11.30.2006

A Parade During Her Childhood

Although my sports allegiances remain firmly with the teams of my youth, particularly the A's and Raiders, I have taken to rooting for Philly pro teams as well.  Some is out of wanting to fit in - this is definitely a football city, so we'll be raising our kids as Eagles fans lest they get beat up.  Some is out of getting caught up on the bandwagon - who can forget the Sixers' magical run in 2000-2001 or the Eagles' equally magic run in 2004-2005?  And, quite frankly, some is out of wanting the city to get the psychological and financial boost that comes when its teams win. 

But I think the biggest reason to root, root, root for the home team is to be able to take my daughter to a championship parade on South Broad Street.  The city hasn't had one since 1983, when the Sixers won it all.  Who knew at the time that there would be a 20+ year drought, given that the Phillies and Flyers had recently won it all, and the Eagles had just made their first trip to the Super Bowl. 

And yet it is now 23 years and counting.  And the short-term prospects don't look good.  The Flyers I don't follow, but it's hard to live in Philly and not know that they're stinking up the joint this year.  The Sixers and Eagles have hung their hats largely on Allen Iverson and Donovan McNabb, respectively, and it looks like both are on the descent, good enough to command star money and bring out the fans but not good enough to bring home the prize.  And let's not get started on the Phils. 

Jada likely leaves the nest in 2023.  By then, will I have had the chance to take her to South Broad for a confettied, streamered parade?  That will have been 40 years since 1983 and 17 years from now.  With four pro teams, what are the chances that Philly will go oh-fer that entire time period?  Nevertheless, like a true Philly sports fan, I ain't holdin' my breath.  After all, just in the last five years, we've experienced "close but no cigar" runs by the Sixers, Flyers, and Eagles - not to mention St. Joe's, Villanova, Smarty Jones, and Barbaro.  On the other hand, like a true Philly sports fan, I also say, "All that means we're due."  For the sake of my daughter, let's hope so. 
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