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For the first time since 1983, the City of Philadelphia has a championship team. On the streets of Philadelphia 25 years of anger, anguish and pain were relinquished.
Most of those celebrating weren’t even alive for the last championship when the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in 1983.
Some believed there was a curse on the Cradle of Liberty. Some thought William Penn’s statue atop City Hall was seeing shadows of taller skyscrapers, thus keeping a championship from the city.
Those myths are now exactly that – myths. The fortune was turned when the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 4–3, in part two of Game 5 Wednesday night.
The euphoria that ensued was awe-inspiring and a bit fearful.
At the intersection of 15th Street and JFK Boulevard, three streetlights were torn to the ground, one of which took a woman down with it. The unidentified woman was taken from the scene in an ambulance while the jubilant fans saw her off with “Let’s Go Phillies” chants.
“It’s absolute mayhem,” said Temple alum Kyle McLaughlin. “This city is in turmoil, but it’s awesome.”
Glass from thrown beer bottles and smashed streetlights littered the streets around City Hall, but riot police appeared to have the scene under control. However, at Broad and Walnut streets, fans broke through the glass doors at Robinson’s Luggage and looted the store.
Philadelphia Police are reporting that only about 75 people were arrested.
Although mainstream media’s reports of incidents like those of the uprooted streetlights give the city a black eye, what was more apparent in this area was Philadelphia living up to its endearing title as the “City of Brotherly Love.”
Complete strangers were embracing in the streets, talking about how one of the four major sports teams finally came through, or how they had wished to see a day like this before they died.
While in the coming hours – or even the coming days – the focus may seem to be on the damage that was done after the Phillies won their first World Series in 28 years, the Brotherly Love appears to be alive and well in Philadelphia.
Dave Isaac can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.