It's been a long year.
And as fans, we'd like some recognition.
Sure, we don't put in any of the training, workouts, long flights, missed time with loved ones or risk of horrible injury that the athletes do. But we ARE the ones who've had our emotions worn down to a nub, without millions of dollars to console ourselves.
The point is, even a minor acknowledgement of what we do--the clapping, the screaming, the StubHub scouring, the quickly minimizing of live streamed games when a supervisor pops into the cubicle--goes a long way.
Andy Reid's 14-year tenure with the Eagles came to an end on Monday, and Reid has yet to address the city of Philadelphia or, more importantly, its fans.
So assuming he's got his hands full being chased by helicopters and will eventually pen an eloquent exit speech, here are the class acts Reid will be following:
Casualty of a loss-induced fire sale, Shane bought the traditional full page ad in the paper, giving Philly a final, tear-stained "Mahalo."
The mainstay firecracker of a centerfielder was the first real foundation to buckle as the Phillies moved further and further from 2008. But in one last moment before he headed off to L.A., he helped us remember why we were so sad he was gone.
Hunter Pence, however, scarpered out of town quietly, using an awkwardly scheduled bobblehead night to say good bye weeks later. The note on the back of the box was nice, but it was then that we remembered--had he really only been here for one year? Maybe we are a little melodramatic.
Iggy wrote a heartfelt letter to the fans on his personal web site. Days later, he characterized Philly sports fans as lunatics who consider a slam dunk appropriate penance for a human murder. But hey, whatever, he said the nice thing first.
Plus, we got Andrew Bynum! How can we lose!
Of course, one of the most beloved Eagles of all time got to retire as one, despite that little experiment as a Bronco that we can just pretend didn't happen. In an emotional farewell at the NovaCare Center, B-Dawk stood with old hats like Jeffrey Lurie, former teammates like Donovan McNabb, and awe-struck fans who in the tenure of his career became Eagles themselves like Vinny Curry.
An appropriately choked-up moment for the collective who was saddest to see him go.
The first time the former Flyers captain sad good bye, there was a lot more rigid, uncomfortable silence. But when he was invited to play in the Winter Classic alumni game in 2011, we got a second shot at Lindros that we never thought we'd get.
He even gave Bobby Clarke the time of day, in a case of earth-shattering appeasement that nobody in this town had even bothered to fantasize about. When he stepped out on the ice, the crowd exploded--proving that we may be overly "passionate," or whatever adjective they're using to describe us amidst snickers this week, but we can appreciate the rarity of a higly coveted second chance.