Can Phanatics Cheer Up at Last?

Pessimism a way of life for Phanatics
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2008 10:35 AM CDT
In this Oct. 21, 1980, file photo, Tug McGraw leaps into the air as Kansas City's Willie Wilson strikes out to end the game and give the Phillies their first, and still only, World Series title.   (AP Photo/Staff, File)
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(Newser) – Optimism doesn’t come easy to Phillies fans. “They feel like dogs that have been kicked too much,” one UPenn professor tells Allen Barra of the Wall Street Journal. The Phillies have won precisely one title in their 125-year history, amid mountains of grim collapses. “Phillies history is a birthright,” says one fan. “It's like when you're born you inherit all these horrible memories that you have to drag to the ballpark.”

That one title—captured back in 1980—“still stands as the greatest day in Philadelphia sports history,” says one sports historian. “Philadelphia sometimes forgets this is really a baseball town.” Now, the team has its first shot at repeating that feat in 15 years, and if the fans are having trouble feeling optimistic, Jimmy Rollins isn’t. “I’m tired of hearing about 1980,” says the shortstop. “We want our own parade!” (Read more World Series stories.)