Philadelphia: A City Obsessed
Well, it's been quite some time since I've written here. After much distress and disappointment yet again at the end of this season, not to mention the Phillies' irritating, yet deserved, success this postseason, I needed some time to collect my thoughts.
I have a lot of things floating through my head, and I guess the first place to start is to address the World Champion Phillies situation.
Yes, the Phillies outplayed the Mets—once again—down the stretch. They came through when it mattered and they clearly, without a doubt, were the best team in the postseason this year (although, I thought the Cubs would have given them a run, but we all know that's another story for another nation of fans).
Recently, there has been a great animosity and increased hatred here in the city of "brotherly" love. I have felt great frustration and anger from watching the Phillies do what I hoped the Mets would have accomplished. Also, the incessant screaming and celebration in the streets of West Philadelphia right outside my apartment window became quite annoying.
But one thing has struck me to an even greater extent. The extreme hatred of the Mets and their fans has grown exponentially, and it has gotten to the point where this city, and its affiliates, have lost all their class.
I couldn't put my finger on why this hatred has grown so much. If the celebration rituals of one player on the Mets is the cause of this, then this city needs to re-look its priorities. But recently, Matt Cerrone of Metsblog.com described my question perfectly. "Why is this city so desperate for New York's approval?"
Let us take a quick walk down memory lane. Five years ago, as a freshman here at Drexel University, I remember going to Phillies-Mets games at brand new Citien's Bank Park. It might as well have been Shea stadium, because the "Lets go Mets" chants so prevalently filled the park.
In those days, there were no "diehard" Phillies fans, barking at us Mets fans as we paraded through their territory as if it were our own. Nor did we bark at them. There was no animosity (although, at the time, being a Giants fans here was a different story). Jose Reyes was never booed, nor did anyone make any comments about his celebrations.
Now, all of a sudden, newly appointed "diehards" are crawling out of the woodwork. It's amazing how many people simply become fans overnight when their team starts winning. Since then, the fans have made it their life goal to stick it to the Mets and their fans.
The funny thing is, despite our disappointing year, we never had a problem with the Phillies nor their fans. And now, the fans must "prove" their team is better in every possible way, including off the field. In this time of celebration, fans are more concerned with zinging the Mets fans and destroying their own city in crazed mobs. Yes, fires, overturned cars, and completely collapsed bus shelters were commonplace last week.
I guess what I'm saying is that I don't understand the infatuation this city has with New York. If the fans think Mets fans are completely heartbroken by the Phillies championship, think again.
Growing up 18 years in New York, where everyone I knew was a Yankees fan, set the bar for me. Mets fans have battled the Yankees for the back page since our inception in 1962. And, apparently, we'll always be considered the "other" baseball team in NYC. So, honestly, Philadelphia, this is nothing new. It's a shame that no one here has ever heard of the old saying, "METS = My Entire Team Sucks." I've heard them all, so quit while you're ahead.
In conclusion, Mets fans are upset they did not perform. And yes, I am upset the Phillies won the series, but honestly, they deserved it. I'm not going to ramble on with ridiculous excuses and claims about how the Mets are better, because this year they weren't.
I just don't understand why this city must insist on gaining New York and Mets fans' "approval." Your team won the World Series. You should be celebrating. An obsession with the Mets at this point is just embarrassing. Especially to a Mets fan.
Therefore, I suggest for everyone to cool their jets. I've heard comments from everyone regarding the Mets, including players, fans, and announcers. It's becoming annoying, to the point where people are beginning to hate the Phillies. Being that the players and their affiliates are so opinionated, I would love to know how they feel about other teams in the MLB. They are making more enemies than friends, maybe that's why the ratings on this year's series were record low.
Anyway, I hereby give my congratulations to the Phillies. You completely deserved it. Now, in the words of every Phillies fan here, I say quit the trash talk and just play. It goes both ways, because while hand gesturing and celebrations may be disrespectful to you, your words that come back are of equal weight, even when they come from Hall of Fame announcers. Yes I'm talking to you Harry Kalas. New York will be "seein' you" real soon.
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