It's how I feel: separated from Philly. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Why can't European cities be more like Philly? Well, I guess no city can.
Currently, I am sitting in a hotel computer room catching up on the past week and a half happenings from not only Philly sports but also BGN and the other Philly blogs sites. It's truly amazing how much I miss the blogging community here and the vast resources open to us for vital Philly sports updates. I luckily found out that Oswalt was traded prior to my departure but in previous years I was forced to learn about the Cliff Lee trade while in Venice, etc. It's tough to be abroad without a stable ability to access the internet, which is why I thank all of you who make up the Philly blogging community on SBNation sites for helping make the process of catching back up not only easy but also fun.
The previously mentioned computer room is in a hotel in Budapest, Hungary, where I currently am touring. A drive from Prague, Czech Republic through Slovakia brought me to this location which looks like a wonderful city. But, alas, it is not my city. I miss the Old City, the soft pretzels, the sports and even Howard Eskin (pray for my soul).
After my entire life consisting of being basically a stone throws away from the city, it's truly a tough experience for me to be ripped away from it, even for a vacation. Philadelphia embodies my city culture, much of my family's American history and of course my sports fandom. I'm sure some of you have felt the same way when removed from access to the city's news or maybe even this blog. I know I sure have so far, six days in.
I feel a new found respect for any, and all, displaced Philly fans out in the world because sports coverage for the States is almost none unless you chuck out some cash for it. Newspapers mention soccer, cycling, F1, rugby and various other sports but my Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, Sixers and Union aren't mentioned once. It pains me not to be able to pick up a Philadelphia Inquirer and just flip to the sports section to read about our city's sports franchises.
Philly and you, its fans, have influenced me to the point where I yearn to be back in the city even when I am enjoying the splendors of what foreign countries can offer me. How can I look at something like the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany and not remember that Oswalt would be debuting as a Phillies pitcher later that night? How can I concentrate fully on the trip at hand when Ryan Howard is on the 15-day DL, putting the Phillies season at risk? How should I feel about Prague when I'm missing a Union game that night? It's as if I'm Two Face, forced to live a life torn between two things.
But here I am, typing away during my chance to converse with the one connection I currently have to Philly sports - the fans. Since becoming part of the SBN community, it has become more evident to me that my chosen career path of journalism is all the more right choice. My passion has only grown stronger for sports in general because of those whom contribute to the sites on here. You all are the reason why I long for my laptop, for the Inquirer, for the Daily News, for Cataldi, the Prof and Cuz and even Eskin (Ike, you don't quite make up for him bud).
It most certainly is amazing how much sports affect a person's life. Sometimes I have the urge to turn to my laptop and read for hours, yet it isn't with me in this far away land to console me in my time of need. I don't have a cast of character surrounding me, be it online or in person, to talk to about today's happenings in the world of Philly sports. I can't fathom a life without the ability to keep up with sports, let alone a life without sports as a whole.
(Queuing the "Real Men of Genius" music) So here's to you, Philly and its fans, because without you I don't know where'd I be today.
Scott is currently touring Eastern Europe and will return in the coming weeks. Check out his upcoming features about the Union and other Philly sports on philly.sbnation.com.