National media outlets have followed a particular pattern: rank places for things, put Philly at the top or bottom, pump the results into the Phillies blogosphere, wait for the “!!!” Its a standard trick; Drew Curtis covers the topic of horse shit lists masquerading as “news stories” in Its Not News, Its Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News. But just because its merely a fluff tactic pieced together by a low level staffmember and we are aware that it exists solely for the attention doesn’t mean it isn’t going to get a high strung, angrily-typed reaction every single time.
With the irony being that this time, it is just that for which we were ranked: ANGER. And even more ironically, we weren’t first or last. So now we can’t even get mad. But that’s “Burlington, VT”-talk. We need a little “Detroit, MI”-spirit if we want to make a big deal out of this. So let’s pretend that nobody lives in our city anymore and we had to wait for Chevy to make a commercial featuring an old hotel valet nodding along with an Eminem song before anybody remembered we were here.At first, I thought Men’s Health has us ranked 92/100, which felt impossible. Then I realized I was reading the list backwards. But that’s because they say they ranked Detroit #1, but put the number “100” next to it. On a list called “America’s 100 Angriest Cities,” I would assume that meant Detroit was the 100th most angry, which again, felt impossible, because that meant Burlington, VT was the angriest.
Anyways, its a good thing it wasn’t ranking “List-Reading Ability by Phillies Blogs,” because it turns out we’re actually the 8th angriest. Which, while still pretty high up there, is far from the pinnacle of stardom, and won’t warrant a mention from anyone outside of the town. So… what the hell, Men’s Health? You know we’re the worst people in the country, but also the most loyal. You don’t become the worst at something by not screaming yourself hoarse every time a routine ground ball isn’t an infield base hit. You don’t stick by the losingest team in sports history without teetering on the edge of madness every second of every day.
Eighth? Where’s the fun in that? We can’t even commission Ed Rendell to write about that. Maybe if we’d landed in the top three, but eight? Eight is such a… stupid number. Eight doesn’t get you a whimsical Rendellian retort. All you get for finishing eighth is a blog post by me, and I’ve haven’t killed half as many prostitutes as the average politician. So my anger, while questionable, is far less qualifying than some people’s.
We’re now accustomed to finishing at an end of the spectrum. It doesn’t matter which end, there just has to be nobody on one side of us. “Middle of the pack” is so monotonous and bland; meanwhile, Burlington, VT finished 100th (or 1st, if you’re depending on the bullshit backwards ranking system) and I’ve already mentioned them three times in 500 words.
Oh well. I guess we’ll just have to chuck even more unprovoked insults at Buster Olney and hope somebody’s making a list.