So like physics, when two immovable objects collide something has got to give. Tonight, it was the Phillies.
The former NL East leaders struck first, grabbing two runs in the first inning off of a sloppy Josh Johnson. Of course, the visiting fans from the city of brotherly love treated it like they won the World Series. So, I sat there, quietly, smiling.
And the Marlins struck back. Bigger. 5 runs. And so the shootout was on.
Josh Johnson bled a bit less than did Brett Myers, who looked like he was going to implode on the mound. It is always interesting to note which teams respond to pressure and how they respond. Some react, some in fact respond. And there is a difference.
The best illustration of this is the almost too rash emotionality of the Philly fan. Loaded up on beer and an almost endless supply of artificial cheese and meat sandwiches, they are prone to high states of emotional bursts. We calmer south Florida natives understand this – probably because we get plenty of vitamin D from the sunlight down here. Yet, it begs the question, why is it that these northerners always feel the need to visit our stadium and root for their team like a bunch of douchebags?
Sure, you have a few people in attendance that root for their team in a classy way. Props to the older couple from a Philadelphia suburb that was visiting the Keys and wanted to see their Phillies play while in south Florida. They were respectful and good fans, not brash and loud and arrogant like the rest of the horde that felt the need to wear their tired, Utley jerseys around. Or their red Yankees’ hats which they seemed to think were Phillies hats. Or the typical Met fan – the ones who can’t drive, seem to be possessed by a constant need to talk to everyone else about how great “New Yawk” is and use that ridiculous, douchebag accent. Both types are of a similar ilk, and they seem to be constantly worried about their teams’ impending collapses despite their dissonance to the contrary.
I have been to other stadiums, and was always mindful of the fact that I am only one of a very small, minute group of people that actually know who the Marlins are, let alone call myself a fan. Just ask anyone at ESPN about the Marlins and they will flinch and say they don’t fish.
That is the point though – Marlin fans go elsewhere and you really don’t see them getting kicked out for acting like douches. Yet fans from Chicago, New York, Philadelphia – they all act the same. Which is why I have developed a theory – teams that are based in cities where they consume lots of beer, cheese and meat products will always have a hard time winning anything in the playoffs. Again, its the high blood pressure – hard to maintain an even-keeled perspective.
And that is why the good guys won today. The Marlins won big. And also why the Marlins have a chance, because this is the time of year that the general consciousness of teams like the Phillies and Mets start playing out of fear. The choke job might be on for them – the Marlins play with nothing to lose. They are playing with the house money. It is a long shot, and in all likelihood they will not get to the postseason.
Yet, this is fun. Being at the game tonight was like being at an intimate playoff game. Good baseball being played here in Miami – and we can’t help but enjoy it. Let the other fans choke on their cakes.