Meet Phil from Mt. Airy, the rare enlightened sports-radio caller.
"A championship parade down Broad Street would be better," deadpans Phil.
WIP's Macnow agrees.
"The fans of this town really need to get laid, and I mean that in the sports sense," Macnow says. "Collectively, we need to get laid."
Unfortunately, nobody in Philadelphia--including Gargano--expects to be getting laid, metaphorically speaking, anytime soon.
"The Eagles lost against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the last game at the Vet where they were a favorite and should've gone to the Super Bowl," he says. "That was it. That was the chance."
Martorano feels especially bad for younger fans.
"There's a difference between having your balls broken and your heart broken," he says.
He says fans like Phil, who've witnessed championships, fall into the latter category since they know their teams actually can win it all.
"But if you've never seen a championship, you tend to think the teams are breaking your balls," Martorano continues. "Like they're doing this on purpose. You talk to a 24-year-old guy, tell him, 'Keep hope alive,' he thinks it's bullshit."
Phil agrees. "Who's gonna end the drought? What team is right there? None of them."
The real bummer, Phil continues, is that the city's missing out on a terrific party, one that millions are jonesing for.
Macnow, who believes sports owners have an obligation to try to give their fans reasons to celebrate, feels certain the bash Phil longs for will eventually happen.
When that happens is another question.
"It's going to be like someone took a magnum of champagne and for 25 years put it on one of those machines they have in hardware stores that stir the paint cans, and then uncorked it," Macnow says.
Phil says you can just kill him afterward.
Frank Rubino last wrote about a break in the Strawberry Mansion murder case of a young Army vet. Comments on this story can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil isn't the only serial WIP caller. He's part of what Martorano dubs "the regulars," a cadre of callers with handles like "Chuck from Lansdowne," "Mitchie Tools," "Sly from West Philly," "Mike the Weasel" and "Cowboy Dave."
These are all callers with lives that allegedly extend beyond their radios and phones. Take Mitchell Cohen, aka "Mitchie Tools"--47, married with kids, and the proprietor of a hardware store at Fifth and Passyunk. Like Phil, he usually calls Gargano and Martorano. But unlike Phil, he doesn't care about sports all that much.
"I'm not on top of the stats and everything," he says. "Actually, I like it when they talk about other stuff."
PW's Fall Guide 2014
PW's 2014 College Issue
PW's Music Issue 2014