Lurie has words of encouragement for the Phillies

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - We already knew how the New York Mets' fans felt after the Phillies completed their remarkable run to their first National League East title in 14 years yesterday.

The pictures from Shea Stadium were worth a million words, including a lot of unprintable ones.

So how did Philadelphia's biggest fan of the Boston Red Sox feel about the Phillies' game-clinching win and champagne celebration at Citizens Bank Park?

"Congratulations," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said before his team took on the New York Giants last night at the Meadowlands. "It's a great thing for the city of Philadelphia."

Lurie, a Boston native who was giddy when the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years three years ago, said he has two favorite baseball teams.

"I root for the Red Sox in the American League and the Phillies in the National League, so this is great," Lurie said. "My two favorite teams are in the playoffs."

Lurie, like most Phillies fans, lived through some excruciatingly painful moments before the Red Sox finally won the 2004 World Series. Among the most painful experiences was Boston's 1978 collapse when they blew a 14-game July lead, then lost a one-game playoff for the American League East title to the New York Yankees.

The Mets, of course, blew a seven-game lead with 17 days to play, but Lurie said his focus was more on what the Phillies did.

"I think the Phillies earned it," Lurie said. "I don't think it was just a Mets collapse. The Phillies combined great pitching with great hitting and they deserved it."

Lurie said he didn't attend a Phillies game this season, but he wasn't able to get to a Red Sox game either.

"Now, hopefully, I can go to both," he said.

And what if, by chance, the Phillies found themselves playing his beloved Red Sox in the World Series at the end of this month?

"That would be a dream," the owner said.

And who does the Eagles' owner root for in this dream?

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Lurie said.


Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577

or bbrookover@phillynews.com.