Thursday, December 07, 2006
This is Dawkins' Town Now
Mike Lieberthal, a member of the Phillies since 1994 and the team's all-time leader in games caught, signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday.
While this was not a surprising move (the Phillies had made it clear they had no interest in bring Lieberthal back), it still ranks as a momentous occurence in the Philadelphia sports landscape.
Lieberthal, you see, must now relinquish the coveted title of "Longest Tenured Philadelphia Athlete". The Phillies' lone throwback to the Jim Fregosi era, Lieberthal played 1174 games over 13 seasons, and broke in with a team that included the likes of Randy Ready, Fernando Valenzuela, and Larry Andersen. Congratulations on your Brotherly Love longevity, Mike. But a new sheriff is in town now.
The esteemed Eagles safety, known throughout the NFL for being fucking terrifying, is currently in his 11th season with the Birds. He barely edges the Sixers' Allen Iverson, who made his professional debut just a few months later.
Congratulations, Dawkins, on your new-found status as Longest Tenured Philadelphia Athlete (or LTPA). But, as Lieberthal could surely tell you, being LTPA is a double-edged sword. While the increased recognition is nice, it also means that you will become the symbolic face of the city's 23-year Championship drought, thereby becoming a convenient receptacle for over 90 seasons worth of sports frustration.
But who I am kidding here? Whereas Lieberthal had to quietly endure the burden of being the symbolic embodiment of Philadelphia sports failure, Dawkins is having none of that. He's Brian Dawkins, and if you disrespect him he will go after you. He will eat you up and shit you out over and over again, until there is no hint that that endlessly recycled pile of shit was ever a living breathing organism.
You don't want that to happen to you, do you? Then respect Brian Dawkins, LTPA.