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Friday, October 10, 2008

The Curious Curse of Billy Penn, and My October Extravaganza Winner!

“Hello, my name is Diana. And I’m a Philadelphia sports fan.”

Those of you who follow sports, know that I am in a category worthy of a support group. Because Philadelphia is home to a sad bunch of fans famously devoted to teams who collectively haven’t won a championship in 25 years. It is the largest championship drought of any city with four major sports teams—ever.

And it’s all thanks to William Penn.



Yup, that peace-lovin’ Quaker who founded our state was so humble and pious that our city put a giant 37-foot statue of him on top of city hall. And there he’s stood since the late 1800s. It’s a nice sentiment if you think about it. Instead of a telecommunication tower on top of the building, we’ve got a statue dedicated to the man who made us. Except…

Penn hates us.

Well, sort of.

You see, when the building was erected, it came with a “gentlemen’s agreement” stating that no building in the city would be constructed higher than William Penn’s hat. And that ordinance lasted until the 1980s, which in itself is impressive because the building’s not that tall, 548-feet high; in comparison, the Empire State Building’s 1,250-feet. But Billy Penn remained our highest point until One Liberty Place sprouted up in 1987, just three blocks away from City Hall. One Liberty Place is 945 feet tall.



And Billy Penn has been none too happy ever since. In fact, Philadelphia hasn’t won a major sports championship (football, baseball, basketball or hockey) since the NBA title in 1983. You know how long ago that was? Dr. J, Mose Malone, and Maurice Cheeks led the team (they’re all still awesome, but a tad bit grayer). And it’s all because we’ve been cursed by the very man who founded us. However…

The spell may be lifting.

You see, this past year a new skyscraper opened, dwarfing the two Liberty towers only a few blocks away. Oh, yes, I’m talking about the Comcast Center—57 stories, and 975 feet of corporate America. And it’s not only the tallest point in the city, it’s now also home to William Penn’s famous hat. When the building topped off, construction workers attached a small statue of William Penn (a tiny replica of the one at City Hall) to it’s highest beam. Thus, allowing Billy to sit atop his city once again.



Why am I telling you this?

Because the Phillies are fighting to win the NLCS! Because they could, God willing, go back to the World Series for the first time since 1993. And hopefully if Penn is satisfied with his new home (aren’t Quakers supposed to be about peace and harmony?), then he might toss a bone to us freakishly dedicated sports fans. (Who sometimes get a bad wrap in the media, but seriously how pleasant would your fans be if they hadn’t seen a single championship in their entire lifetimes? Gee, it must be soooo hard to be a Yankees fan. What devotion you all have. Win, after win, after win. Except this year, oops.)

So my point is, cheer for the Phillies! Rally around us! The Cubs already let you down. And do you really want to see the Dodgers win? Like Joe Torre needs another championship!

Embrace what it feels like to be a Philly fan—go throw a snowball at Santa, or boo a neighbor, or loyally pack in at a major sports game despite the 25 years of disappointment. Because our sorry little city needs a ticker-tape parade!

And to add to the October excitement, I’m please to announce the first winner of the Amigas and School Scandals October Giveaway Extravaganza!

Congratulations…..Rachael Stein!

Your name was selected via a random drawing after having answered the “Question of the Week” correctly!

In Amor and Summer Secrets, when Mariana goes to Puerto Rico with her brother, they meet a teenage cousin who looks like Mariana (a lot). What’s Mariana’s cousin’s name?


CORRECT ANSWER: Lilly

Please email me with your mailing address and who you would like your ARC made out to! Congratulations! And stayed tuned for next week’s installment of the Extravaganza where I’ll have a new Question and a link to my new Amigas and School Scandals Flipbook.


POP-CULTURE RANT: Life on Mars

So I’m trying to DVR some of the new shows on TV. And I decided to give this one a go because it comes on after Grey’s Anatomy—I’m a tough sell, I know. First off, what’s with the name? Life on Mars sounds like it should be the next incarnation of ALF, but instead it’s more like a lame rip off of that movie Frequency. You know, where there are weak time travel elements and a cop trying to solve an old murder to save someone he loves from the devious acts of a murderer in the present? And as a former resident of Lower Manhattan on 9/11, I take issue with shows using the Twin Towers purely for shock value. Though I did get chills when the guy woke up in the ‘70s and saw the buildings still standing, I found it weird that he was still focused on trying to save his 2008 girlfriend rather than creating a way to stop the towers from ultimately collapsing. Seriously, if you ended up back in time and saw those towers still intact, wouldn’t that be your first priority?

1 Comments:

Blogger Khyrinthia said...

Heyyy did you already post about your Cybil nomination? http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/YA.html/

I didn't say congrats, so...congrats!

October 21, 2008 at 8:48 PM  

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