Can Philly Handle Its Own Obnoxiousness?

↵"Fo, Fo, Fo." ↵

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↵That was the mantra of Sixers legend Moses Malone during the 1983 NBA Playoffs, which as all sports fans know became "fo, fi, fo" en route to a championship. That was the last major professional championship in Philadelphia – sorry Wings, Phantoms and Soul – before the Phillies made their memorable run to the 2008 World Series title. ↵

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↵Now, after dispatching the Dodgers yet again in five games in the NLCS, the Phillies find themselves back in the World Series for the second straight year, just the fifth National League team in the last 50 years to do so. There's something about the way this Phillies team reached their back-to-back World Series that has people remembering the old Sixers squad. ↵

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↵"Fo, Fi, Fi, Fo, Fi." Or, more easily understood, the Phillies have won their last five playoff series in four, five, five, four and five games, respectively. The Fightin' Phils have just five losses in the last five playoff series. If you're holding Game Six tickets for this year's World Series, you might want to think about selling them now before people realize just how dominant this Phillies team has been over the last two seasons. Take it away, ESPN's Jayson Stark: ↵

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↵⇥Before last October, this team had won only four postseason series in the history of the franchise. And now it's won five series in a row. ↵⇥

↵⇥It wasn't so long ago that this franchise had played in two World Series in its first 100 seasons of existence. And now it's about to play in its second World Series in 12 months. ↵⇥

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↵⇥No National League team had ever won 16 times in any stretch of 20 postseason games -- and only the Yankees have ever done that in the American League. But now this Phillies team has done exactly that over the last two Octobers. ↵⇥

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↵And now I've fallen into my own trap. The Phillies won the pennant, but to a man, this team isn't satisfied with anything less than another parade down Broad Street. Will the fans be? Have we already become the city of loveable – well, let's face it, hateable – losers turned obnoxious and undeserving winners? Jayson Werth, who has transformed himself from a platoon outfielder two years ago to a team leader, pacing the Phillies in runs and home runs in the playoffs this season, sees not just a different breed of Phillies player, but a different breed of Phillies fan as well. Per MLB: ↵

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↵⇥"I was in a unique situation coming here to really see a transformation on both ends -- not only the organization, but the fans and the city," Werth said following a 10-4 victory over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. "I feel like I was here for the old Philly and the old Phillies, and I'm here for the new Philly and the new Phillies." ↵
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↵New Philly is a much happier place to be in September and October. But at what expense is our happiness turning off the rest of the country? Stark is possibly the best baseball writer working today, but has he become as painful to read for non-Philadelphians as Bill Simmons was during the Red Sox runs of 2004 and 2007? Wait, have I? Writing for The700Level.com during last year's playoffs it was easy to get carried away with pro-Philly leanings. But has my Philly bias skewed what I've been writing here for the last few months? Or has Daulerio's Philly bias skewed what he is doing at Deadspin ... when he's not ruining the lives of random people at ESPN? And should any of us care? ↵

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↵I interviewed Mike Tollin, director of ESPN's 30 For 30 documentary Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?, on my show on Tuesday and, in addition to the conversation about Donald Trump and the failed football league, we talked about our true shared passion – the Phillies. Of course, the exchange included a talk about our own obnoxiousness: ↵

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↵⇥DL: How good is it to be this excited about baseball around here now? It was a long time coming last year. We were obnoxious on our show. We were obnoxious on I'm sure every – I was on TV doing those Why Can't Us things and I'm sure I was obnoxious there. And I don't even care, because it's fun. ↵⇥

↵⇥Tollin: I know, but you don't want to be like those obnoxious Boston fans. We've got to be a little bit careful. We don't want to become another Evil Empire. ↵⇥

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↵⇥DL: But we are self-aware obnoxious fans. ↵⇥

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↵⇥Tollin: But they were too. Listen, we've got to check ourselves and then other people will have to tell us how we're doing. I'm not sure, if we win it again – it's just tough. It really is. But that's not going to take any of the enjoyment away. ↵⇥

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↵So there you have it. We know we're obnoxious. But it's not going to stop us from flaunting it. And it's not going to stop those drunken idiots from trying to climb greased up telephone poles. Welcome to, as Werth put it, the new Philly. At least we get less E-A-G-L-E-S chants now. Those are obnoxious. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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