Am I What My Parents Expected?

We spent the afternoon celebrating my Dad’s birthday yesterday and while my husband and I grilled dinner and we all enjoyed a few beers, I thought to myself; Is that what my Dad pictured when they brought their little girl home from the hospital?

The Philadelphia Flyers advanced to their second series in the playoffs and as we yelled and threw ourselves out of our chairs with rants aimed at the TV, I couldn’t help but think about his expectations. Did he intend to have a sports-loving daughter, who can yell passionately (and at times like a sailor) at hockey players that will never be listening? Did he think about having weekly hangouts with her at the local brewery, where they’d hang out like pals and try the new nitro on tap?

Probably not.

But I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl and this was bound to happen. Having profound love and respect for my parents, as well as my heritage, I think I’ve adapted so many things from my Mom and my Dad. I just think no one expected the outcome to be such a 50/50 split. I go to tea rooms with my Mom and eat finger sandwiches but ended up marrying a man that I’ve taught the fundamentals of sports to. I know it’s trendy and annoying to hear a girl say they are a “guy’s girl” or “one of the boys”. I used to say that. I don’t know what I am now, except that I’m Shannon. I love sports, beer and rock as much as (some times more than) any guys I know. I also love cheesy romance books or movies.

Sometimes being a mix of what society considers being boyish and girlish can be frustrating though. I’ll never look like the girls who look like they stepped out of a salon or a Mac store because I’ll always be a little rough around the edges. 
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What It’s Like to Be Apart of a Philadelphia Sports Team

Phanatic Fans

Welcome to Philadelphia.  We are truly passionate about our sports and anyone who tells you otherwise has never attended a game here.  If they have, they haven’t attended many games in any other cities, because they’d know the difference.  Philadelphians take losses, bad trades and any negative press Philadelphia teams produce quite personally.  We also put ourselves into the equation when discussing any local sports related topics.

“I can’t believe we won.”

“We had that game; I can’t believe we blew it.  I really thought we had it.”

A big loss doesn’t just stink, it ruins our day.  We have two major sports talk radio stations in town that have competitive ratings on the city’s radio dial, WIP and The Fanatic.  Most of us know the sportscasters by name; their typical skewed sports analysis tendencies and can provide great arguments in the car to and from most anywhere, and regarding any of the city’s major teams.  “We” are a major part of the Philly sports equation.  Press conferences are held to keep us happy and if you don’t give us the answers we want, and we aren’t shy about letting you know it (i.e. Andy Reid 2011).

I can give you the old routine and how we are fans because Santa was creamed with snowballs, but I wasn’t alive to witness that.  I am alive to hear my Dad talk about how he blew out his horn on his 6 month old car when the Flyers first won the Stanley Cup in 1974, amongst streakers and flipped cars.  I lived the Phillies World Series in 1993 and as a kid waited patiently in front of Mitch William’s house before and after the loss for something, anything to give us confidence and later appease the sadness.  In better times, we survived the Phillies riots after the World Series win in 2008 and celebrated in the parade, where Broad Street was filled with passionate fans who seemed so proud, you’d have thought each individual person threw the last pitch instead of Lidge.  Just as important, we joined together as a city in despising Joe Buck for not only hating Philadelphia on a regular basis, but by also sounding so disappointed when “we” won that series.

There are simply too many heart wrenching moments to name when it comes to Philadelphia fan experiences and sometimes not enough proud ones.  Still, we wait on lists for season ticket packages and watch each game, whether we are disheartened by repeat losses, injuries, management decisions or not, because we never turn our backs on family.  I, for one know I spent more hours with Harry Kalas then some people in my family.

Man, I can’t wait for baseball season to start.