Buzz Bissinger (the author of Friday Night Lights) had a nice op-ed piece in last Saturday's New York Times about the perils of being a Philadelphia sports fan.
Buzz notes how his almost-25-year-old son has never seen any of Philadelphia’s four major teams (Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, Eagles) win a championship. This reminds me, once again, how fortunate I was to grow up a Philadelphia sports fan when I did. In 1974, when I was eight years old, the Flyers won the Stanley Cup. They won it again the following year. When I was 14, the Phillies won their first (and only) World Series. When I was 17, the Sixers won the NBA championship. That’s the last title won by a Philadelphia team. If I’d known that at the time, I would have gone to the parade!
Buzz’s point (I think) is that Philadelphia sports fans actually relish losing in a perverse way. I’m not sure about that, but I do know that this quarter-century-long title drought has taught a generation of Philadelphians the folly of getting one’s hope up. The generic term for this is “being realistic.”