by Suzie Raven
“We are the champions…. my friends....”
Every bar on Philadelphia's Broad Street played Queen’s famous tune over and over on Friday, Oct. 31, during the Phillies' Championship Parade. Every time, we, the faithful fans, sang along. We chanted “Let’s Go Phillies!” at the top of our lungs We threw red and white confetti. We jostled for spots along the four-mile parade route. We climbed on fences, window sills, trees, anywhere we might catch a glimpse of the team as they passed.
At least two million people joined the parade. Philadelphia is a city of 1.5 million, but fans drove from Washington, Pittsburgh, Mississippi, St. Louis and all over. An eighteen-hour drive seems like nothing when the last time the World Series parade came to your city, in 1980, you weren’t born.
“And we’ll keep on PHIGHTIN' ‘til the end….”
That song was never as beautiful as the first time I heard it after the Phillies clinched the title. I celebrated for hours at a bar in Washington, D.C. that's owned by a guy from Philly after Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske for the final out in the Series. The bar was packed with Phillies fans, making it the next best thing to being there while all of Philadelphia went crazy.
I knew I had to go to Philadelphia for the parade. I wasn’t waiting 28 years for the next opportunity.
As another fan said: "This is more than just seeing a parade. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event."
It’s true. Every other fall, we Phillies fans have said, “Next year will be the year. It has to be.” Not this year. Right now, we’re not thinking about Pat Burrell becoming a free agent or our spring training prospects. We’re not even thinking about how this will change the whole psyche of a city that, up until this week, had won only one World Series in 125 years.
All that matters right now is that we can “phinally” sing: “We are the champions... of the world.”
(To see Suzie Raven's early prediction about the success of the Phillies, please see: "Baseball: The Phillies' Secret Weapon, the Bullpen.")
(The photo shows Phillies fans climbing statues and the sides of buildings to get a better glimpse of the championship parade; the photo is by Luvatacious Skull via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license.)
by Suzie Raven