That was a world-champion parade
A world-bleeping-champion parade.
“Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!”
From 20th and Market to City Hall; from City Hall to South; from South to Shunk; from Shunk to Lincoln Financial Field; from Lincoln Financial Field to Citizens Bank Park.
You guys were there. Lined up anywhere from eight to 25 Phillies fans deep. Louder than you ever were for any out, hit, touchdown, goal or dunk. Screaming, cheering, chanting for your Philadelphia Phillies. Your World Series Champions.
It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.
“Pat the Bat! Pat the Bat! Pat the Bat!”
Philly, you were awesome. You are awesome.
Millions of you lined the streets of Philadelphia (The early estimate is two million-plus. Not a chance. Had to be closer to three million—I counted). Some sober. Most not. But all there to love life…all there to embrace what a great day it is to be a Philadelphia fan.
Four miles of Philadelphians roaring their hearts out for a baseball team that wasn’t playing baseball. Four miles of Philadelphians thanking their heroes. Four miles of Philadelphians screaming for a team that changed their lives.
“MVP! MVP! MVP”
The entire thing was surreal.
It’s still surreal.
That explosion of joy was 25 years in the making, 100 seasons overdue, a release of a quarter century of pain. Not one of you missed it. Every Philadelphian showed up to bask in the championship sun. You could see, feel, and hear every one of you.
“Move that bus! Move that bus! Move that bus!”
For years now, the people of this city have been trying to explain themselves to their athletes. We’ve been trying to teach Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell and Donovan McNabb and Eric Lindros and Allen Iverson that the boos of Philadelphia come from a different place.
That the boos of Philly come from the heart. That the passion—for better or worse—is what Philadelphia fans are about.
The Philly sports fan doesn’t come to an event to watch the game. The Philly sports fan comes to an event to be a part of the game.
We feel every hit, curse every error, live and die on every pitch.
That’s who we are. That will never change.
And unfortunately for the athletes of this city, they’ve only seen the negative effect that can have on us. For 25 years they’ve only really heard the boos.
But the Phillies just learned what Philadelphia Phandom is all about. Bursting at its seams, the city of Philadelphia gushed red from 20th and Market to the stadiums. Two million-plus strong showed up to show the world what being a Philly fan can mean.
And the players were awed by it. You could see it on their faces. You could hear it in their interview answers.
Not one of them had ever seen anything like a 2008 Philadelphia Phillies parade. No one on the planet had ever seen anything like a 2008 Philadelphia Phillies parade.
And when the Phillies saw all of you out there and when they saw how much you cared—to a man they were awestruck. When they heard how badly you needed that ring and felt how appreciative you were that this team got it for you—all they wanted to do was get you another one.
Pat Burrell was in tears. Flat-out tears (I think I saw Elvis’ eyes water up too).
Cole Hamels talked about a parade, “year after year after year.”
Ryan Howard wanted to do this, “again and again and again.”
But one man summed up the feelings of this town and this team. One man put the cap on the perfect celebration for the perfect team for the perfect city. One man, uttered seven words and proclaimed this team finally got who we were as fans, finally embraced us for who we are, and finally let us in their hearts to celebrate with them.
Seven words that every giddy Philadelphian has been voicing for the past 48 hours:
“We’re World Champions…We’re World Bleeping Champions.”
Email me at email@example.com; follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/leerussakoff.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.