Picture Of The Day

Picture Of The Day
Flyers Stanley Cup Champions Parade From The '70s

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

5,483 Days- Revised!

This note was originally published on October 25th, on the eve of Philadelphia's first World Series game in fifteen years. Consider this post as a reminder of our sporting struggles and a rallying cry for the future. Broad Street has been filled with a parade!

5,483- The amount of days that have passed since October 21, 1993.

The Philadelphia Phillies won Game 5 of the 1993 World Series behind a five hit shutout by Curt Schilling.

It remains the last World Series game in Philadelphia...until now (more on this later).

In Game 6, the Phils carried a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning before...well, you know:

I hate this man
Shoulda, woulda, coulda

In the intervening years, Phillies fans have suffered through the fruitless 90's and some frustrating years of the new century. There was Greg Jefferies, Scott Rolen, and Bobby Abreu. Don't forget Ed Wade, Terry Francona (someone tells me that he has gone on to win two titles elsewhere), and Larry Bowa. Sure, we all had some good times watching Jim Thome, Billy Wagner, and Randy Wolf. Heck, I loved Doug Glanville, Mike Lieberthal, and Placido Polanco.

The new decade had brought hope to the franchise. A young core led by Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, and Jimmy Rollins were called upon to push the team into the playoffs and deliver a title. 2001 saw them fall short to the Atlanta Braves for the division title. There was hope again in 2003, before the Florida Marlins proved to be our Achilles Heal and beat us for the Wild Card. 2005...same story. The Houston Astros swept the Phils in early September, going on to win the Wild Card and reach the World Series.

No doubt, 2007 was a magical run. The Phillies vanquished the hated New York Mets and reached the Division Series. Yet, it was not to be...The Colorado Rockies continued the trend the Marlins and Astros had set- conquer the Phillies and you make it to the World Series.

Without dwelling on the Phillies unforgettable (thus far) 2008 campaign, this much must be said:

9,280 days- Amount, in days, that have passed since May 31, 1983...The day the Philadelphia 76ers, led by Dr. J, Mo Cheeks, Moses Malone, swept (see below) the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA title.

It stands as the last major championship in Philadelphia:

Moses Malone is escorted around Veterans Stadium, holding aloft a broom to celebrate the 76ers' sweep of the Lakers in the NBA Finals
Dr. J and Moses Malone stand atop the basketball world

For more on the infamous 25-year drought take a look at these links (if you can stomach it):

1) http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/more/05/14/philadelphia.drought/index.html
2) http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/lee_jenkins/10/23/100.lost.seasons/index.html
3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etno6GHgWhM
4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH_y_xpSYJ0&feature=related
5) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m466u66o-A&feature=related
6) http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1457550339&ref=profile#/note.php?note_id=7997806036&id=1457550339&index=11

I must tell one final story. I hope that this will be the last time I tell it...

In 1985, ground was broken on One Liberty Place, a skyscraper that would eventually top out at 945 feet. Soaring 400 feet above William Penn's hat atop City Hall, One Liberty was completed as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers for the Stanley Cup. It was the second time in three years that the teams had met in the finals, each series coming to the same sad conclusion. Yet, only four years had passed since the 76ers parade down Broad Street. Things would turn around, right?

William Penn atop City Hall

You have brought us much heartache, One Liberty Place

The long-held agreement not to build any buildings taller than City Hall had finally been broken.

The curse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Billy_Penn) had taken hold and would go on to disappoint millions of fans...

It wasn't even close in '97. The Red Wings were just dominate (not much has changed)

Pretty much sums up the 2001 NBA Finals. Hey, remember when we won Game 1? That was fun!

Ronde Barber returns a Donovan McNabb interception for a touchdown during the Eagles 27-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs in the 2002 NFC Championship game. It would be the last football game at the Vet.

How many interceptions did Panther's CB Ricky Manning have that game, like 8? One the most frustrating games in Eagles history, the Birds fell to 14-3 in the 2003 NFC Championship game.

McNabb walks from the field after Super Bowl XXXIX. So many what-if's in that game.

All of this until one fateful day in the summer of 2007...On June 18, 2007, The Comcast Center, rising only a few blocks from One Liberty Place, held its topping off ceremony. Workers raised the final steel beam to the tower's pinnacle, 975 feet in the air.

Comcast Center

975 feet...Thirty feet taller than One Liberty Place and enough to conquer the building that brought on so many dark days. Brilliantly, the iron workers had a plan to return Billy Penn to his rightful place atop the city:
A classic shot (One Liberty in the background and BELOW Penn)

Maybe I am crazy

I know that bad managing, bad timing, bad luck, and, simply, bad players have cost Philadelphia sports so dearly over the past quarter century.

But every city needs its curse and it is about time we end ours.

So with William Penn back on top, it is time to look forward to Game 3 of the 2008 World Series.

The Phillies did what they had to do in splitting the first two games in Tampa. They come back to Citizens Bank Park for the first time in over two weeks with home field advantage in hand for the remainder of the series. On the mound for the Phillies is Souderton native Jamie Moyer, who, as a high school senior, skipped school to attend the 1980 World Series parade on Broad Street. It is truly a tale made for the movies.

The atmosphere on Pattison Avenue will be nothing short of nirvana tomorrow night; the baseball world should prepare for one of the loudest games in World Series history, featuring a crowd proud of its team and dying to taste the sweetness of victory.

One game at a time...Let's do it.

I will leave you with one final picture:

Any guesses? That is South Broad Street between City Hall and the Sports Complex. Looks empty... I am thinking that it is about time we fill it with a few parade floats and about a million fans...fans who will laugh, cry, and cheer out years of disappointment. It is our time.


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