Ah, tis the season of the post-playoff-failure sojourn of the Philadelphia sports fan. No longer are they the "intimidating" lout of boorish battery-throwers, so passionate about their teams that they boo them at the drop of a 2-0 lead. No, now they are the poor, suffering, championship-less city of dreary almosts. Now, after they have lost again, the country should feel sorry for those denizens who pollute their stadiums with puke-colored jerseys and terribly backward pronunciations of "grass (grayeesz)" and "water (wooder)." They should accept the annoying banter that is a "Phaithful" discussing the "iggles" and their guaranteed championship-winning ability despite never having the ability to come closer than just close. That guy with the lame face-paint and the shoulder pads who feels the need to travel down 95 so he can chant spellings of the Eagles in Landover just needs a hug from someone who has actually celebrated a championship win in the past 25 years, right?
Well, we here at the DC Optimist want to remind you that feeling sorry for the Philadelphia sports fan is NEVER proper. No, during these wondrous times when the "remember how close we were"s and the "We were the best team in the regular season"s and the "we were robbed by the refs/commissioner/god, etc"s start to flow out in that ragged accent, it is time to administer the proper amount of cajolement. The unruly nature of the Philadelphia sports fanbase is nothing more than the reflection of an insecurity that lying in between two superior metropolises bears. Thus the fervent backing of second-rate sports teams occurs complete with the sanctimonious boos that only the most abusive daddy could lavish upon their son or daughter's minor failures. Those that aren't 100% behind this insufferable gamut of "aeeeyyezholes" bear the verbal brunt of abuse typically leveled during Klan rallies. Propose a trade from this unglorious town, become public enemy number one (see Rolen; Scott, Lindros, Eric) earning lush hatred while representing the fanbase's best interests. It soon becomes no wonder that the stars that leave the brotherly lovers often have such great things to say about their new home.
These same "Phanatics" who pelt J.D. Drew with batteries upon his playing for another team just can't stand the fact that some pissy caps fans chucked bottles at their players, after they were booing said player this night before. And as is often the refrain regarding the bandwagon nature of the DC fan heard from the "Phaithful" regarding how no one was watching the caps before they started winning, please hip me to the Phillies' attendance figures during those last-place days at the vet. I can remember not a more cavernous ark of desolate blue nothingness. In that space, no one can hear you boo.
Much was made of Mike Wise's column and the subsequent printing and passing out of said column before the first-round playoff series between the Caps and the Flyers and how it marked how wonderfully belligerent the "Phaithful" are and how great that is. Now, we are treated with the pathetic prose of the teary typers from the Philadelphia Inquirer who are bemoaning yet another year of ineptitude. A typical piece comes courtesy of Peter Mucha, whose "Loserville: 25 years, 0 championships" has an epic title to go along with the typical recounts of failures therein. A nice little addition to Mucha's piece is the interactive "Loserville: 25 years of futility" map that allows the user to visually recount other cities with major league teams and their ability to not lose championships. Be sure to drag your mouse over the Washington, DC dot, where the last two Redskins titles are proudly displayed. Also, be sure to drag your mouse over other the only more terrible sports town of Cleveland, and note their continued lack of championship, which stretches even further than Philadelphia's, which was aided by those homebodies in Boston, who turned the crybaby into the dead baby last night.
Another philly.com scribe, Rich Hoffman, has his take on the titleless-ness too, recounting what is now 100 consecutive combined season of all four franchises minus cup/ring/trophy. Take the time to breathe in these pleasure-inducing paeans to patheticism, visualizing a glorious morning in Bucks County where audible booing can be heard amongst the breakfast-and-paper partakers. Methinks that a hard copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer would make good exagerratedly read material for this week's Nats vs. Philllies series. In a Terrapin-game-esque manner, be sure to ruffle the pages of Mucha and Hoffman's pieces into the faces of the "Phaithful," maybe even reciting some of the more pleasure-inducing lines like, "We're No. 1 - at falling short!"