The Philadelphia Phillies are the 2008 World Champions
MLB

Phantastic!

10/29/08 in MLB   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

I'm not really sure I can put this into words the way my head sees it.  No matter what I type or what I tell my co-workers tomorrow, it will never do justice to the feelings that are in my heart.

The Philadelphia Phillies are the champions of the world.  Wow.  Just, wow.

Let me start by saying that one my earliest memories of sports and the impact they have on people comes from October 21, 1980.  Yes, that was the last time the Phillies won the World Series.  Being six at the time, I wasn't allowed to stay up late.  It was before I was able to negotiate a television in my room or a radio next to my bed.  But I knew.  I knew the very moment that Tug McGraw made that final out.  How did I know?  I heard my parents downstairs.  I heard the people in my neighborhood out on the streets shouting and celebrating.  I can only imagine what the scene would have been had we not been 20 minutes south of the city in Claymont, Delaware.  I remember how nice it was to be around people, how the championship was something that everyone had in common. 

I also remember going to my first Phillies game two years later.  I remember the heartbreak of losing to the Orioles in 1983, even though the Orioles were one of my favorite teams.  It didn't matter - they weren't my favorite team and it hurt.  I was nine years old.  Little did I know that this was only the start of the pain.

I remember the lean years between 1983 and 1993.  I remember Von Hayes. (ugh!)  Heck, I remember Charlie Hayes - before he became a winner.  I remember Shane Rawley and Bruce Ruffin.  I remember Don Carmen and Mickey Morandini.  I remember all of those players, because that's what good fans do.  They remember and they cheer regardless.

I remember being in college in South Carolina and rooting for the Phillies 640 miles away from home while they competed in the 1993 World Series.  Yes, I absolutely remember Joe Carter meeting up with Mitch Williams.  Like most of you reading this, I'll never forget that moment (and the misery that followed). (I hope that this 2008 team will finally let people forget and forgive Mitch Williams.)  I remember how much fun that team was and I appreciated the run they gave the fans and the city.

So I think I've paid my dues as a Phillies fan.  And I know I'm not alone, there are millions of us out there.  Millions of people who showed up to watch a team that had little chance to win.  Millions of people who bought ugly maroon hats.  Millions of people who refused to accept that this Phillies thing wouldn't work out.  They deserve this championship.  WE deserve this championship.

Now I don't think Philly fans are any better than another group of fans.  I don't think there's some entitlement in being a Philadelphia fan - obviously history has shown that not to be true.  But it's different being a Phillies fan.  It's different being a fan of any Philadelphia team.  I know that to be true and I'm sure many of you out there know it to be true also.

From the "almost did it" to the "never gonna happen", it's been tough rooting for Philly teams, especially the Phillies.  Jayson Stark summed it up pretty well on ESPN.com today.  We're used to being so close we can taste it only to find out that the cheesesteak we're about to sink our teeth into was a plastic show piece. 

It's also different being a Philly fan becaues of the crap we have to put up with from every other fan base in America.  Unlike the Yankees, who have to constantly fend off allegations of arrogance, we have to fend off other accusations.  I can't defend all of the fans, but most of us have common sense and decency.  You combine constantly having to defend yourself because of the knuckleheads with the (semi) constant losing, and it begins to wear you down.  So, yeah, it's definitely different being a Phillies fan.

That leads me to the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies.  I'm so happy for those players.  They play hard, the way any fans would want their team to play.  They just look like they're having fun and that makes it fun to follow and support them.  But the thing that I admire and like most about this team, is that they haven't forgotten about the fans.  Sure they deserve all the credit for this championship.  But everyone one of them who talked to the press tonight seemed to take time to mention the fans.  Seeing as how many of us have supported this team longer than most of the players (sans Jamie Moyer) have been alive, it was nice to be included.

Thank you, Phillies.  Thanks for giving Harry Kalas one more championship to remember.  Thanks for returning some pride to a ciity that deserves some success.  Thanks for validating the past 28 seasons.  And thanks for giving me dreams of a repeat!  Hey, a guy can dream can't he?  Tonight I'm feeling like anything is possible.  Thank you, Phillies.  We're Phinally Phirst!
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

10/31/08   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

Pat wrote:
Congrats, Ryan. Sorry I didn't get a chance to say it sooner, but I was 37,000 feet in the air at the time. Enjoy this.

Thanks!  I've been trying to enjoy every minute of it.  I sure do wish I was on Broad Street today!!

10/30/08   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Congrats, Ryan. Sorry I didn't get a chance to say it sooner, but I was 37,000 feet in the air at the time. Enjoy this.

