It Hurts to be a Phan  

WildWon1982 35M
625 posts
6/23/2006 11:16 pm

Last Read:
6/27/2006 10:22 pm

It Hurts to be a Phan

Those that know me, know I was a born and bred fan of all things related to Philadelphia sports. I was born in Delaware, the whole state's a suburb of Philly, and I went to Syracuse, which spawned the greatest Eagles qaurterback since Ron Jaworski in Donovan McNabb, which created a Philly fanbase in New York, at times even outweighing Bills and Jets fans. But being a Philly Phan requires the thickest of skins, cause there is a lot of suffering.

Look at our major sports teams:
NFL - Eagles lost the Super Bowl in 2004, only the second time they'd been to the big game, the other time being a loss to Oakland in 1981. They won NFL championships before the merger, and the creation of the Super Bowl, but not since.
MLB - Phillies went to the World Series in 1915, and lost to Boston, I think, then in 1950, and got swept by the Damn Yankees. Finally, in 1980, they hit paydirt, and won it all. They went back in 1983, losing to the Orioles in the famed I-95 Series. After a decade in the basement, they got to the World Series in 1993, where Joe Carter crushed our dreams in the most dramatic of fashions. The last few years, they've improved, getting close to the playoffs four of the last five seasons. Right now, we're 3 games under .500, and 10+ games behind the Mets in the division.
NHL - Flyers won the Stanley Cup in consecutive years in the 70's. Nothing since. They make the playoffs every year, and many times come close. They made the finals in 1997, and got promptly swept by Detroit. This year saw a first round exit at the hands of Buffalo.
NBA - The former Syracuse Nationals became the Philadelphia Wizards, which then became the 76ers. Last championship, 1984. They made the finals in 2001, when Allen Iverson won MVP, and they got trounced by the Lakers in five games. The only positive was that the Game 1 win was the only defeat LA suffered the entire playoffs.

Add it all up. The city of Philadelphia, with one of the strongest fan bases in the world, has not had a championship of any kind since 1984. No other city with all four major sports has gone longer. Fuck the Boston fans whining about the Red Sox. You had the Patriots and Celtics. Fuck the Chicago fans who lament the Cubs. You had the Bulls in the 90s and the White Sox last year. And any Yankee fans that whine about not winning the World Series since 2000 need to get slapped in the head.

We suffer. Not only do we keep coming so close, but not hitting the precipice, we get dissed by the rest of the country. They say we booed Santa Claus. We did not. In the 70's, at a Sixers game, we booed some drunken idiot who ran on the court DURING THE GAME, who happened to be wearing a Santa suit. Hell, back in May, Phillies CF Aaron Rowand broke his nose while catching a fly ball, saving three runs, and eventually, the game. What did the sports media report? That the team ignored Rowand's request for additional padding on the fence, when in fact, the padding had arrived the day before, and was scheduled to be installed when the team went on a road trip two days later. Even one of my coworkers, a SportsCenter anchor, said candidly to a guest during a commercial break that we didn't DESERVE a player that good, that committed (she's a Mets fan). How the hell do we not deserve a player who goes all out?

Our greatest sports hero: Rocky Balboa, which makes perfect sense. He never existed, and we worship him even though he lost. The fact that he went the distance was what was important to us.

God it hurts to be a fan, but like an Alzheimer's patient, I'm gonna keep coming back. Hell, I'm even planning a road trip to Philly for my b-day in August, even though, at this rate, we'll be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Kaliedascope61 42M
4084 posts
6/24/2006 7:08 am

I feel your pain, really I do, I'm a houston fan. Now what would you do if your eagles, up and moved away to tennessee? I didn't watch football again until houston got its texans, just felt there was nothing there for me.

WildWon1982 35M

6/24/2006 9:20 am

You had the Rockets. Maybe basketball's not your thing, but your city at least had a couple of titles to speak of in the aftermath of the Oiler split.

docdirk 48M

6/25/2006 4:08 pm

DUDE!!! I too am a proud Delawarian, born in Wilmington so many years ago. I used to come home from grade school to find my grandfather reading the Phillies box scores in the afternoon paper. (Remember afternoon additions?) I was a Philly fan from that point forward.

Somewhere around 1982 (Classic Miami/San Diego OT AFC playoff game) I became a Dolphin fan. I have seen them make 2 Superbowls - losing both of course. Other than that, I'm a Phillies, Sixers, Flyers fan as well. Well, I barely watch hockey any more, but I've still got the Flyers Jerseys in my closet. I'm alos partial to Philly boxers, such as Bernard Hopkins. They, like Balboa, have the Philly attitude - underdogs, maybe less skilled, but will fight to the end.

BTW, I'm too pissed to talk about the freakin Phillies at the moment. Underachieve just a little???

Ah, Its you again, Your Angel Feathers and your Blood Stains...

WildWon1982 35M

6/25/2006 6:36 pm

Born in Wilmington about the time you switched to Miami, your Eagle spirit renewed in the old Wilmington Hospital maternity ward (hospital no longer exists), and lived in Newark till I was 13.

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