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The Love/Hate Relationship in Philly

10/11/2011

I have honestly never heard as much negativity about home town sports teams as I have heard around Philly in the last few days. It has been from people, radio stations, and television networks and its contagious. Maybe it is because I’m from Baltimore where we have a baseball team that hasn’t even made the play offs since 1997 and havent won a world series since 1983.

Every year we have hope that the O’s are going to finally have a winning season but every year we get let down, but I dont think anyone hates the O’s right now like Philadelphia hates the Phillies.

The Phillies were expected to do well and they did do well. They have had a over 50% win/loss ratio since 2003. Orioles on the other hand not so much. There is supposed to be a love for you team that is more than just skin deep. I have been in Philadelphia for the riots in years past after wins (and losses) in the World Series. I guess thats what you get when you almost have as many ‘fair weather fans’ as the New York Yankees. That being said, I guess the real true fans are the ones that stay fans even when their team has not has a winning record since 1997.

Now we have to inevitably go to the self proclaimed “Dream Team” of football, the Philadelphia Eagles. I did not grow up with a football team to cheer on. The Baltimore Colts left Baltimore in 1983 and I was born 5 years later. My father grew up just outside of Baltimore and tells me stories of the Baltimore Colts and how much Baltimore loved then, and how much the hated them for leaving. In 1996 Baltimore finally got another team from Cleveland. The Cleveland Browns became the Baltimore Ravens. Now I was still young, but I could remember the excitement that hit the city when we finally had a football team again. In the 14 years that we have had a team, 8 of them have been winning seasons. Baltimore loves their teams even when we know we are going to have a bad season. They love their team even when they loose to the Steelers in the playoffs 3 times.

When we look at the 1 and 4 Eagles though and the fans that say they love them. I have never heard more hate from this city for a team before since I have been living here for 5 years now (except for maybe the Cowboys). This City has lost confidence in their team and their coach. Yes there were some stupid plays and mistakes last week, but hope is not lost. I am still hoping for a Eagles vs. Ravens superbowl every year. Great players stay in a city because that city loves them. They leave when they feel they are not welcome anymore. Philadelphia is very close to the tipping point where they might start to loose their good players who really have no tie to Philly in the first place. Players like Mike Vic that really had no where else to go, but once that contract is up, might have opportunities other places. There are players like DeSean Jackson that have only played for the Eagles that may start to feel a tie to the team, but they need a fan base that wants them to be there.

I guess the moral of the story is to love your team regardless. Celebrate with them during their wins and grieve with them during their losses, but never loose hope.

I know sports commentary is not what I am know for nor is it what I want to be know for. I just had to share what was on my mind. I love Baltimore and I love Philadelphia.

I enjoy seeing Philly teams win, as long as its not against Baltimore teams, but I enjoy seeing the passion that Philly has for its teams more. Dont loose that passion off of a 1 and 4 start.

Ravens won the superbowl after loosing 3 in a row 😉

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