Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Almost Time

Since I began my job in January, I've made a habit of going on a mile and a half to two mile run almost every day after work down Delaware Avenue. In case you're ever in the area, I'm the short, out-of-shape one who looks like he's struggling to take another step. Keep an eye out.

Well today, during that run, which I just finished about 25 minutes ago, I almost threw up. Not because I was tired. Not because I was sick. Not because I ate something that wasn't sitting right. No, I almost puked, couldn't breathe, because I can feel it.

For just the third time in my life, I woke up with a Philadelphia team having a chance to win a championship on that day. The first was on May 31, 1987, when the Flyers took on the mighty Edmonton Oilers in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Sadly, the Flyers lost 3-1, but I was only 3 years old at the time. Needless to say, I remember none of that team, season or game.

The only other chance happened just a few short years ago. On February 6, 2005, at 20 years old, the Eagles had their chance to take down the Patriots. They did not. As a junior at Penn State, I drove back to Bucks County to watch the Super Bowl with my father, the only person I could stand to watch the game with. But as always, the Eagles let me down.

Tonight, for just the third time in my 24-plus years on earth, Philadelphia can end the day as champions. The game is resting on the 24-year-old left arm of Cole Hamels and the men who line up behind him. While my roommates have descended upon South Philadelphia, friends from Bucks County traveled to South Street and everyone has been trying to convince me to tag along. But I sit here alone, in Fishtown, ready to watch the game. I cannot be around others during the game. I just don't function well that way. In big games, playoff games, I become the most anti-social sports fan alive. Other people bother me with stupid, inane comments. I get annoyed at the slightest bit of stupidity, grow furious with people chatting about topics that have nothing to do with the game. Unless I am there, I want no part of anyone. Tonight, with the chance of a lifetime worth of misery to melt away, I go it alone. And trust me, it is for everyone's benefit. But if Cole can do what he's done all postseason long, I will be sprinting down Girard, hanging a left on Broad and running until I cannot run any more.

The best omen of the night happened mere minutes ago. As I sat down on my couch, there he was, the patron saint himself, Doug Glanville, chatting it up on FOX. Doug is in the house he built, rooting on the Phillies. He once played mentor to Jimmy Rollins and said he feels like a part of the Phillies legacy. And he is. His presence can only mean good things, much like Jim Thome's did last night.

Please. Let this be the night. I'm not sure how much more I can take.


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