Phils break ‘Billy Penn’ curse

The streets of Philadelphia were unrecognizable following the Phils’ World Series win. Bus
shelters, newsstands and storefronts fell victim to the celebration.

The “Curse of Billy Penn” is finally broken. The only forecast for Wednesday night was showers of champagne.

“I can’t believe this. I’ve waited all my life for this. The curse is broken, and this city is back,” said Daniel Weick, a freshman business major.

Cheers, champagne and fireworks were only a few ways fans expressed their excitement after 28 years of waiting for another World Series championship (Kevin Cook/TTN).

Before the last strike was thrown, police closed North Broad Street from Susquehanna Avenue to City Hall, as students and residents from surrounding neighborhoods ran down Broad Street.

Phillies fans cheered, drank and high-fived drivers in the few vehicles that were able to get by.

“The Phillies have won the World Series, and it will probably be the best experience of my college career,” said freshman psychology major Abigail Cohn as she made the journey toward Center City.

David Shaw, a freshman marketing major, ran ecstatically with the crowd on Broad Street carrying a sign that proclaimed “Our bell is better.”

“This is unbelievable,” said Shaw as he ran. “I knew Lidge would close it out for us. This is wild.”

Fans were greeted by tens of thousands as they ran toward City Hall. Once they got there, Philadelphians rejoiced with each other., climbing on news station vans, rental trucks and cars. Phillies fans chanted and snapped photos of the sights.

The real celebrations were on the corner of Broad and Sansom streets, where thousands packed the streets in every direction.

Carson Wang, a sophomore computer science major, and Jenny Leung, a junior psychology major, said as soon as the final strike was thrown, they ran crazily from the Student Center to the packed streets of Center City.

Fireworks lit up the sky. A few fans took celebrating to another level, as they climbed stoplights and street signs. One fan made it to the top of the red light and then fell to the ground.

Groups of fans gathered on top of anything and everything.

One group climbed to the top of a SEPTA bus shelter. Minutes later, it collapsed. Pots of plants were overturned, trees were uprooted and newspaper stands were smashed to sidewalks. Newspapers littered
the streets.

Fans found many ways to cheer on their hometown team.

“This is some crazy stuff. Everybody’s everywhere,” said Steven Smith, a junior psychology and political science major. “I’ve never seen so many people downtown before.”

“This is pretty wild, but it could be worse,” said an officer from the Philadelphia Police Department, who wished to remain anonymous.

Matthew D. Wargo can be reached at

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