The late, great band Chumbawamba once said "I get knocked down. But I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down". Now I don't believe that Chumbawamba was originally from Philadelphia, but that song embodies the spirit and tenacity and fortitude of Philly.
Just this past weekend the city of Philadelphia experienced 2 excruciating losses. The Philadelphia Union lost to LAFC in penalty kicks of the MLS Cup. And then the Philadelphia Phillies lost in 6 games to the Houston Astros in the World Series. Both of these losses occurred within hours of each other. For most cities, that would be a death sentence. The city would cease to exist. They'd give up, surrender, lose the will to fight any longer. But Philadelphia is not just any ordinary city. In Philadelphia, we fight. We persevere. And when life hands us lemons, we say fuck the lemons and grab a rotisserie chicken instead.
It was on the day the Phillies had won their first playoff series in 10 years that we were introduced to this hero, Smooth Recess. He had set out on a quest to eat an entire rotisserie chicken for 30 days straight, and brought us along his journey on day 11.
As Philadelphia continued to dominate the world of sports, so did Smooth Recess continue to dominate an entire rotisserie chicken once per day.
The Chicken Man accomplished his task of eating at least one rotisserie chicken per day for 30 days straight. But it turns out that this was the hero that Philadelphia needed. The Chicken Man couldn't just stop now. He had an entire city depending on him. The Phillies kept winning. The Eagles kept winning. The vibes throughout all of Philadelphia were as high as they'd ever been, and somehow the Chicken Man was right in the middle of it all. So it was at this point that he decided to come out of the shadows and bring the city together for one of the most historic moments in human history.
A live show for his 40th consecutive chicken on the pier behind Walmart on Columbus Blvd.
As the anticipation continued to grow, the Chicken Man kept with his duties and continued to eat a rotisserie chicken per day. This had all the makings of one of the most magical events the world had ever seen. And then…something tragic happened.
It was Saturday November 5th. A day before the 40th consecutive eating. And Philadelphia lost 2 championships in a single night.
It would be easy at this point to just throw in the towel. It would make total sense if he thought that now wouldn't be the time for the city to care about chicken. But when we needed him the most, the Chicken Man delivered. And in what can only be described as a Herculean amount of resiliency, the city of Philadelphia rallied together after one of the worst nights we've ever experienced to make something truly special happen the very next day.
City of Champions. Philadelphia is the greatest city on the planet. And nobody can ever convince me otherwise. Long live the Chicken Man.
I hope they did, too, Chicken Man. I hope they did, too.