Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What the Phillies' run means to me

I've done a lot of bitching here. There's lots to complain about, at least from the perspective on the maroon La-Z-Boy.

Fundamentally, I like what I do for a living. I've seen a lot of things, been a lot of places and met a lot of people I would have otherwise never met or simply only dreamed of meeting. The downside, as we've talked about many times, is the loss of pure joy that sports once provided.

But, for the past few weeks, that joy has returned.

The Phillies are playing in October.

See, Philly's nine was the first team I ever loved. I can still picture the Mike Schmidt jersey pajamas I had as a little one; I always wondered why I never got to see them play in those jerseys, but that was back in the days when only road games were broadcast.

Schmitty was my first athletic hero, and the Phillies were the first pro team I ever saw play live.

I don't much remember their World Series trip in '80s; though through the highlights, I can picture Tug McGraw's iconic final strike.

I vaguely remember the '83 Series, when many of those same players from 1980 were older and wheezier. They lost that one to Baltimore.

A decade later, an equally wheezing lineup made it back, only to lose on Joe &$#!#@* Carter's homer.

Fifteen years later, after so many close calls - the Eagles' failed Super Bowl visit, a couple of Finals appearances by the Flyers and Sixers, all for naught - the Phillies are on the cusp of making it back.

It's 5-0 in Game 5 as I write this, though the Dodgers are threatening in the fifth. That's OK, because Los Angeles has a good team; to think that they're going to roll over in an elimination game is foolhardy.

Regardless of what happens, I'm going to be cheering the whole way.

And I haven't said that about any sports team in a long, long time.

Let's go Phillies.

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