Philadelphia: Collective Breath

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After years of heartache, the city of Philadelphia finally won a championship. Using video shot by fans, this tribute captures how a city held its collective breath (and the celebration that followed).


Whether it is weddings, protests or sporting events, it seems that every Joe Six Pack and Joe the Plumber has a media device aimed at capturing "the moment." Equally familiar is the image of the artists "turing the camera back" on the audience.

However, I believe that media designers have a plethora of "public" media at their disposal to mix, leverage and reinterpret to give new meaning and new life to these "stock" collections.This is especially true at sporting events, where video is shot from a variety of angles, points of view and perspectives to create a panorama of the event.

Using video placed on You Tube, I noticed that there was a brief moment, if you listened closely, in which a city held its collective breath. Equally as interesting was just how crazy was the celebration afterwards- grown men literally reduced to tears.

"Philadelphia- Collective Breath" gives a brief account of the city's painful sports history before its moment of triumph.

Relational Aesthetics

Recently Dmitri Seagull, creative director of Urban Outfitters, came to talk to the Media Design Department. Discussing the book Relational Aesthetics, Dmitri saw an opportunity space for psycho analysis in design- a topic that was hinted at but not fully flushed out in book.

In this spirit, I began to reflect on why I would take a "week off" of my thesis to make this short. My conclusion- I wanted to relieve the moment of victory over and over and over again.

As a designer, I believe there are some itches you need to scratch, some instincts you need to follow and some projects that you just need to do for yourself.

On a side note, there are two things I blame my father for two things- never teaching me how to shave and making me a Phillies fan. Nobody choses to be a Phillie's fan. I dedicate this short to my family, friends and fellow Phillie fan's who have suffered, by my account, the length of my conscious life.

Will Men Cry?

One of the surprising outcomes from this video were the unusual number of viewers who shared that the video made them cry. In fact, 22 of the first one hundred posts admitted to crying. The average age of the crier (throwing out the outliers ages 16 and 46 was 30.1 years of age).

As a designer, there is an innate urge to understand how this reaction can influence design. For example, does the admission of personal feelings (such as crying) allow others to feel comfortable enough to admit the same. Moreover, how can I create a space (physical or virtual) that allows people to share their feelings.

As a fan, I cried too.

Listed below some of these admissions:

PhillyFaithful I don't have tears right now...honest... Tremendous compilation. Thanks for that. (27)

jermaine8 this video made me effin' cry (34)

Hlevitt best video on youtube i ever saw, i actually truly shed a tear. thanks my n word... world champs.. world fucking champs (21)

carmen9588 words cant describe this video. i actually cried (20)

eagleshead5 thats awesome! I had tears on my eyes when we won... (38)

therealeggplant Awesome video, brought a tear to my eye!!! (22)

sweetdaddy6262 two weeks later and i cried tears of joy (29)

njbubba27 Thank you. I just cried. Miss you, mom. This was for you. (33)

smokesdawg88 Cried (28)

silkcity19 so did I (42)

kunoichi215 Bloody fantastic! Made me cry! I hope the Phillies see this!

heffae21 this is gonna make me tear up forever (37)

ramonski13 Yup, this made me tear up again... What a great feeling! (27)

stazym69 Yep...I teared right up seeing the joy of all my fellow fans of this GREAT City! What people have to understand about those of us who have lived here all of our lives is.....We live vicariously thru all of our sports teams.....So many disappointments.....It feels soooo good to finally celebrate. Awesome job on the video!!!!!!!! (39)

WorldChampionPhils Wow!,this video just brought all of the emotions right back to me.The night they won,I collapsed into my wife's arms and sobbed uncontrollably,definitely one of the best moments of my life (37)

hhblv I cried like a bitch (29)


McQueensMustang heard about this video last week´╗┐ on WIP radio. You just made a 46 year old man sob like a girl. Been through so many taunts and jeers at the hands of NY fans, about how we suck, it's so good to not suck anymore. Thank you God for a championship in Philly and thank you, sir, for the great video! Best on YouTube by far!! (46)

