THE RETURN OF THE CURSE OF BILLY PENN

I’ve held my tongue long enough. If you’re a Philadelphia sports fan, here’s why you should watch Game 7 of the World Series tonight and root your ass off for the Texas Rangers.

After watching last night’s World Series game for the ages, I’ve become convinced that the Curse of Billy Penn has once again cast it’s shadow over the loyal, humble sports fans of Philadelphia.

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The St. Louis Cardinals faced unfathomable odds last night and yet they prevailed in the end.  The Rangers relinquished the lead four times.  On two occasions, they were just one strike away from winning the world series–yet there was some sort of magic in the air, some sort of ghostly propulsion behind David Freese’s bat.  Of course, anything can happen on a baseball diamond in October–but this?  This has gone too far.  What ethereal being am I speaking of, you ask?  Well, regretfully, I must inform you that the Curse of Billy Penn has RETURNED!

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If the Cardinals win tonight, it will mark the FIFTH team since the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks that has beaten Philadelphia, in the playoffs, on its way to a Championship.  It’s one thing to not win a championship (we’re fairly used to that).  But to happen to go against the one team that had everything come together for it, to be beaten by the one team that carried out a magical run, for this to happen FIVE times in just over ONE year–what hell is this!?

Let us recap (warning: painful material ahead):

In the summer of 2010, the Flyers lost to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Championship series after six games.  The Flyers had edged out the NY Rangers in the last game of the regular season to barely make the playoffs, they had come back from down 3-0 in a series against the Bruins to get there, they had made an historically unprecedented underdog run to the finals, and yet they were finally shutoff at the very end of the journey.  No championship, no kissing of the Cup.

Later in the fall of 2010, the Phillies lost to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS.  Philadelphia sports fans were crushed. The Phillies were the better team, but the Giants played better, they had a championship spirit about them, and they ended up winning it all, after beating the Rangers in the World Series.

In January of 2011, the Eagles were driving down the field on their way to a last-minute comeback against the Green Bay Packers.  Aaron Rodgers watched helplessly from the sideline as Vick moved the Eagles into Green Bay territory.  Then there was the interception and, some weeks later, the Packers were Super Bowl champions.  The Eagles came closer than anyone else to beating the Packers, but in the end, came away with nothing.

This past summer, the Flyers lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs.  The Bruins would go on to beat the Vancouver Canucks in a seven game Stanley Cup Finals.  Rioting ensued in Vancouver, while Boston fans lounged like gluttonous kings.

***

And now, here we are, exactly three years since that glorious October in 2008 when the Phillies won the World Series.

Perhaps William Penn is seeking revenge for allowing us that one victory, the first world championship in the 30 years, which we now hold more dear than life itself.

If the Rangers win tonight, consider the Curse broken and pray for the Eagles to rack up wins.

But if the Cardinals win, then God help us all, for there is nothing on this earth, not man nor beast, that won’t stop Philadelphia sports teams from achieving their number one goal.  The curse will continue to propel Philadelphia’s playoff opponents with that extra gusto, that championship vibe where everything just happens to come together when you need it to–and we will never win another championship ever again, and we will all be damned to hell by the ghost of William Penn.

If you don’t want that to happen, I’m telling you, root for the Rangers tonight–only then will Philadelphia sports be given a fair chance, once again, to bring a championship back to the city that craves it so much.

 

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