AS THE Phillies fight Rocky-like odds in tonight's do-or-die World Series Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, here's a jolt of hope from a phanatic South Philly family:
NO BUTTS ABOUT IT: "I was 5 months old for my first game, Opening Day 1985," said Alexis Student, 24, who's from three generations of Packer Park Phillies fans.
"I tell people this to prove that I'm not just one of those girls who watch the game to stare at the players' butts. I'm a girl who understands the game."
PHANATIC POP-POP: Student's grandfather Jerry Politano, who was 81 when he died in 2008, worked in Phillies security since the last days of Connie Mack Stadium; her grandmother Mary, 77, a 35-year Phillies employee, sells pizza near Section 110 at the Bank.
"My Pop-Pop had three loves in his life - his family, singing songs from the 1940s and the Phillies," Student said. "Every year he'd tell me how one day I'd experience a championship like he did in 1980. Through most of my childhood in the '90s, it was hard to believe that day would come."
PHILLIES TIE: "When my Pop-Pop passed away, my cousin and I searched the entire city to find a Phillies tie for him," Student said. "We made sure he showed his Phillies support for all eternity."
The Phillies weren't in first place when Politano died in August 2008. "My grandmother would sit in front of the TV, saying, 'They're going to win it all for Jerry,' " Student said.
"We all smiled and didn't have the heart to tell her it was crazy to say 'World Series' and 'Phillies' in the same sentence."
PHILLIES ANGEL: As her family watched the Phils get that last out and become World Champs, Student said, "we were crying for pure joy because we knew that my Pop-Pop up in the sky was their angel in the outfield."
After she watched the parade floats go by, Student said, "I knelt down at Broad and Packer, and gathered some of the confetti into my pocket.
"A few days later, my family and I sprinkled it on my grandfather's grave," she said. "We tried to bring some of the Phillies party from Broad Street to Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery."
Student said that, like the late Harry Kalas, her grandfather loved singing Frank Sinatra songs, "so when the Phillies show Harry singing 'High Hopes' after each win, my grandfather is singing along as well."
HOBOKEN DIE-HARDS: Sean Iaquinto, president of the Philadelphia Phillies Club of Hoboken, N.J., sent Broad Street Billy a must-see YouTube video of the 200 diehards in his club going crazy at their hangout, Mulligan's bar, after the final out of the 2008 World Series. "That's only HALF the bar in the video!" Iaquinto said. Anyone worrying about tonight's game and needing a megadose of Phillies spirit should check the video out NOW: http://go.philly.com/hoboken.