The Philadelphia Phillies smacked the competition in the face this Sunday. Now even the baseball illiterates are along for the ride.
Since their glorious win skyrocketed them to playoff status, it appears everyone has put on their Phillies hats and added names like Shane Victorino to their regular vocabulary. But wait a second, doesn’t it seem like there are a lot more fans you cross paths with verses a few weeks ago?
It’s because they’re winning. Most people enjoy being fans of a winning team.
These are not true fans. True Phillies fans follow the games regardless of how many wins and loses the team has accumulated. These loyal fans couldn’t be more delighted about the recent win but they can’t stand the phony Phillie lovers who are latching on to their victory.
I’m not claiming to be the biggest fan but I’m in a facebook group called “Howard’s Homies,” which is dedicated to going to games and cheering for Ryan Howard. Maybe that’s a sad attempt for street credit but I started liking the Phillies only a year ago. Because my Phillie pride is a recent development, long term fans give me little respect but I can see why.
People just jump on and claim they support the team when in fact they don’t. I find myself becoming enraged at these new fake fans. Now I understand why some didn’t credit me as a fan.
I’ve been a fan for longer than the recent batch of newbie’s. Still, don’t just latch on when the team is doing extremely amazing. Even new fans, like me, will give you as Rodney Dangerfield would say, “no respect.”
October baseball was something that has eluded the city of Philadelphia since the heart wrenching World Series loss to the Toronto Blue jays in 1993. Since then it has been 13 long seasons, each one ending the same way. Philadelphia has been the official city of “maybe next year,” since I was born.
Apparently, no one told the 2007 Phillies that their role in sports is to come up short. Philly’s history distorting victory of the Nationals Sunday earned them the playoff berth since 1993.
As I was in transit during the top of the ninth inning on the fateful Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of listening to Harry Kalas’s interpretation of the final moments of the game. When Myer’s curveball hit the catcher’s glove for strike three and the final out of the game, I almost crashed my car trying to celebrate.
Traveling on New Jersey’s Interstate 295, I could see the fireworks from Citizen’s Bank Park exploding in the air. I felt like I was there, celebrating with the 44,000 members of the Phillies faithful.
The out of town scoreboard watching, the entirely sold out weekend, that all eyes on Philly feeling, I have never felt any of these things before. The last time the Phillies won the pennant, I was just 5 years old, hitting baseballs for the first time off of a tee. I was hardly old enough to remember anything and for the longest time, I was not sure I would ever get to have those memories.
It is unfortunate to think that most of the country will view this amazing comeback very as the Mets falling apart over the past two months, blowing their strangle hold of first in the east. But Philly helped New York lose that lead.
Oct. 3 marks uncharted territory for the team and for most of its fans. You better believe that I am skipping my classes if the Phils earn themselves another parade down Broad Street.