John Fox is a classy guy. His team wins the World Series and all he does is wear a Phillies jersey to work and go about his business. If the Reds won the championship and I lived in Philly, I'd be getting in everyone's face and yelling "Whoot! Whoot! Whoot!"
The Phillies became the National League favorites as soon as the Cubs lost two games to the Dodgers. And each game that Tampa Bay won on the American League side made the Phils' elusive second championship seem closer. But that doesn't necessarily make a fan of the losingest sports franchise in American sports history feel at ease. Facing a weaker team in the World Series might make winning the championship easier, but it also makes losing a whole lot worse.
The anxiety has been evident in Mr. Fox during the past week. On Monday, a day after the Rays barely tied Game 5 in time for rain and wind to postpone the game, he told Arts & Entertainment Editor Jason Gargano that he didn't know shit about weather patterns and that anyone who steals second base on a muddy field is more dramatic than a Jean-Luc Godard film.
John was even touchier on Tuesday, having been denied a Monday continuation of the postponed game due to more inclement weather. We were all aware of his frustration — Philadelphia fans haven't won a major championship since the 1983 76ers, so we expected some tension. And before that early-'80s basketball championship the City of Brotherly Love had endured a rough 1980. Sure, the Phillies won the World Series, but the Eagles lost the Super Bowl, the Flyers lost the NHL Championship and the 76ers lost the NBA Championship. John's anxiousness boiled over around our print deadline Tuesday, when he said that I should stop wearing my T-shirts so small and that Maija Zummo needed to wash her hair. (I can't even repeat what he said to Kevin Osborne regarding proportional representation.)
But last night the Phillies finished off the Rays, and thousands of Philadelphians — and a few CityBeat employees — let out a sign of relief. Philadelphia has a fresh new championship to wipe away the hurt felt by the 1985, '87 and '97 Flyers, the 1993 Phillies, the 2001 76ers and the 2004 Eagles, each of which got all the way to the championship of its respective sport only to dash the dreams of its community and fans.
It is for this reason that Philly fans deserve to enjoy their World Series win, though many used their celebratory free fire truck ride and socially-acceptable car-flipping by the end of the night. And, considering the circumstances, I must applaud John Fox for his grace in victory — he didn't come in here and scream in my face today. Well, not for anything related to Philadelphia anyway.