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Final Exam: 5 Essay Questions for Braves and Phillies Fans

The Braves are in town, and the spring semester is at its end. Because there is so much more to life than baseball, and this particular divisional baseball rivalry, it's time to demonstrate your knowledge of multiple facets of this matchup in comprehensive fashion. In the spirit of Dale Murphy, the following questions are crafted in such a way so that fans of either side can take part.

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1. Be honest. What is it that really annoys you most about the other team's fanbase? Are these merely anecdotes, statistics, or a stinging/lingering resentment of the other team's recent and/or fading success? Cite examples.

2. Do your constantly re-imagine three-game series against the other team as yet another skirmish in the Civil War/War Between the States? If so, how would you imagine them to go? Which player or coach do you imagine to be Jefferson Davis? Lincoln? Sherman? Nathan Bedford Forrest? [etc.] Explain."

3. Explore the conundrums that you/your fan base faces when national broadcasts involving your team constantly refer to signature movies/pop cultural events made about your team's city (e.g., the Rocky oeuvre, Gone with the Wind).

4. How do you feel your baseball team has resolved, or left open, any historical issues involved with the problems of race in the United States? Be sure to include other ethnic groups, such as native Americans or Latinos (or nods thereto, such as the "tomahawk chop" of "Phillie Phanatic"), in your answer. (For extra credit, explain how your answer is related to current or former religious and political discussions/movements).

5. When confronted by examples of poor behavior by members of the baseball team you follow (for example, domestic abuse, alcohol or drug abuse- with or without police involvement, malfeasance, fraud, violations of MLB policies, etc.), are you more at home with creating excuses, deeper explorations of the subject, or waiting for the next stone to throw? Please cite examples.