Phillie Nation: No Vacancy

Bob RarigContributor IOctober 30, 2008

The Phillies won the world series last night.

No thanks to the national media. 

The Tampa Bay bias emanating from the announcer's booth throughout all 5 games was so powerful it seemed like Buck and McCarver were trying to invent a new type of alternative energy.  It was like a prefect storm: two blowhards feeding off of each other to the point that televisions all across Philadelphia were about to be shattered into little pieces (by their owners).

What saved those innocent TVs?  Two Things.

1) The Phillies were winning.

2) The mute button

I understand that a lot of people were rooting for the Rays because of the Cinderella story looking for the Disney ending; everyone likes rooting for a Cinderella team (myself included).  My problem is the national media gave neutral fans hardly any choice. 

The irony is that in a desperate attempt to get neutral fans interested in the series they talked about Tampa as the 'worst to first' Cinderella team... and then made them the favorite to win the series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (There aren't enough exclamation points to emphasize this, which is why I went with the bold-italic-underline-trifecta of emphasis.)

The last time I checked 'Cinderella' was a synonym for 'underdog' in the magical world of sports. 

If there are any sports producers out there reading this right now then please write the following sentence one hundred times in cursive writing and attach it to the letter you should be writing your boss, begging him to keep your job: I, (your name), will never ever ever ever again favor a team in any major sporting event in which I'm trying to market it as an underdog phenomenon.

So why this huge error by what is usually one of the most opportunistic entities on the planet?  Simple.

They hate Philadelphia that much. 

Let me give you my favorite example.

We live in a world where you can turn on sportscenter and hear a stat like (and I'm paraphrasing) "this victory marks the first time since 1917 that a team won a game 6 in the NLCS having picked their noses more than 4 times in every inning under a full moon."

And yet, while the broadcasters went on and on about the worst-to-first Cinderella Rays, while never neglecting to show the Phillies-defeating Joe Carter Walk off from the 1993 series, they completely failed to point out an unbelievably obvious connection between the '93 Phils and this Rays team that they were fawning over:

The '93 Phillies were a worst-to-first Cinderella story before Joe Carter Ripped their hearts out.

Why did thy not point this out?  It would have been perfect.  Can't you hear it coming out of Joe Buck's mouth: "Can the Rays do to the 2008 Phillies what the 1993 Phillies couldn't do to the Blue Jays?"  They could have played the Carter Walk-off before every commercial break!  Why didn't they take advantage?

Because they forgot about the Philly Cinderellas.  Because they hate Philadelphia.

And its ok, because Philadelphia hates them right back; its a vicious cycle of hate that will continue unless this championship is just the first of many soon to come for the greatest sports city in America.

And I think it very well could be.  The Phillies have a nucleus to win at least another championship in the coming years, especially now that the monkey is off their back.  And who knows?  Maybe they've opened the door for the Eagles, Flyers, or sixers to break through soon too.

This brings me to the reason I'm writing this article; to give the world a fair warning:  Philly doesn't need or want your love or approval.  We just won a World Series title with 48 states rooting against us (Victorino got us Hawaii).  We'll do it again just to spite you. 

And we'll do it without becoming the one thing we hate more than the media: "Red Sox Nation." 

Phillie Nation is closed. 

If you didn't root for the Phillies before this world series (not the championship, before they even made it to the series) then we don't have any space for you.  The only people who get in are the people who move to or are born in Philly and embrace the brotherhood that is Philadelphia sports.  If you marry a Philly fan we'll probably let you in but there will be paper work involved, including a trivia quiz. 

The rest of you can piss off.