Hey, I get it. The Rays are young. They’re hip. The ladies want to be with them and the guys want to be them. But before you jump on board the Rays’ bandwagon, consider the following reasons why you should be rooting for the Phillies in the World Series:
1. We’re a Cinderella too. The Rays went worst to first, and that was adorable. They had their first winning season in 11 years, and good for them. But it’s not like the Phillies are the National League version of the Yankees. The Phils went to the World Series in 1983 and lost to the Orioles. Between 1983-1993 they had one winning season (1986, when they finished 21.5 games out of first). In 1993, with the help of a little luck (and more than a little steroids) the Phils went to the World Series and lost in six games on a walk-off home run. After 1993, the team didn’t have a winning season for eight years and didn’t make the playoffs again for 14 years — and even when they did make the playoffs, they were swept in three games by the Rockies, who happened to be on a mission from God (and how do you compete with that?).
2. The misery factor. The people of Philadelphia have suffered much, much more than the snowbirds of Tampa. No Philly team has won a major sports championship since the 76ers in 1983. Since then, the Buccaneers have won a Super Bowl (2002) and the Lightning have won one NHL title (2003-2004). Sure, the Bucs lost 14 seasons in a row. But you know what? The Phillies hold the record (at least until the Pirates break it next season) for the most consecutive losing seasons. We’ve lost over 10,000 games. Our fans are desperate.
3. We’ve got a better mascot. This is undeniable. The Phanatic is the gold standard of sports mascots. Every mascot that has come after him has been a pale immitation (or, in the case of Raymond, a blue immitation). Booo!, Raymond. You suck.
4. We’ve got better beefcake. With apologies to Evan Longoria, who is certainly a hot commodity right now, there is only one Pat “The Bait” Burrell. His sexual exploits are legendary. His chest hair is Cosby-sweater-thick. And the ladies can’t get enough.
5. The look. We’ve got cool retro alternate uniforms and a fun ballpark. The Rays’ don’t have alternate unis at all (and their regular unis look like they were designed by committee). Plus, they play in a dome. It’s called “The Sunshine State” and they play in a dome. Lame.
6. Party! When we win the World Series, we will celebrate accordingly. Ever seen a city boo a victory parade float? You will.
7. The Wild Thing. Mitch Williams has suffered enough. Seriously, the man is our Bill Buckner. He threw one bad pitch and became the poster boy for a city’s inability to win a championship. Let’s let him off the hook. Better yet, let’s find a new poster boy. How about Jimmy Rollins, the face of Philadelphia’s new winning tradition?