My StoryApril 21, 2010
My life as a sports fan began in 1985 with the Phillies. Growing up in West Chester, PA, I had gone to a couple of Phillies games with my father, but I was too young to truly understand or appreciate what was happening.
By 1985 I had started to play Little League and had gained a fondness for the sport of baseball. When I went to a Sunday afternoon Phillies game that spring, I was hooked, and my life as a Philadelphia sports fan had begun. From that point on, every baseball season would feature several trips to Veterans Stadium to watch the hometown team.
Sadly, I picked the wrong time to become a Philadelphia sports fan. The glory days of Philadelphia sports that stretched from 1975 to 1983 were over, and we had just entered a period that would see the city go without a title until 2008.
But back in 1985, I didn’t know any better. The Phillies might not have been contenders, but they had Mike Schmidt, and he was one of the best players in baseball, so how bad could they be?
For awhile, the Phillies were the only team I followed. But slowly, I began an appreciation for football as well. It was around 1989 or 1990 when I began to follow the Eagles closely. It was an exciting time for the team as they were led by outspoken coach Buddy Ryan and star quarterback Randall Cunningham.
My “Big Three” of sports fandom was completed in 1991 when I started following Temple University basketball. Why Temple? Mostly because every year at day camp, we had “College Day” where the campers were divided into teams, and each team was given a different local college as a name. Every year I was on the Temple team, so I decided that they would be my favorite college team. I’ve heard dumber reasons for liking a team.
Along the way, I would also start following the 76ers and Flyers, although they were always lesser passions for me behind the big three. While I’d watch their games and hope they won, I rarely lived and died with the results like I sometimes would with the Big Three.
In the fall of 1996, I packed up my stuff and headed to Washington DC where I would be attending the George Washington University. I was now living in enemy territory, and it was an adjustment for me to not follow the local teams. I would no longer get to watch the Phillies every night. Instead of taking it for granted that the Eagles game would be on local TV each week, I’d often have to head to a sports bar to watch them.
In a different era, I might have slowly switched over my allegiance. Even the most dedicated fan would have trouble following a team if he couldn’t watch them. But fortunately, when I went to college the internet became a part of my everyday life. Thanks to the internet, I was able to stay connected to my teams in a way I could have never managed before. Now, I could read the Philly newspapers for game coverage on my computer. I could watch highlights on various websites. I could discuss the teams on message boards. It was easier than ever to be a fan of a non-local team.
Once my college years were over, I stayed in the DC area and now live in suburban Maryland. After 14 years in the area, I’ve gotten to know the local teams fairly well. Much like Philadelphia a few years ago, Washington is in the midst of a long dry spell since their last championship. Many of today’s college students weren’t even alive the last time a Washington team won a title. (Redskins in 1992 Super Bowl) Because of this, I’ve softened to the local sports fans a bit. I once considered them enemies since the Philly and DC teams are usually rivals. Now, I look at them with a sense of sympathetic sadness. It sucks to never see your team win it all. Trust me, I know.
Now that you know my story, here’s what to expect. I’ll offer analysis on any sports subject that strikes my fancy. It might be about a Philly team, it might be about a DC team. It might be about sports in general. Whatever the subject, I hope you find it interesting.