Someone was smiling upon Philadelphia. The Phillies were winning, the Eagles were signing, the Sixers weren’t playing… all was right. All was calm.
Then, that smile became a murderous frown. Yesterday afternoon, the world grew weary of Philadelphia’s success and began it’s natural rejection of happiness in the Delware Valley. The Phils were discussing the merits of Vance Worley’s next masterpiece, and the Eagles trotted out onto the field at Lehigh Valley. Somewhere, Ilya Bryzgalov was saying something with a comically Russian accent, destined to appear on a t-shirt.
And just below, the earth’s tectonic plates began to shift with sinister disinterest.
Hunter Pence has experienced a hurricane and tornado before. He can now cross earthquake off his bucket list.
“I didn’t think Philadelphia would be where that would happen,” he said
–Todd Zolecki, MLB.com
Surely, it was the shock of the moment that was the truly awful part. One can walk around in the Philadelphia, constantly horrified by the flash mobs, erratically driven buses, and toxic clouds of pollution carried by pigeons, but earthquake-ambushes?
Pence spoke of the 5.9 quake throwing off his “equilibrium,” a term usually reserved for physics lectures, or Christian Bale action vehicles that make no sense.
For a guy who already runs, jumps, hits, and gallops like a glitching 8-bit player on an NES, it remains to be seen what removing Pence’s “equilibrium” will do. Fans may want to prepare themselves for a series of missteps in the coming weeks, including comical falls out of the batter’s box, leaping at fly balls in another part of the field, and possibly seeing the Phanatic when he isn’t really there. Sure, these instances will look great on a blooper reel, but in the back of our minds we’ll be able to do little but cringe at the unending nightmarish aftershocks brought upon us by nature’s fury.
The Eagles’ press corps attempted to make light of the devastation by working poorly-timed puns into their headlines, but it was very clear the damage had been done. When defensive end isn’t rattling skulls professionally, he is engaged in cold, calculated hunts of wild animals. So open is he of his thirst for blood that his nickname is “The Hunter,” as the novelty of nickname assignment was not pushed past the obvious for a man so clearly willing to coat himself in the entrails of his enemies. Cole was in the shower when the quake hit, reducing him to a sopping wet, quivering mess, along with the rest of us.
“That was weird, man.’’
The horror is easily discernible in his words, but no Eagle expressed the sheer terror of the moment more accurately than offensive lineman Austin Howard.
“I was lifting and I just stopped to see what was going on. We figured it was some kind of earthquake.”
The horrible truth of the moment became clear upon Howard’s confirmation of the disaster. Now, we are left holding the fragments of reality in our hands as we rebuild. So high had our hopes been built for Philadelphia sports, only to see Mother Nature tear them down with no mercy. Once more we are thrust into the debilitating black of a destroyed sportscape, as the bitter ire of nature has put us calmly back in our place.