OPINION COLUMNS

Congrats Philly on ending your curse

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, February 7, 2018
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I’m a Dallas sports fan.

Growing up in the area, I’ve seen my fair share of highs and lows when it comes to sports. I’m just old enough to remember the final days of the pre-Mark Cuban, laughingstock Mavericks. For most of my adolescent life, the Mavericks were a 50-win team competing in the playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki was my childhood hero and finally brought home the bacon in 2011 against the hated Miami Heat.

Reece Waddell

The Stars were horribly average for most of the 2000s but won a Stanley Cup in 1999. They’ve reloaded over the past few years and are once again competitive.

The Rangers finally built a contender by the time I was in high school, going to back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011. They took home several division titles and, for a stretch of about four years, were a very fun team to watch.

Don’t get me wrong – I loved the teams in the mid-2000s that featured Kevin Mench, Hank Blalock, Vicente Padilla and Chan Ho Park. But man, they were not great.

Then there are the Cowboys.

The last time the Cowboys won a championship, I was 3 months old. It’s been 22 years since they won a Super Bowl, and each season since, they have never failed to disappoint. Thankfully, over the years the Cowboys have been so average it was easy to turn them off, like when Dave Campo was at the helm.

Here recently, however, the letdowns have been more agonizing. Look no further than the two playoff losses to Green Bay in 2014 and 2016. For many, myself included, those defeats were utter heartbreakers.

So, when Philadelphia snapped a 58-year championship drought on Sunday, it was hard for me to be that upset. Sure, they’re the Cowboys’ hated division rival, and pelted them with ice balls – but prolonged sports agony is something I can’t wish upon anyone.

I’ve been lucky enough to have the Cowboys, Stars and Mavericks win championships in my lifetime, even though I don’t remember all of them. You can add the Rangers to that list had Nelson Cruz not been in right field during Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

Before Sunday, the Eagles were one of 13 teams to have never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Before Sunday, Philadelphia professional sports teams had won two championships in the last 35 years – the 76ers in 1983 and Phillies in 2008.

Perhaps the Eagles’ Super Bowl win made me realize how good I’ve had it for most of my life. I’ll never root for Philadelphia and I’ll certainly never become a fan, but every once in a while, a city deserves a championship.

Sports inferiority can only last for so long. Unless you’re the Cleveland Browns.

Just next time, Philadelphia – whenever the next championship comes – try not to burn your entire city to the ground celebrating.

Reece Waddell is the sports editor of the Messenger and hopes the Cowboys can win a Super Bowl before he is eligible for Medicare.

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