Philly Philly - My Childhood. (ARTICLE)

Cool Spring

Deputy Minister
My childhood is defined by car trips from Virginia to New Jersey (Cherry Hill/Camden area) and Philadelphia to see my father's old stomping grounds and catch a game in Philadelphia. My childhood is defined by watching old clips of Jaworski and Cunningham and trying to be like them in the backyard, only for it to fail. My childhood is defined by watching the Eagles struggle. My childhood is defined as watching Brian Dawkins command the backfield of the secondary. My childhood is defined by Andy Reid commanding the sidelines. My childhood is defined by also attending Phillies and Flyers games. Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Chris Coste, Pat Burrell, Raul Ibanez, Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux, Mike Richards, Donovan McNabb, Desean Jackson, Lesean McCoy, Mike Vick, Brian Westbrook, Jeremiah Trotter, and Takeo Spikes are some of the people that entered my childhood. I woke up late on October 29th, 2008, to my father yelling. He was yelling in joy as Harry Kalas said, joyfully: "The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of Baseball!" My childhood was also watching the Phillies lose in 2009 against the "Evil Empire" aka the Yankees, along with the Flyers loss in 2010 against the stinky Blackhawks. I find it fitting that my childhood had a lot of loss, yet when I became an adult my Philadelphia Eagles won it all, against all odds! That is a fitting beginning to an adult life, from a somewhat sad sports childhood (excluding the '08 Phillies).

For those that still think, "Oh yucky, sports!", this Facebook post from my father, the night before the 2018 Superbowl, should provide you some input into the life of a Philadelphia/South Jersey sports fan :

"Almost 24 hrs until kickoff. I had a friend ask me, 'Why do you like the Eagles so much?'

For me, it’s all about the memories that I have growing up.

It means walking around my parent’s backyard with my Walkman on listening to Merrill Reese call the 1988 Fog Bowl. (I remember I would listen to the games all the time in the backyard with my Walkman on and I’d sling a football hoping to hit the tree twenty yards away from me - trying to re-enact quarterbacks Ron Jaworski and Randall Cunningham).

It means waiting all week to spend Sunday afternoon on the couch, getting a break from the world for a bit and grabbing a pizza at halftime, rushing home to not miss any of the second half.

It means taking my kids to their first game, watching as they both get on the Jumbo-Tron and secretly shedding a tear because they have no idea how “cool” it is, but keeping the picture in my office now for eleven years and counting.

It means funny dances after touchdowns, thrown remotes, inventing new words and an unimaginable anxiety watching every game no matter of the Eagles season record.

It means waking up early in Philadelphia on Sunday mornings, meeting my cousins at the diner, drinking tons of “wooder” to hydrate, making the short trek over the Walt Whitman, and seeing the fog and steam rise over the city.

It means bundling up in zero degree temperatures, but feeling the warmth of brotherhood from 65,000 fans and the love of friends.

Finally, it means watching games with loved ones that aren’t here anymore.

Being an Eagles fan goes so much deeper than just being a football fan. This would mean so much to watch them win the Super Bowl."

Fly Eagles Fly, Be Bold, Go Gritty, Here They Come!