Oh…It Was Opening Day?
Alyssa and I would be married 15 days later. But this night, we huddled around a TV in Pittsburgh because our beloved baseball team was in Game 5 of the NLDS. We watched as two pitchers dueled and, ultimately, the Phillies came up short. What I didn’t realize was that this would be it. This would be the last time I would watch this team play a playoff game. As I watched Ryan Howard stumble down the first base line and made some snide comment about how it was a perfect metaphor for the ending of the season, I was watching the end of an era. This excellent Phillies team that had won in 2008 would ride off (more like slowly fall apart) into the sunset with only one championship. They were the Braves…but with less division titles.
And here we are…6 years later. The Phillies opened their season yesterday with a win over the Reds, even though they tried hard to do otherwise. I will follow this season but it just isn’t the same. Those teams were special and I really thought it might last…maybe not as WS contenders but, you know, relevant. I now feel like I didnt enjoy it the way I should have. I took it for granted. The games were cant miss events…and there were 162 of them. On pay day, my wife and I would drop $100 and go down to the park and have a great time. Citizens Bank Park was the place to be. That year in Pittsburgh (we moved there), we went to PNC Park and enjoyed outnumbering the home fans as the sea of red pinstripes descended. Some of my favorite sports memories center around those Phillies teams
That’s what makes the current state of affairs so despressing. There are Phillies tickets on Groupon…..Groupon! We didn’t go from Phillies fun to current Pirates fun. We went from Phillies fun to “selling tickets on Groupon.” I know there are 10,000 reasons for this, but it feels necessary to pay my tribute to the Phillies that were.