Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Agony (and Ecstasy) of Being a Phillies Phan 

I think a small forest was killed publishing pseudo-literary books by Red Sox fans concerning the pain and agony of Red Sox Nation: the horror of not winning a World Series since 1918, the Ruth trade and Yankees rivalry, the 1949 pennant race, Game Six of the 1975 World Series, Bill Buckner in the ’86 World Series, etc. Fenway Park has been immortalized by fans and sports writers as holy ground, the cathedral where the faithful come to pray, hoping for salvation for the Red Sox organization's soul from the original sin of trading Babe Ruth. Cubs fans, similarly, complain of the deck of history being stacked against them, though their complaints are not nearly as supported by dramatic trauma as Sox fans. (The Cubs failures in the 2003 NLCS, the 1984 NLCS and 1969 NL East pennant race are not nearly as dramatic as the Red Sox losing four seven-game series in 1946, 1967, 1975 and 1986.) (Okay, you lost a bunch of World Series in the 1930s ... trauma!)

What about the agony of being a Phillies fan? As I watch the team swoon to 1-6 and read the panicky comments from the rank-and-file fans in the Philadelphia Inquirer, I'm struck by the fact that there isn't more of a recognition that the Phillies have bad karma too:

The Phillies have won exactly one World Series (1980). The Cubs have won two (1907 & 1908), the Red Sox won four (1912, 1915, 1916 & 1918). What are you guys complaining about?

Okay, the Red Sox have had some spectacular failures in the playoffs, but so have the Phillies:
-What Phillies fan can forget Joe Carter's blast in Game Six of the '93 World Series?
-The Phillies three straight losses in the NLCS? (1976, 1977 & 1978.)
-And the '64 pennant race: they lost ten games in a row! (After defeating the Dodgers 3-2 on September 20, 1964, to run their record to 90-60, the Philles proceeded to drop three games to the Reds, four games to the Milwaukee Braves and three to the St. Louis Cardinals. They finished at 92-70, a game behind the Cardinals.)
-And what about last year's swoon against the Marlins?

Lots of pain, lots of heartache, lots of disappointment in Philly.

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