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The Philadelphia Phillies embody the True Spirit of Red October

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A few months ago, I was out somewhere and one of my more outspoken leftist anti-WTO activist friends started screaming about how sports served nothing more to distract us from the “real” issues that affect our world.

Not wanting an argument, and being someone who spends a large chunk of his income on all things related to baseball, I bit my tongue. But it did get me to think about sports, politics and the world at large.

During the past few years, America has essentially become divided into two camps; Blue State liberals and Red State conservatives, with those with divergent views in the vast minority. For years, the loud leftist voices decried George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for every single action, with some even wanting them tried for war crimes. And currently, many of those on the right are screaming mad about Obama’s attempts to make America the next socialist republic.

And while I do mostly agree with the latter (ha!), I’m at the point where I don’t care anymore. That’s not to say that I don’t care about the issues that shape the globe. It’s more that I don’t care about other people’s opinions, and I don’t expect them to care about mine, either. All this does is serve to divide people into media-driven labels.

And this is why I love sports and, in particular, the Phillies. Last October, most of the us were certainly a bit tense in the weeks leading up to the election. And I was definitely in a distinct minority of Philadelphians in my choice of voting for the McCain/Palin ticket. I, against my will, attended an election comedy show held at Johnny Brenda’s, Philly’s bar of choice for cool kids who like Animal Collective and other bands that you haven’t heard. At this show, I was outed by the MCs (two good friends of mine) as a “likely McCain voter” and they asked me to come on stage. As I did, I was booed, heckled and had items thrown at me. It went way over the line of acceptable public behavior, all because I have different political views than people who like wearing skinny jeans.

While this was obviously hypocritical of those who preach tolerance, I’m not dumb; I’d bet my dollar’s worth that something similar happened somewhere in Deep Red territory to someone who also had a contrarian viewpoint.

But this is why the Phillies’ Red October was so important to me. For a few weeks, all of your (and my) stupid political opinions were put aside for a common purpose: To drunkenly walk up Broad Street and tip over some (probably uninsured) cars

So, I’m more or less in political shutdown mode for the time being. My world will go on whether or not our government (foolishly) passes the health care bill or (terrifyingly) issues a second stimulus package. However, a little part of me is going to die if, somehow, the Phils don’t win the World Series.