Friday, September 29, 2006

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Only a few days ago - since we landed in DC - the Phillies stood atop the National League wild-card race.

I told everyone within earshot it wasn't going to happen; of course, I told everyone within earshot that same thing in July too. The Phillies were cursed beyond their control: They're based in Philadelphia.

So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the Phils (and Ryan Howard in the AP pic at right) lost two of three from the last-place Nationals, including Thursday night's rain-delayed loss which didn't start much before midnight. The loss left them two games behind the Dodgers with a mere three games to play.

It's the cycle of sports life in that town, a town whose teams I grew up rooting for.

Let's take a look at the recent heartbreaking past:

-- Eagles: Reached the NFC Championship three straight years (2001-03), losing all three years. Finally broke through in that fourth year, only to lose Super Bowl XXXIX to New England.

-- Flyers: Swept out of Stanley Cup finals in 1997 by star-studded Detroit; since then, have made pushes to return to the Finals, but have consistently come up short.

-- Sixers: Have made it past Eastern Conference first round as recently as 2003, but have not come close to the NBA Finals since 2001. In that series, they shocked another star-studded team, the Lakers, in the first game, and then lost four straight.

-- Phillies: Mostly a dog since their 1993 World Series trip, which was lost on a home run in the bottom of the ninth in Game 6. They've gotten better recently, however, but still have not made the playoffs. They were swept in a pivotal series with Houston in September last year; only a miracle could save them this year.

And as we've seen, miracles are in short supply around Philly.

It's a shame that one must temper expectations to avoid inevitable heartbreak. Then, if a team does make the playoffs, it's an unexpected bonus.

So, before you ask, the Eagles will finish a game under .500.

(Dear Lord, Please let the Eagles make the playoffs. Amen.)

5 comments:

ME said...

Don't the Phillies hold the distinction of having the worst winning percentage of all-time?

Brian said...

I don't know about that. But they are most certainly the losingest sports franchise of all time. I don't know what the count is, but they are rapidly approaching (or may have surpassed) 10,000 losses in their history.

Think about that for a second...

ME said...

Well, they have been around a long time. Still, not a good thing to be associated with.

At least your team doesn't own the distinction of having the worst single season ever.

ME said...

Just for the record, there are four or five times with worse winning percentages. It must've been the total losses I was thinking of.

P.J. said...

I can say nothing more than Argh.