The Talking Moose (thetalkingmoose) wrote,
The Talking Moose

An Explanation, For Those Who Aren't Phillies Fans

Last week, I wrote: "I'll return to my default worrisome, pessimistic fan-mode by the time the World Series starts on Wednesday, but for now, I'm enjoying every minute of this."

For those of you who might not understand why I would default to such a mode, I would to point you to an excellent article by Allan Barra in today's Wall Street Journal, "Can Phillies Fans Embrace Optimism." Some highlights:

Phillies fans have a term for the fans of other teams who consider themselves unfortunate: whiners. Cubs fans? They don't know how good they've had it. From 1906 to 1945, the Cubs won 10 pennants; and in two of those years -- 1907 and 1908 -- they took the World Series. Before 1980, the Phillies won just two pennants, and their combined record in the World Series was 1-8. Cubs fans, at least, didn't have to suffer the humiliation of waiting 80 years into the 20th century, as Phillies fans did, for their team to win a world championship; the Phillies, in fact, were the last of the original National League franchises to win it all.


For Phillies fans, the history of baseball is a series of bitter disappointments and the shock of bloody, humiliating collapses. As my cousin Joe Anello in Dresher, Pa., puts it: "What's really tough is that Phillies history is a birthright. It's like when you're born you inherit all these horrible memories that you have to drag to the ballpark with you."

I know Anello's point far too well. Throughout my childhood, my dad spoke often of the great collapse in '64 -- even after the Phillies won the World Series in 1980, when I was 8-years-old. By the time I was 18, I too felt like I had been scarred by it.

A couple final excerpts:

In all of their dismal history, there is but a single shining moment: the Phillies' victory over the Kansas City Royals in the 1980 World Series, celebrated with a parade down Broad Street that Philadelphians still talk about.


Phillies fans have a reputation as the meanest and most cynical in baseball, but given the history they've had to live with, that might be a natural reaction. "They're like characters in a Springsteen song," Prof. Kuklick says. "They feel like dogs that have been kicked too much."

I'm hoping -- really hoping -- that the Phillies pull it out this year. But optimistic of their chances? No, I'm not. I 'm a dog that's been kicked too much.

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