By Contributing Papa Rick
I know our economy’s in full-on meltdown mode. And believe me, I know we’re days away from electing a new president (perhaps you’ve been reading my wife’s blog). And then there’s the matter of finding a suitable school for our 4 year-old to go to next year. And our almost two year old must be in dire need of something besides a new pajama shirt because the one she’s been wearing for all of four minutes is a teensy bit wet on the left sleeve.
But com’on, people. My Philadelphia Phillies have just won the World Series and I’m going to just sit back, bask in that, and ignore all the rest of this stuff for a little while, OK?
Being a big sports fan can sometimes feel so juvenile. So nerve-wracking. And so hopeless, especially if you’re a Philadelphia sports fan. Perhaps you’ve read that Philly hadn’t had a championship team to call its own since 1983. That’s right.
While every other big time pro sports town has gotten to enjoy being called #1 over and over (and I don’t want any sob stories from those Cubs fans in Chicago who had something like a gazillion NBA crowns while Michael Jordan was playing), Philly has had to sit on the side lines and watch. And wait. And wonder if it would ever come to us again.
The last time there was a parade down Broad Street, I was in 8th grade. The last and only other time in history the Phillies won it all, I was 11. I’m damn near 40! Could that be right? Um, apparently yes. I just checked my driver’s license.
So, I know it’s silly. I know it’s just sports. I know there’s a ton of stuff I should be focusing my energies on. I just can’t. All I can think about are all those years spent going to Phillies games with my dad and mom, brother and sister. My grandmother, Sylvia, even took me to a game back in 1984 one night when I couldn’t convince anyone else to drive me.
We scalped two tickets out in front of the old Veteran’s Stadium from a kid who didn’t look to be too much older than I was at the time. “They’re on the third base line right behind Mike Schmidt,” he promised us, as my grandmother looked at him skeptically and began to reach into her pocketbook.
“Does your mother know you’re out here?” my grandmother asked him, before she’d hand him any cash.
“Com’on, Mom Mom, the game’s about to start!” I said, a little scared. And very excited.
And wouldn’t you know it, if Sylvia and I didn’t sit right on the third base line, a few rows behind my hero, Michael Jack Schmidt. I don’t remember if they won that one (probably not) but I’ll never forget the pre-game transaction.
My grandmother called me to congratulate me on the Phillies’ victory. She said she’d been getting updates on the score during her nightly card game in Delray Beach, Florida. This win’s for you too, Mom Mom!
And to all of you: You may not be a Phillies fan, or a baseball fan, or even a sports fan period. But this win’s for you as well. Because this win symbolizes a lot more than just one team’s success. This year, this very important year, the Philadelphia Phillies’ triumph symbolizes what’s possible for all of us. Anything. Everything. No matter how unlikely. No matter how improbable. It can happen. It has for one baseball team and its long suffering fans, who today get themselves a parade. And it will for everyone. Soon.