A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, July 13, 2007

Loser’s Banquet

Line up the bottles of champagne, uncork them all, let them sit for a few days until all the bubbles fizz away, and the drink is left flat. Fry up some cheesesteaks and put them aside until they’re cold and stale. Then take a rack of soft pretzels and allow them to harden overnight. Now we have all the elements needed for a loser’s banquet.

The occasion for this banquet is the 10,000th loss by the Philadelphia Phillies in franchise history. This milestone is a first for any professional sports team anywhere in the world. Their next loss will ring up the magic 10,000 for the team. This could be the day that no one has been waiting for over 130 years.

Imagine, no other team can claim this honor. Sure, fans of the Chicago Cubs can moan and groan about no World Series championship, but even they haven’t lost this many games. Many Phillies fans may despair after today’s loss and wallow in their misery with which they are all too familiar. This misery has been ongoing for years, no, decades after decades of bad ball playing.

As a lifelong Phillies fan, I can take some comfort. Yes, I do see a silver lining in reaching the 10,000-loss mark. No, I am not smoking any controlled substance, but I am prepared to see this event through the biggest pair of rose-colored glasses that mankind has ever produced. I’m going to put such a spin on this that it will make Karl Rove envious.

I acknowledge that the Phillies have lost a lot of games in their history, but they’ve always won many games during that period. They are still doing better than other teams in the area. For example, there are the Phillies’ uptown rivals, the Philadelphia Athletics. I know for a fact that the Philadelphia Athletics have not won a game in over 53 years. Hell, they don’t even have a stadium anymore; a church stands on that site now. Yet we are not celebrating their won/loss record. Granted – as many of you will doubtless point out – the Philadelphia Athletics have not played in Philadelphia since they moved to Kansas City in 1954. Still, this is my blog, and I will spin this anyway I can.

Okay, the Phillies continually disappoint their fans year after year, decade after decade, century after century, but it’s not the end of the world. Phillies fans return year after year, eternally hopeful that the new season would be the season their beloved team will become champions. Today’s loss will be historical. It should be acknowledged, but not necessarily celebrated. This should be a starting point, not to praise failure, but to renew our faith in the Phillies.

I realize that this is a little like the Cheney administration (ooops, I mean the Bush administration) acknowledging that many Iraqis have died since we invaded their country. However, they would point out that there are still many more live Iraqis than dead Iraqis today. Now, that is a superior spinning of the facts.

Yes, we may despair that our beloved Phillies will hit this dubious milestone, but we must always keep in mind that no matter what, we are still alive at the end of the day. Our hearts are still beating and we will survive this disappointment and come back tomorrow, ready to face new challenges. So what if Ryan Howard doesn’t get a home run in every game. So what if Pat Burrell may get a hit one inning, then drop an easy fly out in left field in the next inning. So what if the bullpen sucks one day, and the next day...suck even worse.

Many people will see this as crazy, but I insist that this renewal will be indicative of the true spirit of what it means to be a Philadelphian. Native Philadelphians are often beaten down by jokes and disrespect, but always willing to jump back up and fight on. This loss should not necessarily be the landmark of despair that many of us will make it out to be. Instead, we should look at it as just another small bump on that twisting, winding road to the sweet destination of success.

In the meantime, I’m thirsty. Somebody pass the flat champagne to me.


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