The Phillies played yesterday, not that you could tell around here.
Somehow they managed to win the National League East last month despite not winning a game after Labor Day, and then they won a short but exciting series against the Colorado Rockies in the National League Divisional Series.
It is a good thing that they beat the Rockies, as it is just inconceivable that a team whose colors are purple and black should ever win a championship in any self-respecting sport. Sorry, Baltimore Ravens fans, I know you think your team won a Super Bowl a few years back, but there it is. So there were any number of reasons to be happy about the WFCs moving on to the National League Championship Series.
That's "World uh... Champions," by the way. At the World Series victory parade last year, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley let loose with that one from the podium during his speech. His comment and the wild cheering that followed were broadcast live on all the Philadelphia TV stations, and it has become something of a nickname for the team ever since. Tastefully abbreviated, of course - the city that gave you the First Union Center knows when to abbreviate and when not to - though now the networks know to put the Phillies on tape delay so it probably doesn't matter much anyway.
They're playing the Dodgers again. They always seem to play the Dodgers in NLCS games. Well, "always" in terms of whenever they make it that far. It's a small sample size but a consistent result, so it probably is significant in some way. What way is open for discussion, but there must be one.
I had to go to Madison for training purposes yesterday. It was a pleasant meeting, with very nice food served (always important), and it let out right about the time that Game 2 of the NLCS was set to begin, way out on the Other Coast where the sun and the ocean meet at just the wrong time of the day. "Cool!" I thought. "I can listen to the game as I drive home!"
It turns out that despite having some 400 sport-radio stations in southern Wisconsin, as well as about that number of stations which purport to broadcast news and might actually do so when not broadcasting right-wing propaganda (did you know that the recession was Obama's fault but the recovery can be entirely credited to George W Bush? So said Fox News this week, I kid you not), there was not one station broadcasting the NLCS.
This is roughly the equivalent of not broadcasting the conference championship games before the Super Bowl. I understand that Wisconsin is a long way from both Philadelphia and Los Angeles, but really, folks, how hard it is to broadcast a game when there are only four teams still playing for it all?
No respect, that's what it is.
It's not like the Phillies are disrespected, really. You don't get to be WFCs and still have people disrespect you. It's just a lack of respect - a nullity, instead of an opposition.
All the sports knobs on the radio were abuzz about the Dodgers' loss in game one, for example, though you had to listen hard to figure out who they lost to. It was as if the Dodgers had gone out and just forfeit a game into the open air. You'd never know there was another team out there playing against them, and I suppose for most people listening there might as well not be one.
But some of us would appreciate a mention or two of the team we're supporting. Would be considerate, it would.
In the end it was probably good that I didn't listen, as the WFCs managed to lose the game and that would have just added to my stress levels these days. I have enough of that. But they got a split in LA, and head home for three games beginning tomorrow. Should be fun.
How do you know God is a baseball fan?
Look at the first four words of the Bible: "In the Big Inning..."