Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why the Phillies Rock

Heard about Phillies Phever? Your authentic Phanatic rivals intense Liverpool fans, obsessing over losing seasons, dreams, and yesterday. Can any other franchise claim such loyalty, such devotion, and such recent success as the Phightin’Phils? Don't you want to catch the Phever and become a Phanatic? If you don't understand yet why the Phillies are the team to follow and love, I hope I'll be able to convert you by the end of this potentially persuasive argument.

First, as I have talked about before, society loves the underdog. There is some aspect within our psyche that likes to see the favored party fall. Perhaps we would like to think that even the people who are the best players are capable of being reduced to our level for at least one game, month, or season. Because of this tendency, you have to love the losingest franchise in professional sports history. The Phillies remain as the only team to record 10,000 losses in franchise history. This means that the Phillies have essentially lost enough games to have over 60 completely defeated 162 game seasons. If you can't love that image of an underdog, I don't even know how we could say that Cornell was an underdog in the NCAA tournament. The Phillies have lost almost half of their games over the years spanning 1883 through 2009; you have to feel the need to cheer for them.

If you're one of those cruel fans who won't support the underdog, let me now present the opposing argument. The Phillies are one of the best franchises in Major League Baseball right now. With the addition of Roy Halladay to anchor a pitching staff that has been admittedly shaky over the past few years being paired with the run producing ability of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the Phillies have a legitimate shot to make a run at their third straight National League championship. If you can't love the Phillies because they are one of the most underachieving franchises in history, you at least need to respect them now as legitimate contenders for the World Series again. (I do realize that in New England we like to think that the Red Sox and Yankees are the only teams in existence because obviously nobody else deserves to be on that level. However, believe it or not, some Vermonters like myself do not have a particular bias towards either team.)

I hope I've convinced you to at least respect the Phillies as perhaps on the same level as the Red Sox and Yankees. I guess the only way to prove that they deserve this respect is to play hard all year and continue to prove themselves. If you still haven't figured out how this relates to April Fools' Day like I promised it would, read my first two sentences very carefully. If you figure it out, post this fact in the comments, but don't tell what it is. Everyone needs to figure it out for themselves. I'll post the answer Sunday.

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