Phillies fans can & should root for the Dodgers/Utley

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19: Chase Utley
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19: Chase Utley /

It’s time to put our differences aside as Phillies fans for the greater good

For three decades the chants of “Beat LA” have rung out from Veteran’s Stadium, Citizens Bank Park, the Spectrum, the Wells Fargo Center, and in Chavez Revine. It’s a rivalry that’s taken a slight step back with Philadelphia and Los Angeles sports in the midst of multiple rebuilds. Regardless, it’s a rivalry entrenched with history.

Narratives on Philly sports talk radio have grown tiring, no matter which team sits atop the fandom totem pole. The latest one has some Phillies fans stuck between a rock and a hard place: Can we really root for the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series?

With the World Series now set with the Dodgers and Astros, baseball fans without a true rooting interest have an opportunity to take sides.

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However, with Los Angeles it’s personal. Deeply personal. Philadelphia folk hero Chase Utley is looking to win his second ring in three appearances, the first two coming with the Phillies. His career is winding down, evident with the glistening of his silver hair and the decreased bat speed, something that always set him apart and from where he contracted his power.

Los Angeles has given Utley the opportunity to walk off into the sunset, a true reality after a 15-year career that could culminate in a plaque at Cooperstown.

It’s rare to see athletes leave the game on such a high note; perhaps most famously were John Elway and Peyton Manning. Former Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen did the same with the Blackhawks after Philadelphia traded him at the deadline.

Utley may be the most beloved player in Phillies history, if not in all of Philadelphia sports. He sits among the likes of Brian Dawkins, Dr. J., Allen Iverson, and Bernie Parent as a legend for their relentless play and ability to connect with the fans.

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For once, and probably the last time, Philadelphia needs to root for LA. Even if Utley doesn’t decide to walk off into the sunset, a second championship adds to an already wonderful career and could push him into the Hall of Fame.