THE TOWN FORMERLY KNOWN AS ANGRYVILLE — They handle defeat well in Chicago. After all, the Blackhawks, White Sox and especially the Cubs have taught them well. Just think how good at losing they’d be if Portland would have done the right thing and drafted Michael Jordan.
But in Chicago they don't mope, freak out, or litter the field with D-sized batteries during the action. They really don't even complain, to be perfectly frank. Actually, they're used to it.
They just go home. They leave early and fight traffic. They put the crippling defeats out of their minds by skipping work to play in the sun. They just forget about it as they frolic in those glorious public parks beneath sculptures created by Picasso and Oprah with cool drinks and lots of pretty friends.
Loss? Nah, they don't deal with it at all in Chicago. Who has the time? They actually have a beach in the city in Chicago. Life is good and they pick up the trash off the streets, too. Nice place Chicago… it helps them swallow defeat so well.
In Philadelphia we know loss all too well. It's in our DNA. It's intense... no wait, that's wrong. It's intensity.
At least it was.
Back in the old days we all woke up before the dawn just as the rage had regrouped so we could wipe the bitter-tasting bile that has encrusted the corners of our mouths with the outer black sleeve of our spittle-coated Motorhead t-shirts. Then we dragged our sorry asses off the couch where we collapsed just 45 minutes earlier and instinctively thrust a middle finger at the rest of the world.
The day had begun in Philadelphia. The fury must be unleashed. We lost again.
But there is always a fleeting moment — one that usually occurs in the time it takes to get from one knee to a standing position after unfolding oneself from the couch — when stock is taken. A moment, as fast as a flap of a hummingbird's wing, enters our twisted and angry heads:
World weary. Saddened by my years on the road. Seen a lot. Done a lot. Loss? Yeah, I know loss. I know loss with its friends sorrow, fury and death. Yes, loss and me are like this... we're partners as we walk on the dusty trail of life.
But something happened in October of 2008 when Brad Lidge threw that slider past Eric Hinske. Beneath that tiney, porcupine-like exterior, glimpses into our souls were exposed. There was warmth, fear, insecurity...
Is Bruce Springsteen still as popular as he was during the dawn of the Reagan Administration? Oh yeah, here in the dawn of the Obama Administration, an adapted Chicagoan no less, Springsteen is playing halftime at the Super Bowl.
It gets cold and windy, true, but they take that in stride, too.
Those were the places Philly fans showed up en masse to watch our teams fight for our civic pride. Back in the old, B.C. Era, they saw us coming. We stuck out with that crippled walk of defeat, clenched jaws of stress and disgust, fists balled up and middle fingers erect. When we took the exit ramp off the boulevard of broken dreams to enter these happy, little towns, the local authorities were ready. They had been tipped off ahead of time and were prepared to set up a dragnet at a moment's notice.
But those condescending attitudes and the arrogance in which those people flit through life so carefree and cheery no longer sting. We don't turn them back with our jealousy and resentment. No, instead we take the hackery in stride. The mockery and stereotypes don't hurt any longer.
It's just one of those annoying things that championship cities are used to.
Hey, who knows... maybe there is a bit of respect coming our way? Oh sure, they still trot out the golden oldies:
Boo Santa. Cheer injuries. Snowballs at the Cowboys. Batteries for J.D. Drew. Cheesesteaks. Cracked bells. Anger and passion. Rocky Balboa.
But try this out... sportswriters are afraid of Philadelphians. At least that's (kind of) the contention of one mainstreamer writing for one of those new-fangled web sites.
Really? Uh... nice! So maybe this means that now that the proverbial shoe is on the proverbial other foot, the whole hacky city rip thing is finished? Instead maybe they'll write about the actual ballclubs instead of all the clichés?
Of course not.
During the Phillies' run Charlie Manuel was often prophetic, but never more than when he said:
“Winning is hard. Nothing about winning comes easy,” the wizened sage of a baseball manager said. “... believe me, there's a price you pay for winning, too.”
That price can sometimes mean dignity, self-respect and the ability to think clearly.
We're inside the looking glass, people. The Phillies won, the Flyers need two more games...
All things considered, it ain't all that bad to be in Philadelphia. Let them say what they want because we win now. Someday we might even get used to it.
 B.C. is "Before Championship(s)"