Last night, I made the questionable decision to go the Phillies game and get my Charlie Manuel bobblehead.
Now, the decision wasn't questionable because it was a Phillies game. Of course I love going to Phillies games. But with the Sixers taking on the Magic for game 5 and my rooting interests of seeing the Rangers choke in game 7 consuming some of my thinking, I kind of wanted to just watch the Phils/Sixers/hockey games at my house. But, I decided instead to leave work early, get drunk with silver fox and Toonces before the Phils game and watch in attendance.
I'm glad I did, seeing as the Sixers were handled by the Magic 91-78 while the Fightins hit four home runs in the 7-1 win. The thing that sucks is Cole only lasted 4 and a third because he rolled his ankle on a play I thought he simply slipped on. Turns out, it was a pretty bad turn of the ankle. Just what we need.
Chad Durbin came in and did a bang-up job, and the offense did not disappoint. Chase got things going in the third with a two-run bomb, and in my inebriated state I called Pedro Feliz's home run. True story. Ask Toonces.
The game was a grand old time, as Chase hit another bomb and Raul continued to be totally awesome with a dinger of his own, not to mention Toonces deciding to knock the beer that was resting on my knee right off, thus drenching the poor kid in front of us. Then an inning later, the guy got me again, knocking another beer out of my hand. What a waste of wonderful alcohol.
I didn't really see much of the Sixers except a little of the fourth quarter, but at the end, Orlando pulled away. However, I did come across this:
Damn! Howard rocked Sammy there. Poor guy. Not only do the Sixers take it on the chin, but Sammy literally takes it on the chin. Down 3-2, I don't see the Sixers forcing a game 7. Then again, I didn't see them getting to a game 6 to be quite honest with you.
But now back to the main point: New York's penchant for choking. It's becoming a habit I'm beginning to thoroughly enjoy. After nearly a quarter-century of choke jobs and losing here in Philadelphia, I'm taking great joy in watching another city see its teams collapse before their eyes.
With last night's 2-1 loss in Washington, the Rangers blew a 3-1 series lead, making me very, very happy. (Plus, the Devils got knocked out too!) And when you think back to it, everything began to unravel with New York back in 2004. That's when the choking truly began.
In case you've forgotten, the Yankees won the first three games of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox, then proceeded to lose four straight, becoming the first team ever in the history of the universe to blow a 3-0 series lead. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series, and the Yankees haven't even come close to getting back since. And this, year, well, they're not doing so hot either.
Then, there has been the whole debacle that is the New York Knicks. I don't think you can properly say they are chokers, but more accurately, jokers. It was a choke job hiring Isaiah Thomas to run your franchise in the first place, but really, the Knicks have become a laughingstock, although they are working their way out of that.
But that doesn't mean choking has been few and far between for New York. No, not at all. Just take a look at the New York Mets. They blew September division leads the past two seasons, trying to belittle the Phillies with their words in the process, while the Phils caught fire down the stretch both years to leave the Mets in their wake.
Oh, yeah, and then the Phils went out and became World Fucking Champions.
Yeah, the choking trend did take a turn when the Giants won the Super Bowl, but fuck the Giants. How'd that whole Brett Favre thing work out for the Jets? That's what I thought.
Anyway, with the Rangers completing their collapse last night, it's become abundantly clear that New York is becoming pretty good at this choking thing. At least they're good at something.