Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Joanna Molloy is a See You Next Tuesday

For all kids and oldsters reading, I'll forgo any foul language coursing through my spectacular brain. BUT, jeez, have you read any NY papers recently? While ESPN and the MLB network offer actual analysis into who their employees predict as winning this mega-heated Fall Classic, the major New Amsterdam newspapers print garbage that comes off as the whimperings of a once-feared bully whose victims have grown up and outsmarted him one too many times and who can now beat him up. I know all too well what it's like dealing with people/markets who can't keep up intellectually or physically, yet continue to run their mouths. I smile, hold moral high ground, and await my impending victories. But check it.

An arbitrarily chosen Flyin' Hawaiian is photo shopped in a "newspaper" cover that simultaneously degrades him, the Phillies, and cheerleaders. What is a cheerleader? One whose spirit is indomitable, believing even when all is lost. Yeah, Shane is a cheerleader, and so am I. Gotta problem with that? I'll arabesque yer ass. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, maybe a major NY paper is just saying that women in general are frivolous and to be reckoned with.

Even worse is what's inside. With what some have said is supposed to be funny, this Joanna Molloy broad decides to deride the city of Philadelphia as a whole with the excuse being that our teams are facing each other in the world series. Read it and... laugh? Do something...

PHILADELPHIA - Mobs of screaming people followed a green, pig-nosed monster around Philadelphia yesterday - and not because it's almost Halloween.

No, the huge displays of mass hysteria - first at City Hall and then at the magnificent 30th St. train station - came from Philadelphia Phillies fans incited by the team's mascot.

Mass delusion may be a better term for the phenomenon.

Believe it or not, people down here in Silly-delphia actually think the Phillies will beat the Yankees in the World Series, which starts tomorrow.

Did they also think Sanjaya would beat Jordin Sparks? That would be "American Idol," in case you watch too much baseball and not enough Stupid TV.

Fan after Philly fan expressed feelings like Joshua Robinson, who said, outside Tony Luke's restaurant: "It's gonna be a sweep."

Student Michael Francesco, claimed: "The Yankees have never played a juggernaut like this Phillies team."

And Louie Del Brocco, clad head-to-toe in Phillies gear, said: "The Phillies are supposed to be nervous about Sabathia? The faster he throws, the farther they go. The Phillies are totally going to win the Series. How do I know? I have ESPN. I watch the games."

Or is their insanity not temporary? Are they just plain cuckoo?

What makes this city of 109 neighborhoods - with names like Germantown, Fishtown and Swamp Poodle - unafraid?

Do they have anything besides the damn cheese steaks that we don't have?

"We have four PBS channels," said Linda Forman, who was reading Stephen Colbert's book in Rittenhouse Square. "And we have hoagies. Woo-hoo!"

"We actually say 'excuse me' when we bump into each other in the street," said Robinson, a Nordstrom's manager.

"The Penn Anthropology Museum has a wall of skulls, like, 4,000 to 5,000 of them," said native Joe Kaczmarek. Hmmmm.

W.C. Fields wanted his epitaph to say: I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia. Well, maybe it's better than being dead, but I'm not sure.

They do have the Mummers Parade on New Year's - but what about the other 364 days? They have the Mario Lanza Museum. And of course, there's Independence Hall, where Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin and their compadres signed the Declaration of Independence.

But that was so 233 years ago! What has Philadelphia done for us lately? And by the way we have the Magna Carta at Fraunces Tavern now, but New York has so much going on, people don't even know it's here!

Philadelphia produced Bill Cosby, but he lives in New York.

The Philadelphia Zoo has rare white lions, but we have a snow leopard right in the Central Park Zoo, with polar bears playing with beach balls.

The Philadelphia Art Museum has Picasso's "Three Musicians" and Van Gogh's "Sunflowers," but New York has just about every other great work of art.

There do seem to be some rather nice people down here, like Harold Honickman, a big shot in the soft drink industry.

The 68-year-old multimillionaire was just strolling around Rittenhouse Square - don't execs have limos down here? - when a nosy New Yorker asked him who he liked in the World Series.

He splits his time between New York and Philadelphia, and loves both towns, he said, adding with no hint of arrogance: "We have contracts with both stadiums, so we win either way."

Now, for me this is certainly not an ideological battle between two cities. If so, I wouldn't be involved. What this Molloy fails to realize (ONE of the things she fails to realize) is that Phillies fans are comprised of folks from the tri-sate area: Philly itself and the whole eastern part of Pennsylvania, central and south Jersey, and most importantly, Delaware above the canal. So, the countless comparisons - Statue of Liberty vs. Liberty Bell (the Statue stands proudly in New Jersey), 26 subway systems vs. two (of their 26 half can't arrive on time if they come at all), a billionaire mayor vs. one who lives on a civil servants salary, pizza/bagels vs. cheese steaks (no question, gimme Pat's! Prov wit!), and most tellingly population (of the cities themselves) are completely irrelevant trash talk. New York sucks and Philadelphia sucks a little bit less. They are both trash towns and really not to be lived in unless you gotta. I love the Phillies themselves, the game of baseball, and clean hard wins. The only nerve she hit was by dissing my boy the Phanatic, the greatest mascot in all of sport. Any ill words about the Phanatic are either uninformed, ignorant, or jealousy.

But the real point is that none of that wins ballgames. If it did, the Yankees would have been in the Series more recently and possibly always, and while I enjoy considering the personality of different MLB cities based on their culture, people, and team colors, it is not those things that determine who's a better baseball team. They call that a straw man: when you have no way to argue for why your team is actually better, you build a straw man (in this case what each city possesses) and then tear that down. Point made, right? Wrong!

I have previously posted the intangibles that give our Phillies the edge, and now here is what I think is gonna happen, tangibly. Cliff Lee will continue to be the smartest pitcher in the game and baffle Yankees bats. C.C. will have trouble getting the fastball by our line up and get roughed up with some jacks, specifically to right field, specifically by Ryan Howard. Jimmy Rollins will have a career series, possibly garnering the MVP. Jeter will be good, but A-Rod will go back to choke mode and come up flat for most of the series, like most big bats do against the Phils (see regular season Albert Pujols and Manny in the NLCS). Pedro will be sublime and set the stage for Cole Hamels to have a good game when we get back to Philly (at either 2-0 or 1-1), and Burnett is a joke that we will beat up on again (again, see regular season). Brad Lidge will not blow a save. The DH rule will be in our favor with Ibanez hitting while Ben Francisco plays left, or Matt "Moonshot" Stairs will get a chance to rip some out of the little yard in the Bronx. And Mega-Clutch Chooch! One of our wins will come against Mariano Rivera, in a statement walk-off to not just beat, but actually hurt our enemies. This will be a statement Series in general, and when we get back to it next year (at least one more), our opponent will not be the Yankees. Phillies in Phive.

What those NY papers are trying to do is over value the Yankee fan while devaluing the Phillies fan. Though I love the 1980 and 1993 Phillies teams, I do not care about what they did. All I need is right now, this team, these guys, me at 29 years old. Twenty-six Yankee Championships do not matter and neither do 10,000 Phillies losses. What matters is these seven games and how much you're gonna believe in your team. It's in our hands to be the better fans, let's do it, let's believe.

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