Phils Win The Series: Pinch Me Because I Must Be Dreaming
There was a moment last night in which my heart actually stopped. It stopped for approximately three seconds…or as long as a line drive takes to get to right field. Then, three pitches later, I watched the first true love of my life, the Philadelphia Phillies, win the World Series.
True love? Overstatement? It’s fine if you think that. The fact of the matter is that it is very true for me and for thousands of Philadelphia fans. This championship is a celebration of the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, but to Philadelphia fans, it means much, much more. It’s vindication. It’s relief. It’s redemption for a perennial loser. There are few fan bases in this country that personally invest so much into their professional athletes. You can call Philly fans a lot of things, but as long as two of those things are “devoted” and “World Series Champs”, we’ll be happy.
I was too young to remember 1980. I was a bit too young to remember 1983. There are three seasons of Philadelphia sports that led to potential championships that I can fully remember. In 1993, the Phillies lost the World Series to Joe Carter and the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2001, the Sixers lost the NBA Finals to Shaq, Kobe, Phil Jackson’s Bill Bradley button and the Los Angeles Lakers. Finally, the Eagles lost Super Bowl XXIX by three video-taped points to the New England Patriots. This is the first time I have ever seen and will fully remember a championship for Philadelphia.
I realize that Phillie fans are like other sports fans around the country. We pass our love of these teams down to our kids and they give it to their kids and this isn’t reinventing the wheel. The reason we feel our fandom is better is because we voluntarily have passed down losers to every generation. Essentially, my dad brainwashed me into loving this team and, through thick and thin, I stayed with them for every year of my life. This is a typical Philly Fan story and that is our justification for feeling the way we do today.
It’s really difficult to put this into words for me. All I could think of as I watched the Phillies celebrate on the field is how my dad, my mom, my sister, my grandmother, my uncle, my cousins, everyone in my extended family that loves these teams was feeling. If I could have somehow gotten us all in the same room just for that final out, I feel like we could have made as much noise as Citizens Bank Park did last night.
The 25-year major sports championship drought in Philadelphia is over and I couldn’t be happier. If I could thank every single guy on that Phillies team I would. They may never truly know how much this means to their fans.
The last thing I will leave you with is the top of the ninth by Harry Kalas…and here I thought I was done crying over this.