Every Friday from now until Spring Training, we will be posting some of the better contestant stories from our I’m the Biggest Phillies Fan contest. If you think you have what it takes to be featured, but did not get a submission in, you can still share your story by filling out this form.
The Ultimate Fan and the Ultimate Phan
It has been said that the biggest Phillies fans in the world are made from the same stuff of legend as the players themselves. From tailgating in the parking lot, to gobbling crab fries in the stands, from bathing in red and white, to tattooing an indelible “P” right above their hearts, the ultimate fan steps outside of the universe, grabs, and forever cherishes a special part of history reserved just for them.
But there is another breed of the ultimate fan, one who bears the weight of the world on his shoulders every time Ryan boots a ball, a Phillie strikes out with the tying run on third, or when Flash watches his pitch soar 400 feet farther than he threw it. Surprisingly, this fan does not dread that burden, but rather embraces it. For it is not the onerous load of mutinous rage or the result of fickle responses loved by frontrunners, that charges the ultimate fan’s pain. Rather, it is the weight and care that comes when a family member is in need or when a best friend is on their last legs. This fan understands that the players are not flippantly making errors and giving up home run balls just to spite the millions of Philly Phanatics in existence and so offers enthusiastic support.
In some ways, the ultimate fan sits in the dugout, the bullpen, and the stands even in sleep. Their closeness to the team comes not from outward displays, such as tattoos and body paint, twenty wardrobes of Phillies apparel, or wallpaper made of newspaper clippings, but rather from cherishing the heat of competition, the game of baseball, the beauty of the Bank, every breath taken by every Fightin’ Phillie, and every last drop of energy provided by the city itself and all of its amazing Phans.
I am that ultimate fan and the ultimate Phan. I do not have the tattoos, have never body-painted, and have never even had the opportunity to tailgate. But I do live and breathe with every pitch, every swing, and every shout or scream that comes with the only team that plays with more heart in one inning that any other team can claim in 162 games. Feeding off of the “Spirit of ‘76” expressed in a way that only Philly can, I live to defend my Philadelphia Phillies, version 20.08, with rhetoric, revolutionary action, and extreme devotion from any naysayers and doubters who would slander this great city and team.
In closing, I have only four words, four digits, and a ton of exclamation marks:
GO PHILS!!!!! WORLD SERIES 2008!!!!