Last year, the season ended tragically, but I found solace in my brief tenure as a Phillies fan.
This year, I'm taking it to a new level.
The Phillies helped me through a difficult recovery period in 2008; that world-shattering shock that followed Game Seven of the ALCS left me grieving, but the Philadelphia Phillies took this scarred and bitter fan and gave her a new reason to cheer. For that I owe them thanks.
For that, I wished them well all this season too, and when my beloved Sox were knocked out of the playoffs even faster this time around via three quick kicks to the head, I once again looked to Pennsylvania to get me through the remains of October.
I was rooting for them anyway.
But now? Now it's personal.
The Phillies are our last, best hope for a reprieve from Yankee gloating.
Mind you, I fully expect New Yorkers to carry on gloating anyway, regardless of who takes the rings. I fully expect to both loathe and love the sound of it: loathe it, because they really did take the AL title this time, and love it because any obnoxious gloating wafting over from the Big Apple area will give me one more merry reason to loathe them more.
But a World Series title?
When those same obnoxious fans start shouting about 26 World Series wins every chance they get, the pleasantest of all comebacks has been, "Right. And how many would that be from this millennium?"
Dear Philadelphia, don't let them take that comfort from us! BE that first team of the decade to take the title back-to-back years. You may be wearing pinstripes, but they're red pinstripes.
This series, as always, I'm rooting for the red.
To quote once more a banner I saw in Bolivia: "Yankees Go Home!"