We are running out of a lot of things in this country, and now that Philadelphia gets to book a parade route for the first time in a quarter-century, we are less one “long-suffering city” story line.
And we say “city” rather than “fan base” because everyone loves a parade – except the people caught in traffic. A parade takes over an entire city, not just a single fan base, so when Eagle fans line Broad Street, they’re not kicking off any Phillies, Flyers or Sixers fans. It’s a civic event, which we learned most recently when the Warriors jousted with the city of Oakland over their parade bills.
Thus, the new city most gripped by parade-o-phobia is a city full of sports fans that has plenty more to gripe about than just no championships. It’s San Diego.
Bordertown not only hasn’t had a championship in 55 years, the one team that got it for them just moved to Los Angeles with a revolting lurch, and the league in which they won that championship hasn’t existed for 49. In short, almost all the people with memories of that championship are called Grandma or Grandpa – and no, we will forgo the “isn’t everyone called that there?” joke.
Worse still, the city has only the Padres to make its floatmaking case for it, and as a single-franchise city with an open wound just 90 miles up the road, San Diego deserves our kindest thoughts – if we are still capable of such things.
The multi-franchise city with the longest parade drought is Cincinnati, which last filled the streets in 1990 with the Reds, followed by Minnesota (1991 Twins), Washington (1992 with the football team) and Atlanta (1995 Braves), and given what Washington has provided for us all, its next parade should probably be right after the meteor hits.
Here, we’ve been over-paraded with three in San Francisco and two more in Oakland in this decade, one more than Chicago (three Blackhawks, one Cubs), so smug is not the way to play this. Philadelphia’s parade will be a perfectly Philly hot mess, made all the better by the fact that it hasn’t happened there since . . . well, two years ago as it turns out, with Villanova.
But that's the thing about a parade. They actually happen more often than you think -- but not so frequently that they should be taken for granted.