Ktg1025 Every time I watch this, I cry. What a great video! (33)

talie1964 So, I have to preface this by saying I've been a Jays fan all my life (I'm Canadian) and will always be a Jays fan (sorry about '93!)...BUT my boyfriend is from Philly and I've been cheering on the Phils like CRAZY this year. My boyfriend is the one at the end (and a couple more times earlier) running down the hall of our apartment. He didn't know I was taping him lol. That night was magical (and we weren't even in Philly!). This video makes me weep. I will forever cheer on your team!!! (24)

scottmolson Instant classic!! LOL brought tears to my eyes again. World Champions.....World FUCKING CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !! I just watched it 3 times!! Going to watch it 22 more times to make up for the last 25 years of heartbreak. Awesome video. Thanks (37)

UnknownPerson088 I am such a loser. I actually cried :] (16)

Diehardphillyfan418 ur not a loser so many ppl cried including myself. (24)

unclematt Tears and goosebumps during that amazing video! and LMAO at 3:42-4:01 Chase Utley said it best "World Phuckin' Champions" (21)

IlladelphSlander I sat at work and watched this and literally almost broke down in tears.....This was my first championship. hope fully we wont have to wait another 25 years!! Let's Go Philly!! (21)

scottmolson I just watched it again. I watch it every day and every time my eyes get watery. That was a night I will not ever forget. Jumping up and down yelling like a madman, alone and far from the park but still feeling like a part of something great. And this video brings back all those same feelings. Awesome!!! (37)

sabremookie wow awesome video, brought tears to my eyes (29)

joemc6277 watched it again for maybe the 20th time and agian brought tears and chills (38)

VIew the Graph "Will Men Cry?"

View Pics of the Collective Breath

More Viewer Comments

While there were plenty of posts that admitted to crying, there were others that were equally interesting. In general, the comments were very positive with only a few "Phuck the Mets." Listed below are some of my favorites.

World Champions?

worldcitizen001 why "world" champions?

sweetdaddy6262 granted, the term is used loosely but... because the final has always been called the World Series AND the league is clearly the top league in the world


drewski67 This video made me so happy, not just because that's ME at the end running down the hall, but all those clips and the addition of the music made me relive that amazing moment all over again. Thank you SOOO much!!!!! :) :)

Happy Tears

kman68 Cried? Are you serious? Have you ever lost a loved one? I love baseball probably more than all of you combined, but cry?

talie1964 Oh PLEASE! You're gonna compare the emotion of winning the World Series to losing a loved one??? Where did THAT come from? You don't think people cry for different reasons? Have you ever heard of HAPPY tears?! Obviously you DON'T love baseball than all of us combined, clearly!

City of Brotherly Love

MrMotherhead Wow: I've always heard about that Brotherly love... nice to see it embodied. Next Project: Werth turning into werthwolf/warewerth

amnaspearsh awesome awesome one so far of all the celebration clips. Really shows what this title means to not only phillies fans, but the city of philadelphia.

stazym69 Yep...I teared right up seeing the joy of all my fellow fans of this GREAT City! What people have to understand about those of us who have lived here all of our lives is.....We live vicariously thru all of our sports teams.....So many disappointments.....It feels soooo good to finally celebrate. Awesome job on the video!!!!!!!!

lolrusad i wish i could relive that night again. the city fucking exploded!

joyfeliciano1202 a shot of Philly LOVE. Great video!

IlladelphSlander This Win was for the CIty of Philadelphia... and Every Philly Fan Across the world

luckyskill77 wow, luke. you seem to have captured the emotions of an entire city. i especially liked the part with the audio files. sweet video. see you soon, cuz. go cubs

Director's Cut: Narrative

Director's Cut: Just Breath

Director's Cut: Phanatics

Director's Cut: How We Celebrate

Director's Cut: The Dogpile

Odds and Ends