Monday, October 27, 2008

Calling In the Curse-Breaker

Back to the top story 25 years, four months and 27 days in the making, it's been noted previously that, for years on end, a convinced cadre of the Phils' Nation churchfolk have maintained that this town would never see another title until John Foley's red-hat drought had drawn to a close.

In a city long brimming with 'em, this was the most-prevalent of the sea of Curse theories your narrator was raised with... and by the looks of it, it might just end up being the one that did the trick.

Might.... Remember, folks, it's still early.

Called away from his beloved hometown mere months after the last championship parade shut down Broad Street, for the first time since the then-monsignor was editor of the Catholic Standard & Times, a Philly squad's chalked up three wins in a major-sport finale... taking the very first season of anything to begin after the River City (and the rest of his global cult, too) finally got its red-clad wish to the threshold of its longest, and happiest, possible conclusion.

In other words, whatever happens from here, it's already been proven that the "Pholey Theory" was clearly on to something... at least, more than the most-common one that's blamed our troubles on Billy Penn's brim.

Best known as the Vatican's "Voice of Christmas," God only knows where in the world the Local Boy Gone Grand Master (long dubbed the church's answer to the Phanatic) is right now -- it's investiture season for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, so he's most likely off a-knighting somewhere. But wherever he might be -- and this is one of those (exceedingly rare) good moments to have an outlet that's got something of a reader-base -- somebody's mission today is to track down Foley and rub that red hat (and, while at it, the head on which it rests) for luck. And if a photo could be taken and beamed this way, well, that'd make it even more like Christmas (or, for that matter, his elevation). Either way, just as long as it happens.

Outlandish? Of course. Hyper-superstitious? Yeah, that too. (Especially in sport, both run in over-abundance 'round these parts... just like Rome.) But needless to repeat, this team-mad town has been waiting for a long time... and for no shortage of our folks, all lightness aside, what goes down tonight is nothing short of a matter of faith. (The catch-phrase of the Phightins' only successful Series run in their 125-year history, after all, was "Ya gotta believe!")

Believe, we do... always have... and, for a quarter-century, just as always come up short. So with said record of choking well-ingrained in the local DNA and diffused in the water, see, we really can't take any chances.

And if it works, he gets a float in the... you know... six letter word that starts with a "P."

Sorry -- can't say it 'til It happens. For now, though, somebody just find "His Foleyness" and rub the hat.