Thursday, October 30, 2008
As I start to write this, it is 8:31 a.m., Thursday October 30, 2008, and for the first time in my life, I woke up and a team from Philadelphia was the champs. More specifically, the Philadelphia Phillies are the World Series Champions! Say that out loud and try not to smile. You can't.
I'm supposed to be at work right now. I have pretty much no more days left to take off, but fuck it, I'm taking off today and tomorrow. There are always other jobs out there. Right now, the Phillies are more important than anything else that is going on in anyone's life. Plus, the celebration I had last night/this morning renders me useless at work anyway.
I watched the game with just three other people: Adam EatShit, uncle jellyfish and our boy Alan, here at my house. And last night, the Phillies showed just how hungry they were to give us all something to celebrate. They played the way they have all year, only they didn't. A leadoff double by Geoff Jenkins--his first hit of the World Series--followed by a bunt to move him over by Jimmy Rollins followed by a popup that was just a little too far for anyone to reach, and the Phillies had a lead via small ball.
After the Rays tied it up with a home run by Rocco Baldelli, no problem. A leadoff double by Pat Burrell--his first hit of the World Series--followed by Shaner moving pinch runner Eric Bruntlett to third with a grounder to the right side, followed by a laser base hit up the middle for Pete Happy, the most underappreciated player in this entire run. Small ball again. Back in the lead. For good.
J.C. was phenomenal. And Lidge was, well, perfect. When he got Eric Hinske on strikes, the four of us leapt up and formed a 4-man hug. I sat in disbelief, walked out to Girard and saw the fireworks, literally. Mayhem was upon us. I returned inside to find Adam EatShit crying, and I, too, shed a tear. Finally, it was our turn. THE PHILLIES ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!
We embarked on a journey, champagne and beer in tow, as we hopped on the el, where a rabid Phillies fan, an older woman, was going insane. Another die-hard jumped on board, screaming, "25 YEARS! 25 YEARS!" As he passed, doling out high 5s, I corrected him: "You mean 0 YEARS!!!!!" A glorious roar ensued. We road to City Hall and joined in the celebration. The streets were flooded. People were drinking on the sidewalks, in the streets, and no one could stop it. For once, the city of Philadelphia truly was the happiest place on earth.
There were literally 70 people piled on top of a firetruck. Lampposts and street lights were littered with fans mounting them. And the four of us embarked on a quest. We hiked from City Hall to the Art Museum, ran the steps, honored the Rocky statue and soaked it all in. This was why I stuck with these teams so many years. My 24 years of heartache, of pain, of disappointment vanished. All was right with the world. This was for Johnny Marz, Vuk, Whitey. This was for Pat. And Jimmy. And all the rest. This was for Charlie. Boy, was this ever for Charlie. But more importantly, more incredibly, this was for us. For me and you. Finally, we were not let down. Finally, we are CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!
After hugging strangers at the Art Museum, we walked back toward the fracas at City Hall. Then we walked all the way to South Street. All the way to 3rd. And we finally settled in at O'Neals. We met up with friends, drank the sweet night away, and then walked some more. All the way to Columbus, to the Hyatt, until finally we were picked up by my roommate and his girlfriend. Two of us, myself included, piled in the trunk. I have never been so comfortable in my life.
And as I should be at work, I don't care. This means too much. So much, in fact, that as I talked with my dad last night, at the foot of the Art Museum, he had something incredible to say. You see, early in the morning yesterday, my father called me at work to inform me his aunt, my great aunt, had passed away. She was great woman. It was sad news to say the least. Later in the day, he called to let me know the funeral would be Friday, at 8:30 or 9 in the morning. And last night, when I called him, he said, "I have something I need to tell you. Go to the parade Friday. You don't have to go the funeral. Go to the parade." And as I feel like I may be doing a disservice to my fallen aunt, I think he may be right. She would want us to celebrate. So R.I.P. Aunt Marion. I'm going to honor you the best way I know how. With that, I told my dad I love him. Because for the past 24 years, we've been suffering this together. And my only regret from last night is that I was not able to be with my father to enjoy it.
There is nothing, I mean nothing, that can compare to this. The Phillies are World Champions! WORLD MOTHERFUCKING CHAMPS!!!! I still can't believe it.
Please, enjoy the sights and sounds, courtesy of The Fightins and The700Level.
This is for Philadelphia from meech.one on Vimeo
I don't even know what to do with myself. So I ramble. Can you blame me?
LET'S GO PHILS!!!!!!!!!