Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Can Both Teams Win?

I've said several times that I was glad there was going to be a Rays-Phils World Series. And while I am excited to see two fresh faces in the line up, it leaves me with a slight dilemma. Which team should I root for? My team's season is long over. So that leaves me a free agent of sorts. I have no plans on being loyal to this team after the season, but it's more fun to watch sports when you're cheering on a team. My sister and I used to watch Monday Night Football together, each pick a random team, and then cheer as hard as we could against each other. In competition, you have to pick a side. Here are the arguments.

Rays Pros: They're a miracle team. They went from last place to World Series in one season. This brings hope to all those other fans of terrible teams. The Rays are also a group of young athletes playing for way below the league average salary. I think the average Ray makes $414,000 a year. It seems like a lot of money to me, but in baseball thats petty cash. Also, this scrappy team bonded together and even got their manager to get a Rayhawk. Add to that, they kept the Yankees out of the playoffs and Boston out of the World Series. Also, I just think the American League is inherently better, mostly because its the league that the Orioles play in. Yes, I'm a homer. Oh yeah, I also love the way this team celebrates. They want to mark every minor milestone with a party. And that's a mentality I can get behind.

Rays Cons: They play in the same division as the Orioles. I wouldn't exactly call them division rivals because until this year, they were mostly just competing for the last spot in the division. But still, I shouldn't like them because of the whole same division thing. Supposedly, they also have no fans. I don't know how true this is, they do have terrible attendance, but they were terrible until this year. And most of the people in Tampa Bay are over 80, so it's hard for them to stay up for a 7:30 start time. The thing that really bothers me most is that Dickie V is their biggest fan. I had a hard time cheering for US Mens Basketball because Coach K was their coach. Well, that and I don't like pro basketball in any form. My hatred of Duke runs really deep. And while Dickie V is not nearly as bad as Coach K, he is probably the biggest Duke fan ever. On the other hand, Dickie V does talk up the ACC as much as possible, which I do appreciate since it's the best conference in College Basketball. Regardless, Dickie V still annoys me.

Phillies Pros: The Phillies haven't been to a World Series in 15 years, they haven't won in even longer and well the city is starved for a championship. Philadelphia has all 4 major sports and has gone 25 years without a championship in any of them. That's just sad. It makes you kind of want to cheer for them. Also, Phillies fans seem to be slightly optimistic this year, and less mean. Less booing, more cheering, more happiness. It's weird to see the city like this. Last year when the Phils made the playoffs, people were excited but then the Phils got swept by the Rockies in the first round and people seemed resolved to their fate. Really, the biggest thing Philly has going for it is that this is where I live. I get to celebrate with this city if they win. And this city knows how to party.

Phillies Cons: Philadelphia sports are heart breakers. They lose, they choke, and they crash and burn. They have a history of not being able to close. The Rays have no playoff history, except the one they are writing now. And that so far has been a winning one. Philadelphia sports are cursed by William Penn. It's hard to get behind a team that seems so likely to fail. Also while Phillies fans this year haven't been that bad, Philadelphia sports fans in general are among the worst. And it's hard to want the people who boo Santa to actually get a championship. Plus, I like to think he National League is inferior and if they lose the World Series again, I can believe that for another year.

Well, in the end I'll be happy for either team. But after living in Philly for a little over two years the Phillies have started to grow on me, kind of like a cancer. And I as much as I like the upstart Rays, I get to party in Philly if the Phils win. So, I guess, GO PHILLIES!