Phillies Phever – My 1st Playoff Experiences

This year I have had the privilege to attend my first two professional sports playoff games.  And it’s been a blast!

The first game was Game 4 of the NLCS, when the Dodgers came to town to play our beloved Philadelphia Phillies.  After the initial euphoria of an early lead, the fans at Citizens Bank Park were nearly lulled to sleep when the Dodgers took the lead and kept it for several innings.  This all changed when the Phillies came from behind in dramatic fashion in the bottom half of the ninth inning thanks to a game winning double by Jimmy Rollins.  Let me just say that I have never, never experienced anything like that before.  In the stands, fans were hugging and high-fiving complete strangers.  It was truly an unbelievable experience – one I won’t soon forget (thanks to a great friend).  The only dark cloud of this game was an unruly Phillies fan who sat beside us in the last row of the upper deck behind home plate.

My second playoff game was Game 3 of the World Series, when the hated New York Yankees drove down the New Jersey Turnpike to take on the Fightin’ Phils.  My buddy and I found a great place to stand right behind home plate – which gave us not only a great view but also an overhang to stay out of the on-and-off rain.  Again, there was initial euphoria when the Phillies took an early lead after an 1 hour and 20 minute rain delay.  Unfortunately, things fell apart after the Yankees hit a controversial home run off a TV camera, and the Phillies went on to lose the game with very little fight.  Obviously, the outcome was disappointing, but the overall experience was pretty amazing – from the hoopla outside the stadium – to the national news coverage – to obnoxious Yankees fans – to the huge American flag during the National Anthem (sung by the cast of Glee) – to the brush with fame (Derek Jeter’s dad walked right by me) – to the hope that we’ll take the next one.  It really was a cool experience.

Both of these playoff experiences were somewhat surreal for a guy like myself who has cheered for the same team for nearly 30 years – who still has all his baseball cards – who root-root-roots for the Phillies.  I’m truly grateful to a great friend who invited me to join him in such amazing events.  With the Phillies down 3 games to 2 games, I’m hoping the Phillies can take Game 6 tonight (back in NY) – and then we can talk about Game 7.  Let’s go Phillies!!!