Posted at 11:24 AM on June 12, 2007
by Tom Scheck
As you already know, I grew up outside of Philadelphia and was a Phillies fan in my youth. My allegiance shifted to the Twins when I moved to the Twin Cities in 2000. My Grandma never moved so she is one of the unlucky ones who has to suffer through years and years of Phillie failure. A familiar refrain in my house when the Phils blow a save, make an error or can't lay down a bunt is "Grandma isn't going to be happy!" You should have seen how angry she was when the Phils traded Bobby Abreau (she's still mad but that's because she doesn't look at the batting averages of other teams).
Why am I telling you all of this? Because Grandma finally has reason to celebrate! Since 1980, Grandma and Phillies fans everywhere can celebrate that the Phillies will be first at something.
Why, you ask? The New York Times and the Philadelphia blogs are all a twitter that the Phils will be the first team to 10,000 losses. They are 14 losses away. One blog is even holding a pool to guess the date of the 10,000 loss!
Read the New York Times story because it is actually quite funny in a sick and depressing sort of way. I actually laughed outloud and choked on my cereal over the 1972 opening pitch part. It's perfect for anyone who misses the City of Brotherly Love!
Now no one likes a loser more than Philadelphia. It's taken me years to stop booing my wife when she strikes out in slow pitch softball. I have to restrain myself when my 8 year old nephew bobbles a ball in Little League. I proudly tell his parents that "When I was a kid we learned the brush back pitch before we learned how to throw the ball over the plate." If you say "snowball" the first thing that comes to my mind is Santa getting hit in the head during a game. The second thing is Cowboys Quarterback Troy Aikman getting whacked.
We're so used to losing in the city of Philadelphia that younger generations have never seen a Philadelphia professional sports team win a Championship. As a matter of fact, I was nine the last time there was a ticker tape parade on Broad Street. Philadelphia is the city (with four major sports teams) that has seen the longest drought without a championship. The Sixers won the NBA Championship in 1983. Think about that. Parachute pants weren't even in style yet.
We used to joke that the only thing my grandfather (a diehard Eagles fan) wanted before he died was to see the Eagles win a Super Bowl. Now I'm starting to worry that the Eagles may not win a Super Bowl in my lifetime. But before I start losing sleep (or more sleep) over that, I'm worried that my 86 year old Grandma won't see the Phils win another World Series. The Phils are playing .500 ball but everyone knows it won't last. A hot August will melt a Philly fan's hopes worse than an Italian ice left out on South Street.
So Grandma, the next best thing is to celebrate the Phils appropriate place in history. 10,000 losses here we come!