©03 The Media Desk
The Desk is NOT a Philadelphia ANYTHING fan professional Sports-wise. Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, or the cotton-pickin' Eagles. Not to mention the Kixx (Major Indoor Soccer League), Wings (National Lacrosse League), Charge (Women's United Soccer Association), Phantoms (American Hockey League), Liberty Belles (Independent Women's Football League) and if they manage to get a WNBA team, the Desk won't be a fan of theirs either.
It isn't the teams or the personnel on the teams, well, maybe in a few cases, it is the City Itself that the Desk despises.
And yes the Desk gave it a chance, several chances over a dozen years. And at every turn Philadelphia blew it.
Uncalled for parking tickets, aggressive homosexual waiters, random street crime, overpriced goods and services, lousy hotel rooms, the Mummers, and a few more that don't need mentioned here. Several are long complicated and sometimes bloody stories best suited to Brutha Deep's site if anything.
There is nothing that Philly has that Chicago doesn't. And in the Windy City the junk food is of a higher quality. When stacked up against Baltimore, Philadelphia comes up short in several categories, and its waterfront is a big one. St. Louis may be a few professional sports teams short in that category, but the fishing in its river is better, and what does Philly have to compare to the Gateway Arch? Indianapolis is the Desk's favorite big town, and one trip through Philly's nightmare airport will make you fall in love with Indy's.
As compared to New York. Well, the Desk hates the Big Apple just as much and goes further out of its way to avoid trips there. It has been there exactly ONCE, and that was enough. Change that line in the song to "Give my Regards to Broadway... I ain't going back."
There is something about big cities that simply rub the Desk the wrong way, and even those cities that it likes, Chicago, even Cincinnati, it doesn't want to live in. Or even visit all that often.
The Desk doesn't do hustle and bustle well, its idea of Rush Hour involves a three man Canadian band and a stack of CDs, (in researching this article the Desk and its Day Job Co-Worker tried to decide which RUSH album was their best, they could not decide between Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures, both were very good. See- http://www.rush.com ) and it does not appreciate people, and cities, that are all stuck on themselves about how important they are.
If you drew a small circle on your desk and then made a dot one inch from it with the circle representing the sun and the dot the Earth 'The Home of the Philadelphia Eagles' as it were, then Pluto would be three and a half Feet from the circle, and the nearest star- over four MILES away.
Some estimates make the population of Ancient Rome at around One Million. Which would make it about the size of Dallas, Texas. Larger (population only) than San Francisco, and almost twice the size of Boston. Although it is pretty much accepted that about a third of the population were slaves, Rome Herself was a World Power and the absolute authority and flagship of civilization for centuries with even her slaves having some rights and protections under the law.
Kinda makes the debate over parking rights for the new stadium seem rather insignificant don't it?
Would the Desk rather live in Philadelphia today or Rome then? Well, at least in Rome you knew the Visigoths were the bad guys, in Philly, it's hard to keep score that way.
Face it. Any city that encourages adults to dress up in feathers and strut through the middle of town has some problems. Be it Frisco or Philly.
At least San Fran has earthquakes and The Rock in the middle of its bay to keep it honest. Philly just has New Jersey across the river. And enough said of that.
Now don't get the Desk wrong, Philadelphia does have some good things going for it. And before this is over it will think of some. And True Enough, there are some good people up there. And eventually the Desk may meet some of them.
Now about the TEAMS and their TV Sportscasters and their Insufferable Love Affair and the Endless Hyping of same.
Before the NFC title game Sunday, it seemed EVERY Philadelphia TV station went into a Pregame Show Season Retrospective Football Fest from eight in the morning on. They had been yapping about how the next two games didn't need to even be played since Donovan McNabb was back and healthy. The Eagles were the natural champions of the NFL this year and you could just forward the Vince Lombardi trophy to them, they'll polish it for you.
OK, every playoff town goes through this. The Desk remembers the Superbowl Shuffle of the Bears quite well. It was rather pathetic when taken seriously and almost a bad joke when taken less so. The Desk lived through the America's Team crap spouted by Howard Cosell and re-trumpeted by all and sundry for far longer than required, or for that matter, deserved as the Cowboys sank into mediocrity.
And it happens with other sports besides football. New York gets their share of Yankees nonsense and it trickles through the sewers to the rest of the country's TV's as well. In Detroit there are some times of the year when you can't spit without hitting something that has their hockey team's logo on it. Whatever you'd call that winged wheel symbol. (Besides, if Detroit is America's Motor City, why is one of the Wings' partners Audi (of Germany) for their 'Toast of Hockeytown' event?). And, back to Philly, basketball season never seems to end due to the media's infatuation with Alan Iverson.
and so- Back to football.
It was a pleasure for the Desk to sit and watch the commentators try to wiggle out from under all the BS they had been shoveling for the last week.
They had interviewed everybody with any connection to the team no matter how obscure. Really, who CARES how the guy that picks up trash around the outside of the stadium sees the opposing team's defensive strategy?
The way the Desk analyzes football is like this... "Any Given Sunday..."
That's right. The Oliver Stone Film.
The quote has been mangled nineteen ways from Sunday but it comes down to this, and the Tampa Bay - Philadelphia NFC Championship Game proved it.
On any given Sunday, ANY team CAN beat Any Other Team.
And it happens on a surprisingly regular basis. And more often than you'd think, in Big Games. And yes. Conference Championships are Big Games. There's a word for it. It's called: an Upset.
"Can you say that with me boys and girls? Up-Set"
So it was with the National Championship of College Football as put together by the Bowl Championship Series People. Ohio State shouldn't even bother to show up according to the pundits. Miami was born to win that game. The stars and planets were in alignment, the sheep's liver had spoken, it simply Had to Be. The Desk even picked Miami to win because after going through a game by game comparison it seemed that the Hurricanes had the better team.
Just as The Eagles SHOULD have won their Big Game.
And when they scored on their first offensive play it looked like it would be a long cold day at the Vet for the Bucs.
The TV Sports Brain Trust in Philly had forgotten that Oliver Stone Film. Just as the Desk has never seen it evidently.
They didn't give Tampa a chance. And indeed it seemed they were in for an uphill fight. The Buccaneers had had trouble winning at the Vet. Their record there was abysmal. The last couple of years they had been ejected from the playoffs there by the Eagles.
The clincher would have been seeing one of the announcers at the airport in Philly, packed for a week in San Diego, getting the call to see if he can cash in his ticket because the Eagles had just had theirs canceled.
Any Given Sunday.
And now we are in for a week of Superbowl Hype.
Well at least it is only a week whereas it used to be two, for reasons still murky at best.
Who is the Desk picking in the Oakland / Tampa Bay game?
It would love to see Tampa do it for reasons of its own, but
.... Any Given Sunday
[NOTE: The Media Desk is NOT affiliated with ANYTHING in, around, by, or of, the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is not a member of the Philly Media, has not had a Press Pass for anything in the City for several years. And isn't even sure it would go to a game up there if it did because it would probably get another parking ticket and have to beat up another waiter or something. Thank you, but no thank you.
All team names and leagues are registered to their respective owners and are used without too much intent to disparage or disrespect any individual or organization of Professional Athletes.
PS The Desk really tried but it still hasn't come up with something it likes that is Exclusively Philadelphia in origin. Sorry. Thank You ]