The Time is NOW 🙂
“It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all.” – a lot of people have probably said this, but I was listening to that Lumineers song “stubborn love” and for some reason, it resonates with Philly Sports.
We’ve felt pain, and we’ve endured that pain (Phillies don’t count since nobody watches baseball when they suck, unless you love pain and watch them every night and yell at your TV and call Hector Neris an asshole, AKA my dad).
I grew up in what I like to believe were the glory days of Philly Sports. I was like 9 years old when the Eagles went to the Super Bowl, but even then I understood the magnitude of the situation. I remember the Phillies World Series run not as a successful baseball team, but more as a crusade of men. The Sixers? I mean other than the Iverson games, the Chris Webber trade, and I guess some of the Iguodala days, there was nothing there. The Flyers have always been my team, and I still feel as if the Stanley Cup in this town will always be some myth. The Boston comeback was pants off amazing, and the cup run was memorable.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
I always felt that the time range of 2004-2010 was the best it was going to be. Success, championship success has always seemed like something hardworking Philadelphia people don’t get to have. Almost like it’s an option on our life insurance policies, and people from
Philadelphia simply aren’t given that option. We’ve still carried on with our lives, even though we knew that deep down, there was no way a championship was actually going to come here.
The World Series was just some freak occurrence, just like the housing collapse of 2008. Seriously, isn’t that ironic they happened in the same year? It took the entire U.S economy to collapse for us to win something.
Even losing in the 2009 World Series felt extremely normal. Like “ohhh yeah, this is what we are, we’re pieces of shit.” The Miracle at the Meadowlands, Halladay’s no hitters, the Flyers beating Pittsburgh in a first round series. Every one of those felt just right.
As fans, we took in those moments and made them seem bigger than they actually were, because we knew that they were the times that would make us most happy, and proud to waste countless hours of thinking, and talking about Philly sports.
Personally, I think I suffer from the losing that has gone on. You ever wonder how much better your life could have been if Donovan Mcnabb didn’t throw that INT? Or if Patrick Kane was never born? Who knows, maybe that girl you had a crush on would have asked you out, instead of you doing nothing like a dope. I probably would still be at church every Sunday if Jeff Garcia won us a Super Bowl. Shit, I’d maybe even consider priesthood.
But it’s 2017 now baby.
We have truly evolved as fans. We like draft picks, developing those draft picks, and putting conditions on those draft picks. We don’t just want to hurt you, but we want to save money in the meantime and hurt you REALLY bad in a couple years.
Before I make Microsoft word love to Sam Hinkie, let me just say this. I kind of hate how nerdy, and analytical our fan base has gotten, but if that’s what it takes to win, sign me up.
I hope Sam Hinkies wife loves him unconditionally forever, because he deserves it. It’s almost like the entire city of Philadelphia went through rehab for Hinkies tenure. We were drunk to believe players like Iggy, Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young were franchise cornerstones to build around.
Sam Hinkie was our AA leader, and helped us sober up to the reality: You NEED Superstar(s) to win an NBA championship. Did it take us a little longer to sober up than we hoped? Yeah it did, but we did it right, and we didn’t take any shortcuts.
THE TIME IS NOW
I used to always say to people “I wish I could go back to like 2004 man.” Seriously, you guys remember how awesome those NFC championship games were?
You had that go to group that was invited over. Everyone’s got their $50 NFL Equipment jersey (at least one person has a David Akers jersey and it’s awesome), chips in bowls, pigs in a blanket, and high fives all around.
Staying up late to watch the NLCS. Cole Hamels wheelin and dealin, and Matt Stairs with his own little Roy Hobbs moment. Then ultimately, pulling the all nighter of my life after Brad Lidge went 48/48 in save opportunities.
The Flyers, and I guess the Sixers were a given to make the playoffs. You could always count on them to give some life in April and May.
Philadelphia sports gives us a reason to get out of bed in the morning. We have our own separate problems that go on in our lives, but everyone has shared that pain and suffering of losing. We can relate a lot of good times in our lives directly to the successes of our franchises.
Although we only came away with one championship from that 2004-2010 era, we at least felt like we were always in the fight. We had every reason to call over the buddies and get the chips in the bowls.
But recently, we haven’t had that. We’ve been poodles going against pitbulls. Phillies, and the late season Eagle games turned into a cheap night out to save some money. The only talk in this town was draft talk. Who to draft, who this guy could end up like, yada yada. That time is about to end.
I think we’re starting to find out that we’re not only going to be in the fight, but expected to win the fight. It’s about to get really fun in this town, but also very serious. From the Utleys and Howard’s being shed, all the way up to the birth of promise with just about every team, it’s time to win. We have just as much young promising athletes in this town than we have had disappointments.
That 2004-2010 train we were riding on? That train has broken down. That train is finished. We have let go from that train completely. A new train is gaining steam, and it’s time to hop on. The time is coming where we complain about ticket prices. We complain about spending $100 to watch the Sixers play Lebron, but in the end it’s worth every dollar. Trade deadlines will soon be about who’s coming, and not who’s leaving. Part of thriving as a Philadelphia sports fan is having irrational hope, and that’s as back as ever.
And finally, I will be able to update this:
I love you Philadelphia Sports! Please come back to me.
Photos courtesy of Philadelphia magazine, nydailynews.com, kumarfam.com, Rob Perez, Brian Bahr