I’m standing outside the Green Rock Tavern waiting for Limecell to bash heads in on a Saturday night and the Phillies are up 9-2 on the woefully mediocre Cardinals. As I wait for the scum to flow, a few buddies and I are peering through the sweaty bar window as Ryan Madson is one out from clinching the Phillies’ fifth consecutive National League East Division Championship. The mood is jovial and hardly tense—most who care have been through this before.
As the final pitch of the game bounces toward Utley for a bare-handed grab-and-gun to first for the third out, we all give each other high-fives and cheer and chug in celebration of another year, another flag and another chance to beat the crap out of the American League in the Fall Classic. It’s a great time for all but after about 10 minutes we go back to waiting for the band to play. Why aren’t we burning down a church or beating a random elderly person to death? Are we going soft?
This atmosphere is becoming all too familiar in Philadelphia and the question has been posed whether or not the good people of this city are becoming spoiled, complacent and mollified since the Phillies have become the Poseidon of the Major League waters. I’d like to field this one.
I’ll be honest with you, Followers, even I, an extremely fervent fan, have been almost bored with the last month of baseball. They’ve been killing teams and practically have had their post-season ticket punched since July, now you want me to care about a series against the Nationals in late September? You know the old adage “show me a hot chick and I’ll show you a dude tired of banging her,” right? That’s as accurate a metaphor as I can muster. Yes, I know that’s an incredibly entitled and trite thing to say in the face of a city that housed the losin’-est gaggle of batsmen the last century had seen. Don’t think I’m taking this success for granted, even as a 30-year-old man I’ve lived through some of the worst times the Phillies have seen.
My first game was in ’86 at 4 years old so all I’ve really had to brag about up until ’07 was a fucking National League title in 1993 that resulted in a loss to the corny Toronto Blue Jays, a team 40 fans better than the Florida Marlins. I’m just not trying to bullshit you. I love that our Phils have thoroughly crushed the dreams of many, but it’s now time to make another baby with that hot chick.
But even with that kind of confident shithead attitude, I can’t let myself get too comfortable. I know that this Phillies season has been magical, with all the godlike pitching, almost-consistent offense and an all-time low in South Philly spousal abuse, but I feel slightly ill as the post-season approaches. No, not the “ill” on those fucking corny boardwalk shirts you see every fake-fan asshole clogging Ashburn Alley wearing, I’m talking real Philadelphian sports animal nausea.
It’s not long ago that the Phils were a laughing stock of a franchise. It took them 97 years as a team to win their first championship and they were the first team to reach 10,000 losses in baseball history. Even during our recent success we’ve still had shit to hurt over. Remember the feeling you got last year as those flukey, bearded jerk-offs bulldozed through our boys to a title win? Remember the year before when the Yankees used us as cock-socks in the Series? Remember BEFORE FUCKING 2007?!
It’s shit times like those that keep the vomit just at the tip of our esophagus, that keeps Citizens Bank Park full every god damn night and keeps the Irish Yetis of Fishtown cloaked in Lee and Halladay and Howard and Rollins jerseys every day of the week. It’s the scars of past failures and depression that keep the Phillies faithful hungry for victory and not a horde of smug ballbags waiting for their lattes to arrive after Tweeting their order from the Diamond Club.
It’s crystal fucking clear that the past five years have not calcified this fan base’s boiling blood and its voracious appetite for more rings, shirts, parades, bragging rights and pride. Anyone who says differently just fears the hammer that the Phillies have ready to drop on their shitty teams head. Who are you gonna throw at them, the Brewers? Braves? Red Sox? Get the fuck outta here! There is a lot of lost time to make up for and we as fans want to see it all culminate into a legacy of brutality. We will never be satisfied, bored or dismissive, we want it all and nothing can change that about Phillies fans.
Now, the next generation of Phillies Fan is going to be a different story. Hopefully their grandparents don’t let them forget how shitty this team was for many years. If not, we’re fucked as a race and we’ll be no better or worse than the slime that breeds just 99 miles up the New Jersey turnpike.
John Sharkey III is a notorious Philadelphia Asshole. The views expressed in TBSS are his own.
Now that the turd that was the 2011 Philaldelphia Phillies season has had ample time to settle at the bottom of the outhouse, I think it’s time to give my full Sixpence None the Richer on the whole bullshit situation.
Letters to the Editor