A Lamentation for the Philadelphia Phillies

When I was 15 years-old I used to watch the Phillies on a small television with rabbit ear antennae. The television was dragged outside to the backyard patio, and it glowed softly under the stars. There were hot summer nights in August, with the leathery lilt of Harry Kalas rising above the crickets. My parents might have been eating crabs together, their slow and methodical fingerings echoing the subtler fine points of the game on television. The crack of a well-timed bat and the break of another blue claw, the hiss of the fastball and the slurp of white meat from the shell.

And then Comcast took over the rights to the Phillies broadcasts. No more public access to the civic sporting life of Philadelphia without purchasing Comcast cable, which was more expensive than 3 bushels of crabs. Even if you had cable for your television, you could no longer drag the tv outside. Another soulful aspect of my experience of summer baseball, killed.

And here it is, 2008, and I am a grown man. I remain selectively Amish in that I refuse to purchase Comcast cable. I will not submit to the towering Lord who hijacked the Philadelphia Phillies games from the common man’s channel 29, 57, or 17. I will not bow down to the behemoth who tethered the free night airways to the costly cable cord. Even the Veterans have lost a war to Lincoln Financial and Citizens (not citizen’s, or citizens’) Bank.

Instead I will eat my own crabs, and catch the box scores as they feed the cynical appetite of my fantasy baseball team on my wireless laptop, dragged out under the vanishing stars of my city deck.

Oh, and good luck to the 2008 Phils.

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