Meet Phil from Mt. Airy, the rare enlightened sports-radio caller.
Photographs by Michael Persico
It's an overcast Tuesday, and Phil from Mt. Airy is sounding off on WIP for the second time in as many days.
That's a lot of airtime--too much, actually--even for a caller this entertaining. But given recent events, a frustrated Eagles fan needs somewhere to vent, doesn't he?
It hasn't even been 48 hours since former New York whipping boy Eli Manning led the Giants to a historic Super Bowl upset over previously undefeated New England.
Having commiserated a dozen hours earlier with WIP nighttime host Glen Macnow over Manning's zero-to-hero transformation, Phil throws a loaded question to midday guys Anthony Gargano and Steve Martorano.
"Let me ask you guys this," he says in a voice at once streetwise and sophisticated: "Do the Eagles have a wide receiver who could've made the play Plaxico Burress [who caught Manning's game-winning pass] made?"
Pretty banal stuff from a dude who's called to talk about the raw athleticism Eagles linebacker Chris Gocong displays on films of his college games at Cal-Poly and about the downward trajectory of Phillies farmhand Joe Savery's curveball.
Phil from Mt. Airy is no WIP Joe from Mayfair type. But today he sounds like one, and that's fired up Martorano's sadistic side.
"Do [the Eagles] have a quarterback who gets that ball there?" the talk jock fires back.
Martorano's not finished: "I said this yesterday, Phil, and it's worth repeating: In the big game, against the same team, their quarterback grew up and yours threw up."
Phil can do without being reminded of the Eagles' inglorious 2005 Super Bowl performance when Donovan McNabb allegedly barfed instead of marshaling a dramatic come-from-behind victory.
Phil was at the Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., that day, suffering through the defeat in person. Philadelphia sports fans always suffer. It's a hometown universal Phil knows better than most.
You could ask him.