Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Phillies and White Sox Fans - Compatriots

Black Betsy's good friend and copyright lawyer extraordinaire Jule sent me an excerpt from a book he's reading on being a Philadelphia sports fan, True Believers. In that book, there is a poignant excerpt on why being a White Sox fan may be the moral equivalent of being a Phillie fan:
Unlike the Cubs and Red Sox, whose traditions of ineptness had conferred a carefully manicured aura of nobility upon them, the Phillies occupied no similar place of honor in the bosom of the American people. They were the last National League team to integrate; they had pulled off the biggest tank job in history [ed- the '64 Phillies]; they were, statistically speaking, the least successful franchise in the history of the sport. On the other hand, the White Sox weren't much better. They had not won a World Series since Pershing graciously returned Lafayette's favor [ed - this means 1917]. They had not appeared in a World Series since Batista left Cuba [ed- 1959. Batista was a right-wing dictator, not a pitcher]. The most famous player in the history of the franchise was an illiterate rustic who helped throw the 1919 World Series. And they played in a crummy stadium in a crummy neighborhood in the same city as Wrigley Field, baseball's official Vatican, Mecca, El Dorado, Avalon, Valhalla.
Ouch, that's a little harsher than I would have been, but point taken. Knowing my friend Jule and his defeatist attitude toward the Phillies, it seems that Sox fans and Phillies fans have a kindred spirit. But not so fast my friend. Those of you who are Phillies fans have experienced a World Championship (1980) and three World Series(1980, 1983 and 1993) in your lifetime.  We've got zippy.  Think of it this way: no World Series in my lifetime, and only one World Series in my father's lifetime. No World Series victories in my father's lifetime, and only one World Series victory in my grandfather's lifetime. That's not a lot to root for. The Phillies have an embarrassment of riches by comparison. Count your blessings.

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