Hundreds of Philadelphians gathered in LOVE Park Sunday to welcome home the Taney Dragons from the Little League World Series. Credit: Charles Mostoller. Hundreds of Philadelphians gathered in LOVE Park Sunday to welcome home the Taney Dragons from the Little League World Series. Credit: Charles Mostoller.

Is the celebration over yet for the Taney Dragons, a bunch of kids who finished third in the U.S. at the Little League World Series and have been honored like champions ever since? Just last week, after back-to-back losses, they scored a rally in Center City, a live appearance on the Today show and (gasp) a parade down Broad Street.

Imagine what would have happened if they had actually won.

Now granted, the story of the Taney Dragons captivated our city and the entire country, but – as predicted here at the height of the mania – it did not end well, despite the determination of the media and Mayor Michael Nutter to turn their abrupt ouster, and superstar Mo’ne Davis’ ultimate failure on the mound, into a fairy tale.

 

You know a story has moved beyond the realm of sanity when a legend like Jim Gardner of 6ABC describes Taney’s futile three-run rally in their final game as “courageous.” This was a dozen young people playing baseball. The only thing courageous about it was the effort by 12 and 13 year olds to overcome the absurd pressure created by adults.

If the public weren’t already conditioned to every story being the biggest thing that ever happened, involving one disposable hero after another, the truth would have come out long ago about the Dragons and their magical run. They were simply the latest means for a pack of shameless adults to make money and win acclaim.

And yes, that includes our mayor, who – after years of whining about the expense of sports parades – cheapened every future event by spearheading one that was undeserved.

Mo’ne Davis was indeed the feel-good story of our barren sports summer – but then the adults came along and screwed it up.

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