Categorized | Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, Sixers

Hanging ‘Em Up: A Philadelphia Sports Fan Retires

Josh Robert is a lifelong Philadelphian. He’s even got “215” tattooed on his arm. I’m serious. You can follow him on Twitter @JRob215

I feel like Brett Favre.

Brett Favre never knew when to hang ‘em up.  Eventually he stuck around too long and people grew tired of his antics, and then with a chance to go to the Super Bowl he threw a bad pass across his body to someone who happens to play for the other team. Season over, career over, legacy redefined.

Boy can I relate.  Not to the playing professional football for 20 years, winning a Super Bowl, or throwing an interception that prevented my team from going to the Super Bowl parts; but to wearing out my welcome. For failing to know when the right time to hang ‘em up was

That is why today, I, Josh Robert, am announcing my retirement from being an avid professional sports fan in Philadelphia.

It is with great sadness and fond memories that I make this decision, but with what I have witnessed the past few months it is time to put my heart into something else. Maybe I can be a better parent or husband, or I’ll pick up my guitar again. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a poet.  Well maybe I won’t be a poet. But I can no longer take the mental and sometimes physical anguish that comes with being a sports fan.

In the wake of the NFL lockout coming to an end in late July, I, along with most Philadelphia sports fans acted well out of character.  Instead of the guarded optimism that we usually take into every game or season, we started getting prepared for parades (yes multiple) down Broad Street.

“We signed Nnamdi Asoumagh!?” I had no idea who he was before the 2010 season, but hell, everyone wanted him and we got him! “Jason Babin is coming back!?” Sure we could have had him for less money a year ago, but damn this defense is getting better.  “Vince Young is our back up quarterback!?” Such a better option than Kolb (as long as he doesn’t open his mouth and say something stupid, that a back up quarterback shouldn’t say…).  And of course the Phillies had just traded for Hunter Pence, the right handed bat we so desperately needed to sure up our aging, but still potent line up.  Yes, this was, as many people considered it, one of the greatest weeks in Philadelphia sports history.

Well, one of the greatest weeks in Philadelphia sports history, ON PAPER.

And now here we sit, not even four months later.  What a sad sight we are.

The Phillies? Well, money can’t buy World Series championships, and the Phillies have learned that  lesson. Throwing millions of dollars at pitching is not going to guarantee anything (wait, we gave Jonathan Papelbon how much money?).  We’ve spent the last 3 years AFTER winning the World Series expecting to win the World Series.  Like it or not, the Phillies are becoming the Eagles of the early 2000s, we expect them to win and they just can’t seem to put it together.  Sorry Phils, I’ve been through that, it’s not fun. Expectations more times than not lead to disappointment.  I’ve had a great run with the Phillies, my first game I was two months old and Von Hayes hit two homeruns in the first inning. I cried when Joe Carter homered off of Mitch Williams, and again when Brad Lidge recorded the final out in 2008, its been a helluva run. But the run ends today. I’m retiring.

To the Eagles, what can I say? How many times do we have to go through the same thing? I think you’re a really great organization, competitive like few others, and thickheaded like no other.  It’s been an honor to watch this organization go from three win seasons to one of the best and most consistent franchises in the NFL.  But unfortunately 10-6 seasons become less and less rewarding.  This season was supposed to be different. I mean,  Nnamdi!!!!! Vick, Shady, DJax and Casey Matthews?  Wait, Juan Castillo, the offensive line coach? The Eagles put a fresh coat of paint on a house that has termites, and leaky pipes (Sorry, I rent I really don’t know problems that home owners face).  The Eagles always thought they were smarter than everyone else, and we’re finally sure they’re not. I cannot put myself through this anymore.  So to the Eagles, I’m sorry but I’m retiring.

Now comes a tough one, to the Sixers and the NBA.  Man, what a run! I’ve loved basketball my entire life, being a Sixers fan during the Allen Iverson era (not the 2009 version) was the most fun being a sports fan I can remember.  And this current Sixers team has me so excited for the NBA season to begin, but alas, this decision is being made for me by the NBA owners and players.  The excitement from last year’s season has now been washed away by people trying to figure out what BRI means, why owners who hand out ridiculous contracts as recently as last year are now trying to protect themselves from acting so foolishly.  I would love to try and defend Lebron James again (as hard as he made it). I want to see how Evan Turner’s jump shot has developed, excited that it won’t be Ed Snider owning the team and only sitting courtside during the fourth quarter or when it’s a high profile game. I want to discuss possible Andre Iguodala trade scenarios, but unfortunately I’m relegated to watching Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals.  I’m sorry Sixers and NBA, maybe I’ll pull a Jordan and come back, but I’m retiring.

Flyers, sorry, never really been a fan, I’m retiring. But real quick, every season that I remember, the Flyers are supposed to win the Stanley Cup. During my lifetime they fail to. The one constant? Each and every goal tender the Flyer bring in, is supposed to be the one that gets them over the hump. Garth Snow, John Vanbiesbrouck (I can’t spell that), Bobrovsky, Bryzgalov (seriously with the names!) and the rest.  So why should this season be any different? I don’t follow hockey but I can tell you the Flyers will probably lose in the second round of the playoffs to the Montreal Canadiens. But as always next year they’ll bring in Martin Brodeur or something and then, it’ll be their year.

The final straw for me making this decision was the incredible amount of disgust and sadness that I felt watching ESPN and listening to sports talk radio for the last week and a half.  The Penn State scandal (and I will leave my personal opinions out of this) completely ruined everything involving sports in the last week.  The constant updates, the constant mentions of rape and lying and moral responsibilities was just too much.  While I understand the severity of the situation, sports is supposed to be a release, I’d rather watch bloopers or listen to Merrill Hoge rip apart the Eagles again. It was sad. It wasn’t even about sports anymore.

It became too serious, and maybe that’s the problem. Serious and sad isn’t a good combination.

Sports was supposed to be fun, but I’ve spent the last 26 years making it too important, I stuck around too long. And in the end I threw a bad pass, I couldn’t live up to the expectations and now there is an incredible stink on my sports fandom.

I retire.

  • Jlsmith

    loser

  • Matthew Flint

    Great post, I feel the same way. I just don’t have the guts to quit.

  • marsha

    im sorry for your loss of the love of the games my boy,as many and most things in life they do come to an unexpected end sometimes. everyone need their outlet to enjoy life.and as we grow older it seems there is much more disappointment when this happens. this has been happening for years, you were just toyoung to realize it. i have forgotten many of the names and dates when i was steelers fan and a philadelphia football fan. Tears did fall and their was much jubilation in those days. Dont give up entirely on the games my boy,they will still be there,they just wont mean as much. love.marsha

  • TheCritic

    U can’t quit being a fan. U never were one. PHILLY DOESN’T WANT U!!!

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