11.01.2008

EVERYBODY LOVES A WINNER

In this morning's Inquirer, Chris Satullo ("A Civics Lesson from the Phils") wonders if "Maybe the Fightin's can teach us all how to expect, recognize, and cheer success as ardently as we have feared and booed defeat." There is something to be said about Jimmy Rollins' steady diet of optimism: the recognition that there is more to sports than the on-field athletic part, that winning isn't just for the players but for the fans, and that even if a city doesn't believe yet a team can still will itself to a different legacy than its past versions.

The battle for Philadelphia's future will be as fierce as anything the Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, and Flyers have to face night in and night out. Why, on the very same page as Satullo's column were two other stories - one good ("Another World Championship in Phila. Sudoku 2010") and one bad ("Transit Overflows with Parade-Goers"). Of course, the bad news made the masthead - how original to bash on SEPTA. And the good news was on the bottom of the page - because, you know, even though it's not every day a major cultural phenomenon decides to have its biggest gathering in our town, bashing on SEPTA and running a photo of people waiting is more what we're used to.

I was once flipping through a corporate relocation magazine and I noticed that one of San Antonio's selling points was the many championships the Spurs had won. Look at any major college brochure, and if they have good sports, you'll know it right away. Look, I get that everybody loves a winner. The Phils have proven that a team rolling at the right time can lift the spirits of an entire city - and generate lots of merchandising. No knock on sports, which is just as much a part of any city as any other part, but let's hope we can build off the success of the Phillies and learn to celebrate other successes that don't involve athletic conquest but that do involve building businesses and celebrating culture and saving schools. Now that's a winning streak I'd like to be part of.
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