Saturday, February 10, 2018

Maybe It's Just Something In The Town's DNA

Here's the way we see it: If the best thing you can say about your town is that nobody likes it and you absolutely love it that way, then you and your town have a real problem.

But the Eagles' Jason Kielce and most Philadelphians seem to thing that's just fine, thank you. They apparently don't recognize (or refuse to acknowledge) the problem that's staring them right in the face.

Kelce stole the show at the Super Bowl victory parade by walking along the parade route dressed as a mummer, mingling with the crowd, drinking beer and then delivering a profanity-laced peroration that seemed to delight the hometown crowd. Kelce lashed out at all who doubted the team and all who allegedly ran them down and then sang new words to "Oh my darling Clementine." The song went something like this: "Nobody likes us; nobody likes us; nobody likes us, we don't care. We're from Philly, f---ing Philly; nobody likes us; we don't care."

With this simple little ditty Kelce added a megaton to the already gargantuan chip weighing on the shoulder of the City of Brotherly love.

Locals call this "Philly being Philly" and it's a chronic ailment that's appears to be fed by resentment, spitefulness and the sort of low self-esteem that's attributed to being stuck between New York and Washington.

Many remember 1980 when the Phillies won the World Series and Pete Rose regaled the celebratory crowd by holding up the team trophy and declaring "Now York, you can take this and shove it!"

And then in 2008 it happened again. A Phillies player sent the victory telecast into panic mode when he shouted on live TV: "World f---ing champions!"

So the bottom line goes something like this: Nobody likes us; we're the champs anyway; we don't care about you; go f--k yourself!

This is not exactly a welcoming message to people from out of town who may be considering a visit. And it's certainly not the best use of a media platform that such an occasion affords.

Which is to say that if you've just won the Super Bowl in a stunner and you've vanquished a dynasty, then that should speak for itself. Be gracious, enjoy the moment, thank the fans and let the triumph stand.

And even if you've prevailed against enormous odds and what you consider to be relentless unwarranted criticism, now your victory is that much more meaningful and that much sweeter. Enjoy the sweetness; don't sour it with surliness.

Plus, if you really don't care what people think of you, then you don't have to go around saying you don't care over and over and over again. 

Finally, if you begin by assuming that no one likes you and you lash out arbitrarily at EVERYONE, then you're not exactly on the road to winning friends and influencing people.

Philadelphia's a great town with a distinctive appeal. It's blessed with many positive assets that make it unquietly attractive.

But there's something in its DNA that seems to blow nearly every opportunity to make the most of this. Or, as a local ad man once said: "Philadelphia isn't as bad as Philadelphians say it is." 

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