotherly Love—as defined by fourth graders.
The late, great sportswriter Jim Murray professed his love for Philly’s acerbic personality this way: “When a plane lands in Philadelphia, everyone gets on; no one gets off.”
They booed Mike Schmidt in Philadelphia, which is only like Detroit booing Al Kaline, for cripe’s sakes.
Philly is also the home of Temple University, which last had a good football team before they came out with electricity, just about.
The Phillies are messing everything up now.
Needless to say, the Phillies have never won back-to-back World Series—unless you want to strike every Series from 1981 to 2007 from the record books. Then in that case, yeah, they have.
This can’t be happening. The Phillies are going against nature, or at the very least, the baseball gods. It’s like that episode of The Brady Bunch in Hawaii when Peter finds the tiki, disturbing something all-powerful.
If the Phillies take leave of their senses and win the World Series again this year, then we’re officially closer to the Apocalypse. One of the Horsemen will have been slain.
Philadelphia can’t possibly handle two championships in a row, anyway. Back-to-back is what they do in New York (Yankees), what they do in Detroit (Pistons, Red Wings), what they do in Chicago (Bulls). Heck, they’ve even done it in San Antonio, which is famous for the Alamo, of all things.
But Philadelphia is as equipped for two straight Phillies World Series titles as a toddler is for his first solid food being a bowl of chili.
They don’t win championships in Philadelphia because the fans there don’t deserve them. It’s further proof that there are deities among us.
Sports fans in Philadelphia are petulant, unreasonable, paranoid, and mean-spirited. Unless you catch them on a good day and they’re just being jealous and unappreciative.
Philadelphia—which gave us the 1964 Phillies, who couldn’t find the handle on a six-game lead with 12 games to play and blew the pennant to St. Louis, which as a baseball city is to Philadelphia what, in fine cuisine, lobster is to beef jerky.
St. Louis wouldn’t dream of booing Stan Musial, either.
Philadelphia is the city that gave us Terrell Owens, and for that alone it deserves locusts descending on it.
The teams in Philadelphia have lost so much, have failed in such grand scale so often, that when their epic, abysmal championship droughts are actually broken with Halley’s Comet-like frequency, as was done by last year’s Phillies, it’s only natural to start looking for pestilence.
But if the Phillies of 2009 are going to put us all in mortal danger by winning their second straight World Series, then it may as well be with the team they have—which is pretty darn exciting, and good.
There’s first baseman Ryan Howard, a slugger of Herculean strength, who doesn’t hit home runs, he makes them with his bare hands. There’s center fielder Shane Victorino, who covers so much real estate in the outfield that you should call him Century 22.
There’s right fielder Jayson Werth, the feast or famine kid who can blow you away with his power or with the wind from his frequent whiffs. But guaranteed that you stick around for his at-bat, regardless.
There’s the pesky double play combo of 2B Chase Utley and SS Jimmy Rollins, two guys who can flash leather and then knock in the game-winning run on any given day.
There’s veteran LF Raul Ibanez, who turned 37 this summer but it’s all in your mind. Ibanez stroked 34 homers.
The top three starting pitchers are Cliff Lee, Pedro Martinez, and Cole Hamels. You can do worse.
The closer is Brad Lidge, who actually “gets” what being an athlete playing in Philadelphia is all about. For Lidge went from being 41-for-41 in save opportunities with a 1.95 ERA in 2008, to being 31-for-42 in 2009, despite an ERA in the thin high air of 7.21 in 2009.
Attaboy, Brad! You knew better than to put together two fabulous seasons in a row. You’re a Phillie, after all.
Batten down the hatches. The Phillies are in the World Series again, and it only took them a year to get back there this time instead of a generation. As Neil Diamond once sang, pack up the babies and grab the old ladies!
Cuz everyone knows it’s the City of Brotherly Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.