10/30/08   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Even though I'm a fan of the team on the other side of PA, it's great to see a team from this state finish it off in baseball for the first time in almost 30 years.  I hope one day I get to see the Pirates win the WS, it's the only pro championship I haven't seen yet for Pittsburgh.  Hopefully they'll turn it around before I die.  I think now the other side of PA knows what Phillies fans have dealt with for so many years, I know I can understand after tieing the 16-year losing streak.  Congrats to the Phillies, it's about time someone in PA won another title in baseball!  As a Pirates fan, the only memories I have of the playoffs are 3 consecutive losses in the NLCS, including '91 and '92 when they blew it against Atlanta.  I still hate Jose Lind who was so drugged up at the time he couldn't field a routine ground ball in 1992.  I'm glad to see the Keystone State win again, and I'm hoping the success will travel across PA before I'm in a nursing home.

10/30/08   |   jrbucfan   |   5 respect

Congrat's Phillies. You earned it! I would really have loved to see the Ray's win the World Series but They (the Ray's) just weren't the better team. I look forward to next season (which is rare for a Ray's fan to say)

10/30/08   |   Batman9   |   6 respect

I was lying on my couch last night when the last out was made and when the strikeout was made, I got up and pumped my fist and a few mins later, my daughter calls me and ask if I'm happy. The last time they won, like PhilsPhan213, I was doing my thing for God and Country in Basic Training so I missed that one as well but I am so happy that I am able to see this one and yes, 2008 PHILLIES WORLD CHAMPIONS is sweet!!!!!

10/30/08   |   TheRealScore

(Edited by TheRealScore)

My memory was the year before. It was October 17, 1979 and my grandmother's birthday. It was the night the Pittsburgh Pirates completed their 3 games to 1 deficit comeback to beat the Orioles. I was 10. Now that I live in the middle of Cubs and Cardinals country, it will mean all that much more if the Pirates win a World Series again.

So Ryan, I understand your joy. Enjoy it as long as you can!!!

10/30/08   |   PhilsPhan213

Oh, happy day! I was afraid when I woke up this morning that it would all turn out to be a dream.

Great write up Ryan. I was doing my bit for God and Country in '80. Stationed in California and calling my Pops every half inning to talk about the previous at bats. It's sweet to be home for the celebration this time. I just hope I don't have to wait until I'm 76 years old for the next one!

2008 PHILLIES WORLD CHAMPIONS! Kinda rolls off the tongue nicely, doesn't it?

10/30/08   |   snbslugger

Congrats, Philly.  Maybe your sports fans won't be a bunch of whiners for a while.

10/30/08   |   lozone9

There is nothing better than a long time dedicated fan getting to watch his/her team win the Championship!  Ryan, your article was great and from the heart. It is stories like yours that inspire all sports fans because no matter how bad things are with our teams (Yes, I know, I'm a Raider fan), a TRUE FAN will continue to buy the shirts and hats, scream at the TVs, and show their pride to all, because when you do win that Championship, The feeling is indescribable.
Congrats to all Phillies Phans!

10/30/08   |   Toejam   |   22 respect

(Edited by Toejam)

congrats and enjoy the moment, one of these years us Seattle fans will know  the joy........

sorry for the double post......

10/30/08   |   Toejam   |   22 respect

(Edited by Toejam)

congrats and enjoy the moment....one of these years us Seattle fans will know the joy......

10/30/08   |   kantwistaye   |   4214 respect

Congrats Ryan, as well as all of the other Philly fans.  The Phillies, especially Cole Hamels, were exciting to watch in the playoffs.

10/30/08   |   kteacher   |   34390 respect

100%InjuryRate wrote:
I think you should hope to be alive.

/I'm a Giants fan, trust me, i know

I'm still trying to be optimistic.

10/30/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

kteacher wrote:
Geez---I am hoping I will still be able to get up the steps of Staples by the time the Kings win it all.

I think you should hope to be alive.

/I'm a Giants fan, trust me, i know

10/29/08   |   kteacher   |   34390 respect

Ryan wrote:
Yep, I know I've gotta enjoy it now.  Here's hoping I'm not 62 the next time they decide to win!!

Geez---I am hoping I will still be able to get up the steps of Staples by the time the Kings win it all.

10/29/08   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

kteacher wrote:
Nice write up Ryan! Congrats again! I think I can speak for all of us who have rooted for teams with nothing to show for it and say-------------"Enjoy it!"

Yep, I know I've gotta enjoy it now.  Here's hoping I'm not 62 the next time they decide to win!!

10/29/08   |   kteacher   |   34390 respect

Nice write up Ryan! Congrats again! I think I can speak for all of us who have rooted for teams with nothing to show for it and say-------------"Enjoy it!"