As the World Series Approaches...

I am constantly reminded what it means to be a Philadelphia fan. We have such a horrible reputation in the world of sports. I fully admit that even classifying myself as a fan is dubious at best. I watched exactly two Phils games this season. TWO. But I'm proud as hell of my boys being in the World Series. If we are going on number of games watched and possibly number of players names known, than I am a Boston Redsox fan. I wanted very badly to see a Sox v. Phils world series but, alas, I must settle for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Who would I have supported if it was a Sox v. Philly World Series? A tough decision I had not yet made and now, through the process of elimination, don't have to!

Now, I am throwing my hopes and dreams that the Phils will rise like a Phoenix out of the ashes of a city that knows nothing but loss. A city where let-down is what feeds us, disappointment nurtures us and drives us forward. A city of sports fans that Buzz Bissinger defines succinctly, "Because disappointment has become our badge of honor. It is our temptress, our goddess, our Aphrodite, and we have grown to embrace and love her." More from Bissinger's NY Times article after the jump.

"As for us Philadelphia fans, yes, we are in the perpetual fall and winter and spring and summer of our discontent, a Shakespearean sports tragedy if there ever was one. Just listen to my son Gerry, as passionate fan of Philly sports as you will find and yet, after nearly 25 years on the planet, without the joy of a world championship victory. He talks about cautious optimism when it comes to rooting, but what it really sounds like is creeping pessimism: "You can never get too excited because it seems like it always ends badly."

It is something serious. It is something sad. Contrary to the tired rap Philadelphia sports fans get as being seriously deranged maniacs, the vast majority of them are smart and discerning. They do have an inviolate demand of players that they go at after it hard, which fewer and fewer do, which is why their frequent booing is utterly appropriate. When it comes to knowledge, they make New York fans look like one big, collective Borat. Mets fans have cross-eyed looks of imminent criminality; Yankee fans are the most arrogant in the solar system; Giant fans are backstabbers; Jets fans are, well, Jets fans; and anybody who cares about the Knicks and Rangers needs immediate intervention.

But Philadelphians are admittedly bipolar, love and hate and hate and love. We are confused. We are tired. We do hold grudges, which is why not only do we boo the outfielder J. D. Drew whenever he comes to town (for his refusal to sign with the Phillies after he was drafted) but even boo Stephen Drew, the shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks, on the totally reasonable grounds that he is J. D.'s brother and therefore a natural part of the conspiracy against us.

O.K., we can be tough, and it is true that there was a makeshift court and jail in the old Vet when the Eagles played, since fans in the upper-level cheap seats sometimes did get a little overzealous. And sometimes we're not so nice to opposing players' wives. And you wear a visiting team's uniform shirt at your own risk. And when an opponent gets hurt, we may feel a little schadenfreude here and there. And if I go any further, I myself will hate Philadelphia fans. "

~Full Article here: Where Loosing is Everything