Act Like We’ve Been Here Before

To the right you’ll find the cover of today’s Philadelphia Daily News (click to enlarge). The headline is quite celebratory in nature: “Philadelphia, city with a superiority complex.”

Hey, it’s been a good week in Philly, after all: the Phillies got Cliff Lee, the Eagles pulled off one of the all-time greatest comebacks against the Giants on Sunday, and the Flyers are the cream of the NHL crop. It is a great time to be a Philadelphian.

Conversely, it’s not as great a time in New York. The Yankees have missed out on all of the top free agents and trade candidates, the Mets will be lucky to sniff .500 in 2011, the Giants were on the losing end of Sunday’s memorable game, the Rangers are eight points behind the Flyers, and so forth.

Given the rivalry between the two regions, some back-and-forth nose-thumbing is to be expected. Philly has certainly been on the receiving end of some New York bravado. However, the rash of “Philly > New York” sentiment over the past couple days seems excessive and, in some cases, unprofessional. Inferiority complex, much?

Take Stan Hochman’s article for the Daily News as an example. He brainstorms possible nicknames for the Phillies’ four aces, but he couldn’t resist taking a potshot at New York:

I had a patriotic theme, “Armed Fources” plus “Deadly Fource” and “Brute Fource” but baseball is not a violent game, unless you’re sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium wearing the other team’s gear.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It sounds like every generic insult about Philly fans.

The always-interesting Marcus Hayes has his own smug take on the rise of Philly sports in his latest article, titled “Philly teams are putting a fork in New York”.

Something is in the air in Philadelphia.

Carried by a light wind, it makes its way south, down the turnpike. It is distinctly New York in aroma. Is it those honey-roasted nuts they sell out of street carts? Is it the hot dogs?

The swamplands of New Jersey?

Ah. Wait.

It is the smell of New York misery.

It is a rancid thing for Giants and Mets and Rangers fans, and only a little better for the Yankees faithful.

For Philadelphians, it is ambrosia.

Never has it smelled more delicious than this week.

Hayes does mention, at the end of the article, that Philly still does not have any advantage in terms of championships — the ultimate goal for all teams involved. On Twitter, David Murphy pointed out that New York won those championships more recently in three of the four major sports.

Great week for Philly, no question about it. Some bragging is acceptable, nay earned. But wouldn’t we look better to outsiders, who still view Philly fans as boorish animals, if we simply shrugged our shoulders at all of this? Ho-hum. Act like we’ve been here before.

Instead, radio switchboards are alight with controversy brewing. Arguments will be had, people will get upset for no meaningful reason, and maybe that’s the ultimate goal for the media people responsible for fueling this fire: move more papers, attract more listeners, sell more advertisements. If that is the case, New Yorkers should know that the Philly media does not represent all — or even most — Philadelphians.

Rivalries are fun. Trash-talking is fun. It can, unfortunately, be taken too seriously, ruining the fun for the rest of us. This Philly sports fan, for one, repudiates the latest salvos and hopes New Yorkers and the rest of the national scene doesn’t think any less of us for it.