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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Redefining nothing to do with music

I'm from Philadelphia. I'm 32-years old. The last time a team (in one of the four major sports) from Philadelphia won a championship I was 7.

I don't really remember it. I remember some moments from that team, but I don't really remember the moment when the buzzer went off right after Maurice Cheeks dunked the ball to seal the Sixers sweep of the Lakers.

What I do remember are the losses that have come since...

1983 - Phillies lose the World Series 4-1 to Baltimore. Game 5 ends as I'm in the back of the family station wagon driving past (now-defunct) Manoa Lanes.
1987 - I was in bed listening to the game on the radio as the Flyers lost game 7 to Edmonton.
1993 - I was in my friend Pete's basement by myself (Pete had left for college and I was babysitting his little brother) when Mitch Williams gave up the Joe Carter homer.
1997 - I lived at 58 Woodland and watched the Flyers get swept by that team from Detroit by myself in the comfort of Ken's living room chair. I woke up the day after game 3 still in that chair surrounded by the remains from a Bud Light 12-pack. After the sweep was done, I wore all black (in mourning) for the next 3 days.
2001- In Chicago I watched the 76ers lose 4-1 to the Lakers. This wasn't actually that disappointing because it was not unexpected.
2005 - Super Bowl XXXIX. It was my freaking birthday (ok fine, 2 days after) and both my sisters came to town to visit and watch the game and STILL, that wasn't enough to prevent another crushing Philadelphia loss.

For the purpose of brevity I'm skipping 1988-90 & 2001-2003 (Eagles), 1995, 96, 2000, or 2004 (Flyers), 2005-2007 (Phillies) or 1984, 85 (Sixers)... all teams that had the talent to get there, but didn't even reach the finals of their respective sports.

This has nothing to do with the music. So why write it? It has something to do with me, and at the heart of it, that is what this whole project is about... the music taking me back to where I was "then."

All those lines of lamentation above? They're about where I was then. Each of every one of those disappointments stayed with me... and that's what makes where I am now all the more special.

Tonight, at long last, Philadelphia (still my home town even if I'm not there anymore) has a championship team again. 25 years have passed since the Sixers win. 100 seasons since the last time Philadelphia was the champion. And now, October 29th, 2008, the Phillies have won the World Series and finally (Phinally!) I know and can appreciate the feeling of victory.

If sports aren't your thing, I understand why this might not mean anything to you. But sports are my thing... have been as long as I can remember. So tonight, to finally win... was fantastic.

It got a little dusty here. I didn't weap (even though I half expected to) but there were some happy tears. It was a great feeling. GREAT! To be on the winning end after so long... felt like it meant something. So tonight, I'd like to thank all those teams who didn't quite make it, for making me appreciate this all the more. Thanks to The Wife for sticking with me through all the post-loss grumpiness and to my sister for being here to watch the game with me (the Alicia curse is over!) I'd also like to thank all the folks who reached out to send a congrats my way. I think everyone who did understands what joy and relief this night was for me.

I knew how big a moment it was when I got my very first post-game call. It was Kristin, my high school girlfriend. (We're still friends now, so this wasn't total out of the bluesville) The fact that she was on the phone 3 minutes after the game was over to share the cheers with me reminded me of how long it had been since this particular team (the 1993 Phils (we were still dating in 1993!)) had last had a chance. No matter how long it is, the people you share(d) the moments with will always be there with you. So I share this little moment with all of you.

We did it!

2008 Philadelphia Phillies - World Series Champions!!!!

5 comments:

Mike said...

Manoa Lanes is defunct?


Oh, and WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Man, that was great. Even if the final win was a 3 inning postponed game.

Colleen said...

it is ... there's a true value hardware store instead. I won't shop there in protest. ... it's been like a decade, though, at least.

and yay for winning the world series and all the awesome that comes with it!!

Sara said...

Did you hear about Palins botched celebration of the Philly win in Pittsburgh? I mean, a lot of people are really pumped about this World Series but most of them probably do not live in Pitt.

Alicia said...

Hooray for the end to the non existent me curses!!! I'm glad this one is over :) I also am very proud that I got to watch this game with you since you are the one that teaches me all my sports knowledge that lets me impress (and usually know more than) all the people I know!
GO PHILLIES!!!!

matt said...

Mike - Yes, as Colleen confirms, the site of my first ever 200-game as well as all my bowling trophy collection is now a hardware store. And woo indeed, I'm hoping to double up the woo for the election tonight.

Colleen - Congrats on your personal World Series related victory. Another cousin wedding/drunken DiMarco family gathering to come!

Sara - I did not see that but I'm not at all surprised. I'm also not surprised that she confessed her love of Philadelphia even after Flyers' fans booed her when she dropped the puck opening night.

Alicia - I'm still not convinced the curse was non-existent, but I'm sure happy it's over.