Champs.

Greetings from Broad and Locust Streets, Philadelphia.

(L to R) Mary van Ogtrop, Billy Penn, Rawle

Mary, Rawle and Billy Penn

There isn’t really too much to say here. Life is good.

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When We Won Game 3

John C., Poncho and Pish de Luxe

John C., Poncho and Pish de Luxe

It’s 3 in the morning, Born in the U.S.A. is cranked up to 11 and there’s a dumbass grin on both the faces in the room.

The Phils won Game 3.

The f*cking Phillies won Game 3.

You know what happened. Nearly postponed due to rain, game starts at 9:45pm instead of 8:30, Utley, Ruiz and Howard crush some long balls, 1st Base umpire blows a call on a beautiful play by Jamie Moyer, game gets re-tied at 4, Bruntlett subs in for Pat the Bat, entire city screams “F*ck you Charlie,” Bruntlett gets hit by a pitch and, after two more players get walked, scores on a grounder by Ruiz. Phils win.

I sh*t my pants. I hugged my boss. I stomped up and down. I went to Pat’s.

Now there are moments in your life that you remember always. Like when I figured out in pre-school which was my left hand and which was my right. Like when I first cruised around without training wheels. Like when a boy first told me he loved me. Well. Walking through South Philadelphia, surrounded by the cacophony of horns and orders of “Wiz wit,” high-fiving with strangers in “The Bat” jerseys, completely throw-up full of Pat’s King of Steaks, knowing that the Phils are up 2-1 in the World Series, walking towards home in the city I love — well that memory should stay with me always.

I fully expect that, over the next few days, the memories will pile on top of each other like a celebratory pile at the pitcher’s mound. But who’s to say.

Well now it’s 3:08 and we’re on to Bobby Jean. Dudes gotta go to sleep. Iggles play at 1. Phils play at 8:30. Another day in glory-hungry Philadelphia. F*ck yes.

Ed. Update: A Few Hours Later…

Alright, that post wasn’t so horrible for 3am.

It’s 1:03pm and I just woke up. Just in time for more sports. But this was me about an hour ago:

For voodoo purposes

For voodoo purposes

Yay sports. Go Birds. Go Phils.

World Series Baseball: Pros and Cons

Beaver Cleaver van Ogtrop

Beaver Cleaver van Ogtrop

My beloved Phillies are in the World Series. That is great news! Or is it?

Pro #1: Mary is writing a shit-ton about the Phillies!

Con #1: The writing is for business, not pleasure (though some bits are more pleasurable than others). You can find all the Phils-tinged literature at gophila.com/phillies and uwishunu.com/phillies.

Pro #2: Beer, roast beef sandwiches and camaraderie galore!

Con #2: The lady is dog-tired. To Chase, J-Roll, The Kid, Ry-Ho and the rest of you clowns: You best win this shizz.

The Winner: Pros, obviously. Philadelphia Phillies, I’m begging you: Please win the World Series. Do it for all us folks promoting you back in the 2-1-5. And yerselves. And the old ladies who stoop it in South Philly while listening to the games on their transistors. And for Broad Street. And the neighborhood kids. And my mom. And T.J. Simers. And the shitforbrains Fox announcers. And the bartenders. And the guy who drives the Chickie and Pete’s crab van down Patteson. And the waitresses at the Mayfair Diner. And Jose Reyes. And the guy in the wheelchair who sings his Phillies song. And Billy Penn. And the Phanatic. And Harry Kalas. Just do it.

Reflections From a Phillies Fan


This man’s name is T.J. Simers. He is a gaping a-hole. →

This morning, in preparation for the Phillies-Dodgers showdown that starts tonight, the L.A. Times published this article detailing how the dinginess of Philadelphia is rivaled in awfulness only by the “obstinate pugs” that call the Illy home.

The coward L.A. Times doesn’t allow readers to comment on its plastic, cocaine-laced articles. So, I resorted to an old-fashioned letter-writing campaign and told Slimer how I felt.

————————–

Dear T.J.,

My name is Mary, and I’m a 25 year-old writer/Philadelphian (a.k.a. an “obstinate pug”) who’s in love with her city.

I just finished reading your article, “Phillies Fans: 10,000 Reasons to Be Bitter” and I have a few things to say.

