August 07, 2002


GO AWAY, HEARTBREAKER: In Philadelphia over the weekend, I did what I usually do when in a strange city- listened to lots of sports-talk radio, in this case on Philly's WIP. And while I left a day too early to hear reaction to the bizarre trade of Dikembe Mutombo for Todd MacCullouch and Keith Van Horn (again, isn't it a collective-bargaining violation for an NBA team to acquire two white players in one trade?), I did catch an interesting segment in which callers were invited to share their most painful moments as Philly sports fans. The Philly fans, as they told stories of Joe Carter and Eric Lindros and Iverson's arrest and 20 years of Phillies disapointments, sounded (if such a thing is possible) like an even more bitter version of Boston fans, as though Philly somehow had the market cornered on sports-related victimhood.
All I could think listening was, what's so special about Philly? Is there any city in North America with any kind of sports tradition that hasn't had its share of devastating defeats? Granted, New York's had it a bit better than everyone else historically and Boston's had it a bit worse, but of all the other four-sport towns (Philly, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, LA, San Francisco, DC/Baltimore, Miami, Phoenix, and of course Minnesota), it pretty much all evens out in the end- every one of those cities has both won at least one championship and had at least one heartbreaking loss or painfully bad season in recent years. So remember- next time your team falls just short of the championship, it's not because God is frowning upon your city- it's just your turn.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 7, 2002 02:23 AM
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