Phillies thoughts and Week 9 picks

I realize this is an NFL blog, but when a Philadelphia team wins a championship, there's a bloggers' exemption that allows everyone to offer their thoughts. So this is my turn.

If you don't care and just want the picks, scroll to the bottom.


As a sports fan who was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Friday was the kind of day I live for.

Baseball was my first favorite sport, and Mike Schmidt my first favorite athlete.

Collecting baseball cards was my first favorite hobby. I remember having a separate binder dedicated just to current Phillies players. That included names like Steve Jeltz, Bruce Ruffin and Don Carman. Dickie Thon and Von Hayes.

In the backyard, I imitated the batting stance of Ricky Jordan and the delivery of Terry Mulholland. It didn't matter that the team always had more losses than wins, and reaching the playoffs was usually an afterthought by August 1. At 7:35 on a weekday summer evening, the TV in the living room of the Kapadia household went to the Phillies and the sounds of Harry Kalas, Andy Musser, Whitey and Wheels.

In 1993, I was on the wild ride holding up a "Nails 4 MVP" sign at the Vet, and begging my Dad for every last piece of Phillies merchandise. I despised Todd Stottlemyre, and I feared Paul Molitor. All the while, I loved hearing the name "Mickey Morandini" roll off Kalas' tongue.

As I grew older, like everyone else, I grew frustrated. I fall into the category of the Philadelphia fan who doesn't remember the last parade. I was three months old. And that's what makes this one so sweet. The journey we all took to get here.

This is a city where sports probably matter a little bit too much. We make friends because of it. We plan vacations around it. We let it dictate our moods on a daily basis. But that's what made yesterday so special. Standing on Broad Street with friends for life and watching the floats go by, thinking 'So this is what we've been waiting for all this time.'

Little girls on their dads' shoulders, hoping to get a glimpse of Cole Hamels.

Older girls on their boyfriends' shoulders, hoping to get a wave from Pat Burrell.

One of the coolest parts of the parade was that nobody knew what to expect. This was all foreign to us -- being a winner. Having the team we root for finish its season with a victory. Now when we get in heated discussions with friends of other teams, and they ask: 'When's the last time Philadelphia won anything?', we have an answer.

I don't believe anyone who says they knew this was going to be the team to do it.

When Duce Staley found the end zone from 20 yards out at the final game at the Vet, that was going to be it.

But it wasn't.

When AI stepped over Tyronn Lue in LA, that was going to be it.

But it wasn't.

When Curt Schilling shut out the Blue Jays in Game 5, that was going to be it.

But it wasn't.

Well, this was finally it. When Jimmy Rollins led off the NLDS and NLCS clinching games with homers, this had to be it. When Matt Stairs went yard on that memorable night in L.A., this had to be it. When Joe Blanton hit that bomb in Game 4, this had to be it.

And this time, it was.

So enjoy it Philadelphia. Buy the T-shirt you don't need. Order the championship DVD you can't afford. And start planning your trips to Clearwater in March. Days like yesterday don't come around often in these parts, once every 25 years you might say. But it's one we'll never forget, and one we can hold on to forever.

Week 9 picks

Last week: 3-9-1
Overall: 59-51-4

My pick is in caps...

BILLS (-5) vs. Jets

JAGUARS (-7.5) at Bengals

BROWNS (-1.5) vs. Ravens

PACKERS (+4.5) at Titans

CHIEFS (+9) vs. Bucs

RAMS (+3) vs. Cardinals

C-Nast's Office Recap...

What happened: What appeared to be a perfect pairing between Michael and Holly split suddenly, as Dunder Mifflin higher-ups learned of their relationship and transferred Holly to Nashua, N.H. At the end of a seven-hour road trip with Daryl behind the wheel, Michael left Holly at her new home, heading back to Scranton and singing the breakup blues, or at least trying. In what is developing into a hysterical rivalry, Dwight taunted Andy by saying he’d soon enroll at Cornell University, Andy’s beloved alma mater.

Grade: B+ -- It was an all-around great episode with classic back-and-forth between Andy and Dwight, but Michael’s handling of his relationship with Holly was, though not completely unexpected, still pretty odd. Also love that Creed, Kevin and Dwight all donned Joker costumes for Halloween.

Quote of the Week, from Dwight: “Andy, I’ve been meaning to ask you, which a cappella group should I join? The Harmoniacs or the Do-Re-Migos?”

TEXANS (+4.5) at Vikings

BRONCOS (-3.5) vs. Dolphins

FALCONS (-3) at Raiders

BEARS (-12.5) at Lions [This is MC's pick of the week. His record is 3-5 on the season]

COWBOYS (+9) at Giants

EAGLES (-7) at Seahawks

PATRIOTS (+6) at Colts

STEELERS (+2) at Redskins

Note: I had incorrect lines when this article was originally published.