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:
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:
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.