Philadelphia Fans Will Always Cherish Charlie Manuel For Ending City's Championship Frustration in 2008

By Dan Parzych
Charlie Manuel
(Kevin Liles/USA Today Sports)

If you were a Philadelphia sports fan after the Philadelphia 76ers won the NBA Finals in 1983, you have experienced plenty of frustration when it comes to professional sports teams in the City of Brotherly Love before the Philadelphia Phillies won the 2008 World Series. Charlie Manuel may no longer be the manager of the Phillies as of Friday after back-to-back disappointing seasons, but despite the way things ended–Philadelphia fans have plenty to be thankful for from good old Charlie.

It’s no secret Philadelphia has been one of the most frustrating cities to live in as a sports fan and if it wasn’t for Manuel helping the Phillies win the World Series in 2008–the city’s streak of years without a championship from one of their four main professional sports teams would be sitting at 30. Just look back at the years leading up to 2008 when Philadelphia fans thought one of their beloved teams was finally going to bring home the gold–only to fall short every time.

The Philadelphia Eagles making four-straight NFC Championship appearances from 2002-05 without winning a Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Flyers reaching the Stanley Cup Finals three times, only to lose each one. The 76ers falling short of winning the NBA Finals in 2001. And of course–the haunting memories of Joe Carter‘s walk-off home run against the Phillies in the 1993 World Series.

As frustrating as all of these memories were from the perspective of a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, when the Phillies were crowned World Series Champions in 2008–all of those memories of frustration suddenly didn’t matter.

If you’re like this writer who was born after 1983 (born in 1986) and happen to love your Philadelphia sports fans, you had no idea what the feeling was like to see one of your beloved professional sports teams win a championship. Without the Phillies winning it all in 2008, I still wouldn’t know what that feeling is like.

Thanks to Charlie–I can tell you everything about that moment leading up to that final pitch thrown by Brad Lidge in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.

This may have been a move that was overdue and needed to happen, but despite the way things played out, there’s no question Charlie will always have a special place in the hearts of Philadelphia fans as he provided them with a feeling that will last a lifetime–especially for the ones who had never experienced the feeling of seeing their team win a championship before.

So on behalf of Philadelphia fans across the City of Brotherly Love, thank you Charlie and we wish you the best of luck moving forward. No matter what happens moving forward–we’ll always have the memory of the 2008 season.

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