I've noticed something lately that's been bothering me; and I'm betting it's been bothering you too. Amidst the characteristically nonsensical ramblings of an out-of-control fanbase and an even more irresponsibly deranged media presence, I've started to detect undertones of undue superiority resonating from Philadelphia. That's right, the very city that consistently redefines the depths of following organized sports has adopted a holier-than thou attitude, especially when it comes to the Mets.
This smug disposition has been swelling for a while now, originating as typical post-championship bravado but morphing into something more. It's become a full-fledged case of high and mighty and while this air of superiority is popping up left and right, it boiled over yesterday in a laughable collection of words by Bob Brookover from that shining beacon for credible, hard-hitting, upstanding sports journalism and battery throwing, the Philadelphia Inquirer.
You probably read somewhere that Brookover denounced the Mets-Phillies rivalry, stating that the 'the Phillies have had more of a rivalry with the Yankees than the Mets'. But I honestly don't care about how this guy characterizes the inter-team dynamic. In fact, I don't care in the slightest about his argument. I care more about the way he makes that argument, the fact that he makes such an unnecessary argument at all and his underlying tone when he does.
Everything about this article represents a suddenly widespread attitude of arrogance and goading over a Mets club that apparently hasn't even been in the Phillies stratosphere since this magical chemistry tour got underway in 2007, as evidenced by their commanding 28-27 record in the two clubs' last 55 meetings. Also ignore the fact that these teams have traded various verbal barbs in recent years, traded various players in recent years and numerous division crowns in said years have hinged on their September showdowns; definitely NOT the stuff rivalries are made of.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to question the run of success that the Phillies have experienced over the last few seasons nor would I fault them for rubbing it in. Hell, I'd kill for the Mets to sniff anything close and if they did I can't say I wouldn't strut. However, let's not get too big for our britches here. In fact, let's go ahead and pump the brakes on this runaway bandwagon because the last time I checked, despite the newfound success and the bulging egos, the Phillies are NOT the Yankees.
In fact the last time I checked, the Phillies are the Phillies, a franchise steeped in a history of losing so storied that not even the lowly Cubs can compete. This is a fanbase that pounds their chest as they simultaneously blow the embers of a dusty 2008 championship that totalled a whopping -- hold on, let me grab the slide rule -- two in 126 short years. This is a club that waited over 30 years before their first playoff berth and another 40+ before their next one and then another 26 before their next; needless to say they lost immediately all three times. Lest we forget, this is the only franchise that's blown past the 10,000 loss mark like it was an automated toll booth in rural Maine.
Therefore, it's one thing if Yankees fans decide to get fresh and point to the back of their '27 ringz' t-shirt but it's a completely other thing when a Phillies fan takes that same condescending tone, five minutes after the darkest damn rain clouds in baseball gave way. You'd think that nobody could forget climbing out of such a stinking mire quite so quickly but I suppose it's not breaking news that Phillies fans have a painfully short collective memory.
In a way it's almost funny to watch these 15-minutes Phillies fans preen, eschewing our lowly rivalry and trimming their uniforms in gold because the Phillies are the spitting image of new money. The Phillies suddenly walk with their noses up, waving their 300 dollar bill, acting like their blank don't blank. The Phillies live in West Egg and they blow it all on coke and turkey dogs and like every other example of fleeting success, it ends in the gutter with broken pride and a bloody nose. Enjoy your haughty perch now Philadelphia, truly savor it because one thing I know better than most is that a house built upon the sands of aging stars and backloaded contracts ain't long for this world.