Can we put away the political divide and root for the Phillies?

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It’s not like Philadelphians haven’t been here before.

There have been moments in time when it seemed as if God forgave us our lack of couth, our insufficient grace, our loud and insistent demands on his mercy, and gave us a random championship.

It happened the year before I was born, when the Eagles handed Vince Lombardi’s Packers their only post-season loss in 1960.

It happened back-to-back in 1974 and 1975 when the legendary Broad Street Bullies, the players who were formed with the sinew of Philadelphia grit and spirit, brought the Stanley Cup home to stay for two glorious seasons.

It happened in 1980, when an escaped angel from New York, Tug McGraw, willed us into a miraculous World Series Win.

It happened again with a similar team, one with a heart made of stitched-together leather, grassy knees and bruised bones, in 2008.

The one that brought me to my own knees and convinced me that Heaven was painted Kelly green was the Eagles 2018 Super Bowl win, a millennia-or-so-it-seemed in the making.

And each time we won, each moment of athletic glory and improbable, resilient victory pulled Philadelphians together for a few moments.

I’m not just referring to the city limits. This region spills over into suburbs and exurbs, encompassing rolling hills and horse-filled pastures, cookie-cutter malls and dainty brick singles, and Wawa. Always Wawa.

There are a lot of us packed into these neighborhoods, and you only have to look at the signs on the manicured lawns and potholed streets during this political season to know how divided we are.

And yet over the last few days, my timeline has filled up with red everywhere, from people wearing Phillies gear to photos of the city bathed in crimson light, and everything in between.

It’s a love fest, and it will last for the next week or so.

I checked to see when the World Series would end if it goes the distance, and the date is Nov. 6. And I had to smile, because that’s two full days before the November elections are over.

Even though we might not have an actual winner on Nov. 8, given past experience with the mail in ballots, it’s fair to assume that the euphoria of the championship will outlast the bitter taste of the election.

My desire for a World Series championship is only slightly less compelling than my hope for a Republican sweep in Congress and at the state level.

Frankly, I want a red wave everywhere, on the baseball diamond, in Washington and in Harrisburg. Red is my current favorite color.

But I think that for a few days I will be able to separate my anger and disgust with my political opponents from the possibility that those with blue waves in their profiles and waving Fetterman signs in my face are kindred spirits when it comes to baseball.

I’m prepared to ignore the snide comments about puppy-killing cardiologists and white Christian nationalist state legislators for the few suspended hours of “Kumbaya” communion for our beloved team.

I’m inclined to give the benefit of the doubt, for a hummingbird’s moment, to the ladies who presume to tell me that a child is not a child until you can hold her in your arms, and that before that, she’s mere property.

I’m willing to suppose, long enough to hold my expectant breath, that the man who would normally call me a traitor since I voted for a certain candidate would split a cheesesteak “wit” during the seventh-inning stretch of a crucial game.

I’m hoping I can concede, with a straight face, that the woman who demanded I keep my rosaries off of her ovaries but wants to indoctrinate my nephews and nieces with her own secular form of rainbow-colored religion, has as much a love for our valiant base runners as I do.

There is something civilizing about sport, and the loyalty it triggers in beleaguered fans. That thing transcends a lot of the anger and rhetoric that rises up from the deepest, darkest depths in our psyche.

I am hoping, since hope is the last thing to die, that regardless of what happens at the midterms, we can stand together on Broad Street and cheer on our triumphant team. Without, that is, shedding anything red.

Copyright 2022 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

Christine Flowers is a Philadelphian who loves the Eagles but can leave the cheesesteaks. She writes about anything that will likely annoy the majority of people, and in her spare time practices immigration law (which is bound to annoy at least some people.)