The Phils-Nats game didn't start until 11:32 pm because of a 4 1/2 hour rain delay, and I made it up until about 1 am (saw Burrell's gunning of Church) before crashing -- not that I stayed up for the Mitch Williams 4:40 am doubleheader in 1993 either. But what an odd, spirited little crowd of Phillies fans who stood by the Phightins at RFK:
[I]t was more of a carnival than a funeral. A crowd of a couple of hundred endured - and almost all of them were Phillies fans, it seemed. For most of the night, they had no problem entertaining themselves. At one point, they booed the Nationals' pathetic excuse for a mascot and chanted, "You're no Phanatic." Later, they booed the pathetic excuse for Thomas Jefferson who fell down twice in a race of big-headed presidential mascots - after, that is, they greeted the big-heads with a serenade to the Phillies' expert on all races of mascots: "Ran-dall Simon ... Ran-dall Simon ... "
The hour lent itself to all such goofiness, even as the stakes for the Phillies were beyond serious. If you want to compare atmospheres of big games that ran past 2 a.m, this was nothing like the five-overtime Flyers playoff game against Pittsburgh in 2000. That was all sweat and tension until Keith Primeau finally scored for the Flyers. This was different. This was, well, an adventure. Only in the last couple of innings did the import of the outcome really trump the scene.
At 2:07 am last night, the Phillies season just about ended. Again.