The Post Game Show

Saturday, November 01, 2008

We Interrupt This Down Period In Chris' Life To Bring To You....



















1989. The end of Reagan, the beginning of Daddy Bush, Aaron Hall was trying to give out a piece of his love, and Urkel was asking if he did indeed "do thaaaat?" During that relatively tame summer, a seven (soon to be eight) year-old boy in Wilmington, Delaware views his first Phillies game on WPHL17 and his grandma's old black and white TV and a love affair was born. Nevermind that the team sucked and played in a 90-percent empty concrete sports project building, but the sport of baseball had taken ahold of him, and through work stoppages, a fallen legend betting on the game and the all in all suckitude of the Phils for a good 13-14 years, the love affair never wavered.

Wednesday night, I went back to my office where there was cable (I still ain't got none, don't know if I will get it ever) and watched the final three-plus innings of Game Five. Heart racing, breathing shallow, eyes wider than R. Kelly's at a junior high prom...hoping this would be the night. The night a 25-year drought for Philly champions ended. And when Brad Lidge got Eric Hinske of the Tampa Bay Rays to wave helplessly at another ILL slider for strike three, Lidge crumbled to his knees in celebration, and I hit the roof. The Philadelphia Phillies were the World Champions. It still feels strange to type, but for fans, young and old, it's been a long time coming.

Aside from the sporting aspect of it all, the city of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley as a whole needed something positive. With bullets flying and bodies hauled away almost hourly back home, people are at a loss as to how to stop the crime wave that has seized Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey over the last decade. While one sports championship is nowhere near being a permanent solution, it was beautiful to check online newcasts and internet TV site and see people, black and white, gay and straight, middle class and lower class, all slapping hands, hugging, dancing, spraying each other with beer and champagne and cutting a fool for the right reasons. If only for this week, Philly was a city united, proud of its team and itself for hosting a world champion.

That's why sports are necessary in my opinion. With all the bad going on in the world, for two to three hours a night, no matter the sport, people can lose themselves in the thrill of athletic competition and when their team comes out on top, smile for a little while longer or just bring a smile to their face period. I know that's what the 2008 Phillies did for me Wednesday night, and I'll never forget October 29, 2008 as long as I live. It was day the jinx died, it was the day Philly embraced each other, and it was a day that the seven year old boy brought his joy and happiness to a 27 year old man who really needed it.

3 Comments:

  • At 7:07 PM, Blogger CaptainPB said…

    Hey Chris.
    I am also a Phillies phan from waaaay back (my first games were in Connie Mack!)
    I also lived in Wilmington for several years in the 90's working with at risk kids on North Market Street so I am familiar with that aspect too.
    I found you through Google alerts and enjoyed your writing/memories.
    There was lots of screaming at my house in Buffalo on Wednesday. My oldest child was under a year old when Tugger finished our last Series win (my wife had to hold a pillow over my face so my screaming would not wake her!).
    Blessings!
    PB Stetser

     
  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger spchrist said…

    Congrats to the Phillies...their fans have suffered a lot. Now, let's see if the Cubs can finally get it done.

     
  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger Stew said…

    even though i am not a baseball fan, i see how happy these folks in pennsylvania are, and it makes me happy too.

    Go Phils

     

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