My good friend in West Virginia, Tim Quigley, is from Philadelphia. So he's a Phillies fan.
Now, if you know anything about Philadelphia sports fans...well, they have a reputation for being jerks.
Not all of them, I'm sure, but you can check it out. Philadelphia sports fans aren't known for their tact, civility, or, frankly, their sobriety. And don't throw stones at the messenger. This is a well-known, documented fact, and most Philadelphia fans are actually proud of their behavior.
So, yeah, the Phillies won the World Series last year. And the Orioles came in last place.
And Quigs has loved pointing out these two facts in various ways, most of them unprintable.
It's been a long year. And it does no good to point out that the only time the Orioles played the Phillies in the World Series, they beat them 4 games to 1. That was in 1983. Only one of my two children were born at the time.
Nor does it do much good to point out that the Phillies have lost more games than any other major league franchise; that they were the first team to lose 10,000 games. (Seriously, 10,000 games, that's a lot of games.) Nor that they are still the only franchise with at least 10k losses. Actually, it's 10,167, but who's counting?
OK, it does a little bit of good. The overall Phillies winning percentage is pretty bad, and Quigs doesn't like me pointing that out.
The high point of the season came in June when the Orioles traveled to Philadelphia AND SWEPT THE PHILLIES! I texted Quigs and told him that the Orioles were thinking of selling the naming rights to their home stadium but then realized that Citizen's Bank Park already had a sponsorship name. (Citizen's Bank Park is the Phillie's home stadium.) I was proud of that one. Trust me, it was funny. No, really, it was. I think it kind of made Quigs mad.
But, really, it stinks to be an Oriole fan and have a friend who is a Phillies fan. Because he can be quite the jerk about it.
So like I said, it's been a long year, and I'd like to avoid another one like it.
Problem #1: The Phillies are back in the World Series.
Problem #2: So are the Yankees, a.k.a The Evil Empire.
It is against my moral convictions as a Christian to ever, ever root for The Evil Empire. But I am not willing to listen to Quigs for another year.
So I made him an offer: if, by some force of sheer will, he will agree not to be a jerk for the next year--in other words, not be him for a whole year--I will root for the Phillies in the World Series. But if not...well, I won't so much be rooting for The Evil Empire as rooting against the Phillies.
I know, I know, it may be a distinction without a difference, but it's a distinction I am willing to live with.
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