First up. If we’re so “angry,” then why are you the one throwing down unsubstantiated, Palin-esque criticism? Why are you trying to out-bully us in a fight we’re not even interested in? “Bitter”? Hell no. We’re excited to be here. Unlike your city, we only have the one baseball team. And we’ve loved them for 125 years, through thick, through thin, through strikes, through Joe Carter, through the laughable L.A. Times, through 10,000+ losses. That’s not anger, that’s unbridled passion.

Secondly. You say the Phillies are “rugged competitors.” Cute. And you call out Jamie Moyer as a “100-year-old softball pitcher.” Also cute. He’s won 16 games. All while being the patriarch of this team, running it out to first and being one of the foremost “good guys” playing the game today. Also, your claim that Derek Lowe will out-pitch Cole Hamels tonight because he’s pitching for a contract? The cutest of all your arguments. Here in Philly, we run to the top of the Art Museum steps (that’s a metaphor, T.J.!) not to make a buck, but for the W. And the W will be Cole Hamels’.

If you’re trying to get a rise out of this “dingy” town, you succeeded. But we’re not going to “crumble,” as you accuse Philadelphia of perpetually doing. Instead, we’re going to put some beers in our grubby paws and toast to how we’re going to make a mockery of you, your lack of tact and your beloved team.

Funny thing is? I actually like the Dodgers. My dad’s been a Dodger fan since 1955, when he’d listen to their games in Aruba through a transistor radio. Your article has wiped out all these nostalgic, “America’s team”-esque views I once had of the Dodgers. Nice work.

Phils in 4.

The very best regards,
Mary van Ogtrop

Sly is Here to Help!

It’s Hump Day, boys and squirrels. Don’t think you can make it to the weekend?

If Sly Stallone can overcome the hurdle in Over The Top, you can too!

When Mary Met Bruce (kind of)

It’s no secret that I like love am obsessed with Bruce Springsteen. So when I heard that the man himself was performing in Philly, for free, in the name of Barack Obama — well, I nearly had a fainting spell.

(Keep in mind that this was the best week of my life. I saw both Pinback and Stereolab, the Phils made the playoffs (eff yes!!), and I got to witness Shane Victorino’s epic grand slam up close and personal. I’m also going to the Iggles game in a few short hours, sitting somewhere like Row 15. Don’t sleep.)

But back to the Springsteen. When I heard about the show, I marched down to the Obama office at 1500 Sansom and promptly volunteered to do data entry in exchange for two preferred viewing tickets. They gave me the two blue tickets, I skipped back to the office and proceeded to get nothing done for the next 2.5 days.

Now, over those few days, several people remarked to me that Bruce Springsteen is a singer-songwriter, and a brilliant one, sure, but he should keep his political views to himself. Put yer harmonica where yer politics is, they say. Hogwash, I say. Here’s a beloved public figure who has an incredible opportunity to use his power and persuasion to support the cause he believes in. Turns out he actually called up the Obama office and said, “I got this guitar here. Let me play it on your behalf.”

As my Dad says, “Mar, you gotta be fully actualized.” We should all be out there, strumming whatever instruments we can to get Barack Obama elected.

Enough with the preamble. The Man was unbelievable. He started out with “The Promised Land,” a 70s classic about the redemption of the working class. Good way to start.

And here it is in full (special thanks to my 6’7″ companion):

He also played “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” “Thunder Road” (sung to some very special Mary somewhere), “Does this Bus Stop at 82nd Street?” “The Rising,” “No Surrender” (John Kerry’s campaign theme song) and “This Land is Your Land” (during which the 5 obnoxious UD students next to me gabbed throughout about how they “had to” sing that song (a Guthrie classic!) every morning in 3rd grade, which for them was 3 years ago. Shaddap!!! This is Springsteen.)

Now these were all great moments. But the best was yet to come.

After the show, we waited outside Bruce’s bus for about 20 minutes, peering around for any sign of New Jerseyness from behind a gate that looked more and more jumpable with every passing minute. Rawle noticed a humongo, black Navigator with Jersey plates and remarked that that would be Bruce’s getaway car. Well that Rawle’s pretty smart, because suddenly, there was The Man grabbing shotty and driving away to our neighbor to the North.

And as he wheeled past us, I jumped up and down a few times and screamed “Bruuuuce!” like it was Beatlemania. He looked over at me and gave me his underbite smile, then pointed right at me. Right at me. And it looked like this:

Bruce finally meets the Mary he's been singing about for 35 years.

Bruce finally meets his Mary

Well I have to go to the Linc now. Iggles call. But Bruce, if you’re out there Googling yourself and you find this, thanks for visiting my city, your “home away from home.” Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.