Blog Entry

Philadelphia Memories

Posted on: January 13, 2010 8:43 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2010 10:14 pm
 
I was driving into Philadelphia on I-95, Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising" playing on my car stereo, and I looked out my window to see the sports complex. Towering over everything was Lincoln Financial Field. Not far off was the Wachovia Center. Near it all was Citizens Bank Park. Three amazingly modern behemoths to house the Philadelphia sports franchises, a testament to owners with deep pockets and a city that lives and dies with its teams. These are not the landmarks I grew up with, not the destination of my myriad trips to Broad and Oregon streets as a child and young adult living in the city of brotherly love, growing up on the teams of our forefathers. As I drove into Philadelphia on that afternoon not so long ago I thought about the change of landscape...

1990. The Spectrum.  Michael Jordan and the Bulls are in town to play the 76ers. We have nosebleed seats, the highest you can get without hitting your head on the roof. But we had fun. The rotting posts holding up the old roof are like old friends we wanted to high five (and then wash our hands immediately afterward). The game is one-sided with the Bulls winning big, but the experience of being in the same building where Dr. J had won the NBA Championship, it is incredible.

1996. Waiting outside the Spectrum for tickets to an Oasis concert (the first concert to be staged at the new Wachovia Center). There is a Phillies game tonight at Veterans Stadium and we see the crowds of people pass by as they queue to go in. They are rabid fans, I see, as they wear old-school Phillies jackets, shirts and caps. Remember, this is 1996. The Phillies are abysmal this year but the fans don't seem to notice, at least not out here.

1997. The Spectrum parking lot. A free Metallica concert is raging for three hours.

1998. Veterans Stadium. The Eagles are playing the Giants, one of those grudge matches where everyone comes out muddy (it is raining cats and dogs). We are sitting in the area directly behind the player family seats and we see Holly Robinson Peete (her husband is Rodney Peete, our quarterback of the moment) pass by. She is as stunning in real life as she ever was on 21 Jump Street. My uncle is wearing a Giants cap. I swear there will be a riot if the Giants win this game and they get a hold of him.

I miss Veterans Stadium. I miss the Spectrum. I miss the feeling of those places. The history associated with them. Veterans Stadium opened the year I was born. That it had outlived its usefulness by the time I was 30 I just cannot wrap my mind around. Citizens Bank Park is a wonderful place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Same with Lincoln Financial Field, but the Vet was like home. Beaten down and overused, but like a member of the family. All this talk is paid to the "new" Yankee Stadium, but Veterans Stadium was the place to be in South Philly.

And I will see the Eagles play at their new digs. I will watch Halladay pitch in Citizens Bank Park. But I will also always remember the places I grew up in, the places that helped me become a fan. Of Philadelphia. Of sports. Of life.
Comments

Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2010 7:58 pm
 

Philadelphia Memories

My first concert: Run DMC and the Beastie Boys at the Spectrum
 1987?

My last concert: Beastie Boys at the Spectrum! 2007?



Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: January 17, 2010 1:25 am
 

Philadelphia Memories

The real memories are roasting in the left field bleachers at Connie Mack stadium with grandpop (he's wearing a coat and tie and smoking an unfiltered cigarette) watching the Gus Zernial hit one out for the A's.   Better yet, sitting with my dad and freezing my butt off while getting splinters in my pants from the wooden seats in Franklin Field watching Chuck Bednarick stuff a third and one attempt.  Been around the world.......nothing's even close!



Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2010 7:16 pm
 

Philadelphia Memories

Nice article,

      
;     &nbs
p;   I moved from the west coast of Ireland to philadelphia in 1985. Made some great buddies and they introduced me to the American way or should I say the Philadelphia way. I spent 6 wonderfull years in Bucks County and moved back to Ireland in December1991.

      
;     &nbs
p;   I still follow the progress of the Eagles, the phillies, the sixers and the flyers (with pride I might add). I was lucky enough to see Michael Jordan break the scoring record in the spectrum one night, thats back in Maurice Cheeks day, seen some mighty feisty Ice Hockey games in the days of Ron Hextall saw the mighty Reggie White bring agony to many the Quarter back (RIP Reggie) and even got to see the brillaint Mike Schmidt slap the ball deep for a trdemark home run. It was a real privilege to see all these superstars and it was a thrill and an honour to have stood many times in both the Spectrum and Veterens stadium.

      
;     &nbs
p;    The US was good to me and when I think of my time there I think and miss my many trips to the Spectrum and the Vet. I wish all the Philly folks well and I will always be watching with my fingers crossed to see how the Eagles, flyers, sixers and phillies are doing. From a big Philadelphia fan in the West of Ireland God Bless.
      
;     &nbs
p;   



Since: Jul 14, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2010 1:47 pm
 

Philadelphia Memories


Wow, I've been to all of these fields. I wonder how many Philadelphia fans remember Schibe Park, Connie Mack stadium and Franklin field. Unfortunatedly the phillies and Eagles sucked with the exception of The World champion 1960 Eagles. I went to those places and witness the Eagles victory over the Packards. I was 16 years old. What a game.

As bad as the philadelphia teams were, I will always remember the opposing players that played in those stadiums. Hundreds of great players. I need to make a list.

This article made me think of the other stadiums and the good memorys of being a youth rooting for my Phillies, and Eagles.

I guess I'm getting old....



Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2010 10:18 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Apr 12, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2010 7:02 pm
 

Philadelphia Memories

11-11-97

still have the free bumper sticker from that concert. so f'n cool !!!!



Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2010 3:01 pm
 

Philadelphia Memories

Have fun getting your nutts stomped in Minneapolis this weekend knob goblin.  The Eagles weren't as good as their record indicated.  The Vikings are for real and will tune Romo and crew up.  Also, what kind of loser posts a lame taunt like this on an opposing team's area?  I mean really, "Bo bo bo..." is all you have to say?  I'm sure you meant boo boo boo, but since your IQ is 65, I would expect to see nothing less. 



Since: Aug 10, 2009
Posted on: January 15, 2010 2:00 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Nov 3, 2009
Posted on: January 15, 2010 7:45 am
 

Philadelphia Memories

Oh yes, the jail at the Vet. It's always funny how the memories we construct sometimes leave out the seemier parts of life. But you're right, of course. The jail at the Vet was just another such hilarious part of life in Philly. It's really strange that the place no longer exists, to me. And have you seen that episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia where the gang tries to explain away parking tickets outside of Citizens Bank Park? That scene with greenman and the Phanatic is PRICELESS!



Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2010 10:48 pm
 

Philadelphia Memories

How could you not talk about the jail at the vet or the rats that came out during game time with no reguards to the fans....


What other fans can say they had a jail and court house in there staduim that's tuff!


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