I was an intern at NBC Sports Philadelphia (then Comcast SportsNet) during my senior year at Temple University in 2008.
In case you forgot, the Phillies won the World Series that year.
Before Game 4 of the Fall Classic started on Sunday, Oct. 26, I turned to one of my best friends, who also happened to be an intern with me and said, “Have your dad call Jayson Stark and get us tickets for tomorrow.”
I never told anyone at NBC Sports Philadelphia this before, so here’s my coming clean moment: I wasn’t sick on Monday, Oct. 27. I called Pat Devlin at the assignment desk and told him I wasn’t feeling well … while holding a World Series ticket in my hand.
Maybe it was the two 40s of Miller Lite I had before hopping on the subway to the game, but I didn’t even notice the puddles of ice cold water throughout the open areas of Citizens Bank Park that night.
I think you know how the story goes …
The sound was deafening. No one was sitting, the rally towels were in full force and that aura of knowing we were celebrating that night kept my heart rate up.
Fast forward to the sixth inning and the game goes into full rain delay. Weirdest thing about that? PEOPLE WERE LEAVING THE STADIUM. Come hell or high water (which we were getting fairly close to) I’m not leaving without that effing trophy.
Well, it didn’t end that way that night. We all left, soaked to the bone and sober. Here’s where things get really weird.
As we’re waiting for the Broad Street Line to show up, I’m looking at what seemed like hundreds of tickets scattered about the rail lines. Who throws away a World Series ticket??? Could they not hear over the PA system telling everyone to hold onto their ticket stubs?
Fast forward to Wednesday night and we’re back on the subway … with some very entrepreneurial salesmen offering us tickets to the game for a discounted price. And these tickets were legit. Remember the stubs scattered about the subway? Well they got scooped up and were being re-sold.
Why is this the craziest game I ever saw live? Because there were empty seats in that stadium the night we celebrated. Where rally towels waved and those blue seats were painted Phillies red with rabid fans two nights earlier, blotches of empty seats were visible in nearly every section of Citizens Bank Park.
Didn’t matter. However many bodies didn’t make it that night, the one’s that were sure as hell made up for it. And when Brad Lidge delivered the nastiest slider he’s ever thrown to Eric Hinske on an 0-2 count … it felt like there were a million of us in that stadium. Deafening doesn’t even come close. It was BLISTERING. The delay, the weather, Chase Utley’s incredible defensive play to nail Jason Bartlett at the plate, Brad Lidge going 48-for-48, and celebrating as a whole city … you’re damn right it was the best game I ever saw live.