Friday, May 9, 2008

Sweaty Irishman Thoughts

Phutile to be a Philadelphia Phan?

As you all know by now, The Friendly Friends are based out of the Delaware Valley. Making most of us loyal Philadelphia Sports Fans. We each have our favorites of course. I am an Eagles/Phillies guy with a strong interest in the Flyers and a very minimal interest in the Sixers. I think it would be safe to categorize Jewbacca as a Flyers Fan First & Foremost (That was a lot of non-obscene F words), then Eagles/Phillies and maybe even less then minimal interest in the Sixers. FFMatt, I would say is an equal opportunity fan for the Flyers/Eagles with the Phillies bringing up the rear, and again…Sixers are lame. If we get into Pissah and his new favorite Boston Teams or Shamalama and his bizarre mix of Chicago and D.C. sports teams we could be here all day.
Another interesting, well-known and tragic fact is, The Friendly Friends have grown up not knowing what it feels like to win a championship. Yes, we were all alive when the Phillies won it in 80. None of us were old enough to appreciate or care at the time. The Eagles have never won a Super Bowl. The last time the Flyers won the Stanley Cup it was socially acceptable that FFMatt and I were taking baths together and Jewbacca was still cultivating his Brillo hair and eating kosher baby food while watching episodes of Captain Noah and Al Albert’s Showcase.

Anyone else ever wonder about him and Larry Ferrari?

The Sixers were actually the last Philadelphia team to win a championship in 1983 and as stated earlier…who cares. We hadn’t even hit puberty yet anyway!
That finally brings me to the point of this post. We have all been waiting 25 years, basically our entire sports conscious lives to experience a championship…and we are still waiting. The Friendly Friends lives have been filled with occasional excruciatingly close near misses in this regard, but more often than not it was another regular season, followed by quick exit from the playoffs or no playoffs at all. We have had obstacles of all kinds in each sport. Some people call it the curse of William Penn, or if you are Mike Turico, the curse of Ben Franklin.

Who knew a Quaker would be so spiteful!

Ever since Philadelphia erected buildings taller than the brim of Billy Penn’s cap on top of City Hall in 1984 this city has gone winless. Poppycock I say! I don’t believe in that rubbish. I do believe we have had some pretty bad owners, coaches and players in the past 25 years though! But I also think we have had our share of bad luck and bizarre experiences.
We have learned so many things as Philadelphia sports fans. In 1993, the Phillies, and Jewbacca’s little brother, taught us that Joe Carter was one of the best power hitters of our time.

I will get yelled at for even putting this image on here.

In 1987 the Flyers taught us that the only thing that could stop them from winning the Stanley Cup is if they had to face perhaps the greatest professional sports team ever assembled.

I smashed my potato clock I was so upset.

Thank you Edmonton Oilers including, but not limited to…Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, and Essa Tikkanen. The Flyers also taught us in 1997 that even the best team in Hockey can be swept in the Finals. In 2000 they were nice enough to teach us that a team up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals can still lose, despite getting back their best player after gaining that 3-1 lead. We also learned a lot about concussions that year. The Philadelphia Eagles taught us in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s that the only way a team that’s defense that included Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner, Eric Allen and Wes Hopkins would not win a Super Bowl is if you had a coaching staff who put as much work into offensive game plans as I put into auto repair. They also taught us in 2004 that we would win our first Super Bowl…as long as our Quarterback didn’t vomit in the huddle and as long as our Coach included a 2-minute drill in the game plan.
We have had many other bizarre occurrences that have impeded our road to a championship in our lifetime. Horrible Aprils for the Phillies, an alien like Fog rolling in at Soldiers Field in Chicago,

This was like Scooby Doo fog.

and perhaps most of all, and the inspiration for this entry…injuries. I know players don’t use them as excuses (much) and I try not to as well, but I am getting fed up. Anyone in Philly not familiar with Torn rotator cuffs, Tommy John surgeries, Lisfranc injuries, sports hernias, concussions (Lindros), concussions (Primeau), concussions (Gagne)…and now…Blood Clot? A friggin blood clot? What? I am driving home from my last final of the semester last night…thinking about the upcoming summer, and also thinking about the excitement brewing in town. Our Flyers have made a remarkable run in the playoffs and are 4 wins away from another appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals! It has been unexpected, and that may be why it is all that more enjoyable. All that stands in our way is a hated Pittsburgh Penguin team loaded with fast young talent with names like Crosby, Hossa and Malkin. Not to worry though…the Flyers secret weapon…the man who has managed to keep in check the likes of Ovechkin and Koivu will be up to the task. Kimmo Timonen, the best Flyers defensemen in years and an All-Star has had as much to do with our success in the playoffs as anyone except maybe Martin Biron. He will make the difference! The only we can’t win this series is if he come down with some strange injury…like a blood clot!

Is this the new "water on the knee"?

The series starts tonight, without Timonen. I will root hard and I still think they have a chance, but once again The Friendly Friends have to get out their Medical Dictionaries and learn the name that may be given for the 26th year without a championship. Blood Clot. The official new mascot of Philadelphia…Buddy the Blood Clot.

My only weakness is Hemophilia

1 comment:

Shamalama said...

You couldn't have a post about blood clots without bringing up my crippling disorder could you? Captain Hemo away!