Monday, March 31, 2008

My Favorite Day of the Year

My Fightin' Phils are playing right now.

I dropped $120 I don't have so that I can watch them live all year long on the internets.

When I was a boy, my mom let me cut school on every opening day so that I could stay home and watch the first game of the season.

She also let me cut school to go to each home opener.

I'd get all decked out in my gear, go to Wawa for a hoagie and walk up South Street to Broad to catch the subway down to the Vet.

Now I'm a big kid and we don't play at the Vet no more.

I take the subway to the Bank. And my neighborhood Wawa closed down. Tony Luke's got a better hoagie anyway, even if it costs a little more and there's no free MAC machine. I go with the veal and broccoli rabe. If I'm hungry after the game, I might go to Pat's for a provy wit.

Sorry if my New Orleans friends don't understand what any of that means.

I love the Phillies more than anything else on the planet. I have punched walls in anger because of them and I have cried tears of joy because of them.

I am so happy right now. I got Harry Kalas doing play-by-play and my boys have an early 1-0 lead thanks to a Chase Utely sac fly that brought home reigning MVP Jimmy Rollins. Starter Brett Myers pegged that asshole Paul Lo Duca right in his shoulder.

I know more about baseball than I do about politics. I wish I could just blog about them.

But I can't.


Leigh C. said...


Problem is, darn near every time I've been to Philly, it's been on business, and, as a result, I have largely been chained to the convention center and the adjacent Reading Terminal Market.

Damn, now I'm missing those massive apple turnovers I used to get there...

AND...what's so wrong with blogging about the Phils?

jeffrey said...

I really liked that 1993 "New Gas House Gang" Kruk-Dykstra-Daulton-Schilling-Mitch Williams team.... especially when they knocked off the hated Braves in the NLCS. I had a lot of fun with the Braves fans in the dorm that week.

But then... Joe F*%#ing Carter, you know.

But really, I'm a Cubs fan first.

Anonymous said...

The Phils have sucked ever since the '93 season. I could have gone to the NLCS game the night they beat the Braves to head into the Series, but I STUPIDLY gave up my tickets so some dumb kid I knew could go with his dad.

Leigh C. said...

Uhhh, anonymous, them's gonna be fightin' words to E, most likely...

E said...

Anonymous' actual name is Upstairs Dan.

He had two sets of tickets for that '93 NLCS against the hated Braves.

He gave his set of two for Game 6, keeping his own game 7 set.

Game 7 never happened because the Phils locked it up when I was at the Vet for Game 6. The euphoria that emanated from that place transformed my life forever along with 65,000 of my closest friends and family.

I am forever indebted to Upstairs Dan. He, along with all of those other unlucky souls that may have given away tickets to that game, is now in a bad spot as what is called a "Negadelphian."

Negadelphianism is an affliction that reaches probably 1 in 10 or 15 Philadelphia residents. They never think the teams can win. They hate the ownership groups of all the teams and sometimes go so far as to boycott the teams until an ownership group is in place that will outspend everyone else in the league to guarantee a championship.

Poor Upstairs Dan missed out on the joys of last year's miracle comeback to capture first place in the NL East from those loser Mets. He refused to get swept up in pennant fever because Negadelphians intrinsically understand that if they invest themselves in a team and they don't pull it out, there's a dangerously high risk of Immediate Awning Relapse (IAR).

Immediate awning relapse occurs in South Philadelphia to some people that have their hearts broken too many times. Observed cases mechanically install a plastic green awning over their front door and put cones in front of their houses and fight people that want to parallel park there. They also think trees make the neighborhood look dirty.

Now Upstairs Dan can be saved. The 76ers are making an improbable run as a scrappy young team, they're always fun to watch even if you know they won't make it to the Finals. The Phils return one of the best lineups in the National League and they've got three of the most likable stars in the history of the franchise in Howard, Utely, and Rollins. The Birds signed Asante Samuel to play corner, that's an encouraging sign for next year.

But a few more heartbreakers like Joe Carter in '93, the Dry-heave in '05.... the longer the curse of Billy Penn continues, the more dangerous it is for people like Upstairs Dan.

I try to invite Upstairs Dan to the various parties I throw when I watch games but he always seems to have other plans or has to go to Jersey for work.

Dan is correct in his assessment that my team SUCKED from 1993-2005ish. They were a civic embarrassment.

Wayne Gomes, Jose Mesa, Ricky Otero, Gregg Jeffries, Chad Ogea.

It was BAD.

Leigh C. said...

Watch it, dude. I'm a Mets fan.

upstairs dan said...

Damn E. you found me out! You're pretty smart after all and I take back all those things I said about your admission to Tulane being an error attributable to the institution's need for geographic diversity.

You are right-on about Negadelphians, who you might have also mentioned are sick and tired of rewarding mediocrity by blindly putting money into the pockets of wealthy men who get away with fielding crap and make a huge profit doing so. Ain't nothin' shameful in negadelphianism, son.

Agree with you about Rollins, Howard and Utley, but dude, for the last 15 years we've had no pitching and it's not like it's been a big secret. I'm not buying tickets to pay the bloated salaries of people like Adam Eaton.

The parties you threw when you were ten are not as much fun as the ones you throw now (but which I'm sadly too old to truly enjoy).

And trees DO make the neighborhood look dirty. Now GET OFF MY LAWN!

E said...

Upstairs Dan,

I hate Bill Giles, David Montgomery, and Co. as much as the next guy.

I just love the Phillies more than I hate their owners.

Too old to come to one of my parties but not too old to be the most frequent regular at Pete's... I'll see you there in a couple of weeks.

Your lawn? Is that what you call your forth floor fire escape?

See you soon Dan.

upstairs dan said...

I'm gonna hold you to that promise my friend....I know your time here in Negadelphia will be short and your social obligations great, but would love to see ya!