The 'curse' of lousy players
The only thing we’ve been cursed with when it comes to our pro sports team is the curse of lousy players.
Here are the basics. Philadelphia has been engulfed in something of a drought when it comes to pro sports championships. That’s kind of like saying Katrina was a rain storm.
No Philadelphia team has won a championship since 1983, when Mo Cheeks slam-dunked to seal the deal for the Sixers as they vanquished the Los Angeles Lakers.
That was 25 years ago. That’s an even 100 seasons, with nary a championship trophy. No parades down Broad Street.
There are those who insist this quarter century of ineptitude is somehow linked to the decision that allowed buildings to be erected that would be taller than Billy Penn’s hat atop City Hall.
Willard Rouse crashed through that ceiling when he built Liberty Place. Now the Comcast looms even higher, with Billy Boy now dwarfed by the city’s burgeoning skyline.
I don’t for a second think there is anything to this so-called curse. Oh, I’ve done more than my share of cursing in the past 25 years, but it’s usually directed at the players on the field, or the coaches, or owners who have too often fielded inept squads.
Can you say Doug Pederson? Freddie Garcia? Shawn Bradlee? John Vanbiesbrouck?
The Phillies made a return trip to the World Series in 1993, only to have a stake driven through our hearts by Joe Carter. The curse then wasn’t so much that the Phils lost, but the decision by manager Jim Fregosi to go to closer Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams that set off the fans’ ire.
In 2004, the Eagles actually made it to the Promised Land, only to see it all slip away as they took their good old time in the fourth quarter while losing to New England.
Now we are once again on the brink. The Phillies open the World Series tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Brad Lidge will play key roles in the outcome of the Series.
Billy Penn will have nothing to do with it. Unless Charlie Manuel decides to use him as his designated hitter.