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Interesting Take on The Philly Fan


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"undercover optimists"


As the men continued to commiserate, it suddenly struck me. As Cliff Lee's T-shirt would say: BOOM. That's it, I thought. That, right there. That's this town. The tone of the conversation was one of cynicism, of pessimism, of a mad search for what could go wrong. Typical Negadelphia. But when you looked a little deeper, you realized that the entire conversation was based upon a premise regarded as so elementary that it need not be spoken. Not only was Embiid's return inevitable, but the primary concern for a 7-foot, 300-pound big man coming off multiple foot surgeries was his lung capacity.

That's when it dawned on me. Maybe the national punditry has been wrong the whole time. Maybe this is a city of undercover optimists. Think about it. Last year, it took one quarter of a preseason game for Sam Bradford and the Eagles to become one of the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl. This year, the Carson Wentz jerseys are flying off the shelves. After the Sixers won the lottery, you would have thought they'd just declared Victory in Japan.

As Jack Kerouac's Sal Paradise says in On the Road: "I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion." Replace "falling star" with "quarterback" and you pretty much have the lamentation of an Eagles fan in the 21st century.

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