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Updated: 10/22/08

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"The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"
by Douglas Adams



Wednesday, 22 October, 2008

Tonight is the first game of the 2008 World Series. Phillies versus the Rays, whose fans are lamenting their team's poor past track record saying that with all their suffering, they deserve a championship.

Gimme a break.

Having been an Angels fan for all those years before they even made it to a championship playoff, and then moving to a city that has accumulated 100 years of non-championship seasons between its four major sports teams, listening to Tampa whining about not having a decent team for ten whole years doesn't exactly resonate with me. Besides, we have to deal with The Curse.

Legend has it that Philadelphia's sports teams have been jinxed from reaching champion status because real estate developers had the temerity to build higher than the top of the hat on the massive statue of William Penn above City Hall.

Philadelphia's image as a low-rise city was shattered in 1987, with the topping off of the Liberty Place skyscraper amid much brouhaha that "the gentlemen's agreement" not to overshadow Alexander Milne Calder's landmark statue of Penn was being violated.

Since then, more skyscrapers have followed, and the major Philadelphia teams have been denied their sport's top prize. Some fans have attributed the championship drought to a curse that the city's famous founder must have issued from the grave.

Recognizing the currency of the curse without quite subscribing to it, the owners and managers of Comcast Center, the city's tallest building, had the foresight to affix a statuette of Penn to the final beam put in place during the June 2007 topping-off ceremony - just in case it could help, they said.

That 4-inch replica faces northeast, just as its mammoth inspiration does. And over the peewee Penn's shoulder on the southern horizon, amid planes landing at the airport and cars streaming to the Commodore Barry Bridge, sits Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phils.

[Let's hope it works.]

Quote du jour:

"Close don't count in baseball.
Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades."

Frank Robinson (1935 - ____) US baseball player, manager

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