YOU WIN some, you lose some. That's the lesson I took from the Flyers gutty Stanley Cup loss. They're a good team, a gritty team, but they're not better than the Blackhawks, at least not this year. That's cool. We'll get 'em next time.
That's the mantra of every Philadelphian, isn't it? Next time.
In 2004 when we went to the Super Bowl and lost, we pulled our hair out, donned sackcloth and ashes, and took a trip to our own personal wailing walls. When we were through mourning and cursing people out, we retreated to our neutral Philadelphia corners and told ourselves the same two words our forebears did: Next time.
When our working-class roots won't allow us to get that fancy toy for the kid, that shiny bauble for the wife or that car we can't afford, the Philadelphian in us knows just how to respond. We don't get angry, we don't get upset, we don't lose our cool. We simply look at our meager wallets and repeat that famed Philadelphia saying. Next time.
When the city loses bids to host major sporting events like the Olympics, we don't blame it on the dirt, the grime or the other endearing little qualities that give our city so much character. In fact, we don't blame it on anything. We simply pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and save our grimy little selves for next time.
That doesn't mean we simply accept being on the short end of the stick. We're kind of petty about it.
When Chris Pronger stole the puck from the Blackhawks' Game 2 win, thus denying the opponent the souvenir, that was petty. When the guys on sports radio criticized the coach for pulling goalie Michael Leighton and putting him back in for the next game, that was petty. When old Flyers fans criticized new ones for having the nerve to cheer, that was petty. As a dad, I shake my head and say tisk-tisk when I see that type of behavior, but as a Philadelphian, I kinda like it, because I'm secretly petty, too.
Need an example? OK, here's one. When I said I'd be cheering for the Flyers despite the fact that I'd never watched a complete hockey game in my life, I asserted my inalienable right to cheer for them because I am a lifelong Philadelphian who lives and owns property and in the actual city of Philadelphia. Not South Jersey, not Bucks County - Philadelphia.
While most Flyers fans were supportive of my right to jump on the bandwagon, there were some who felt the need to tell me I couldn't. That's OK. Everybody has the right to opinion, but not if you're a transplanted Philadelphian who now lives in Lakeland, Fla.; Tupelo, Miss., or the Ozark Mountains.
The way I see it, when you abandoned the grime we love for greener pastures, you forfeited the right to tell real Philadelphians what to do. While you're on your little houseboat, or in your sprawling back yard, or breathing your clean air, we're here in the city dealing with a Parking Authority so ruthless that it got its own TV show.
We're dealing with children so bad that Bay Bay's kids run screaming when they see them. We're dealing with women so tough they can beat the average man, and a vocal minority of sports fans who are stupid enough to throw up on little children.
If you used to live in Philly 20 years ago and you ran for the hills, do me a favor. Cheer for the team from Lakeland next time they play for the Cup. Oh, they don't have an NHL team in Lakeland? I wasn't aware of that. OK, yes I was. I was just being petty.
I promise I'll say something less snarky about your corny little minor-league town. Next time.
Solomon Jones' column appears every Saturday. He can be reached at