The drought in Philly


Despite that I spent almost 15 years in New York City, despite that I've now lived in Los Angeles for nearly two years, despite that I spent four years in New England, my sports allegiances are still with the city where I was born, Philadelphia.

Even if you're not a sports fan, you've probably heard stories about Boston or Chicago's droughts. And perhaps, if you're a trivia nut, you know it's been 24 years since Philadelphia has won any type of professional sports title. (No city with teams in the four major leagues "“ NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA "“ has ever seen such a drought.)

But did you know the Philadelphia Phillies (that's a baseball team if you've been living in a cave "˜til now) are closing in on their 10,000th loss?! Okay, true, they've also been around for 125 years, a lot longer than any NFL, NHL, or NBA team and longer than almost all MLB teams, but 14 losses from today will usher in a nice, big round number that might not be matched for decades to come.
It's hard to be proud of such an achievement, yet my head does not hang in shame for them. Instead, I guess I feel fortunate that I was one of the 60,000+ fans who saw them win their one and only World Series title way back in 1980, 3 years before the 76ers won the NBA crown that started the drought.

Recently someone told me the drought was brought on by a curse because the city erected a building in the 80s taller than William Penn, who stands atop City Hall. (For centuries there was a law prohibiting the city from doing as much.) I don't really buy into such hooey. It's just a dry spell, and sooner or later the Eagles, Sixers, Flyers or maybe even Phillies will bring home another championship. In the meantime, I'll salute the Phillies' 10,000th loss, which will probably come sometime in July. Because it's not whether you win 9,999 games or lose 10,000, it's still all about how you play the game.