Good Fortune in Philly

For Philadelphia, a city that is widely considered one of the premiere sports locations in North America, things have looked grim for awhile. Sure, the Eagles did win a Super Bowl in 2018, but other than that, there hasn’t been much to gloat over. The Phillies last won the World Series in 2008. The 76ers’s last championship win was in 1983. The Flyers’s last Stanley Cup win was in 1975. The Philadelphia Union have never won an MLS cup. On the surface, Philadelphia does not seem to have the emphasis on its pro sports like other cities do, such as Los Angeles or New York. But watching any home game quickly shows this is not the case, with crowds roaring as loudly as they can in support. Philadelphia is infamous for some citizens climbing street poles in celebration when teams succeed in the playoffs. Recently, the city of Philadelphia and its passionate fans have found more reason to climb poles once again. Just two weeks ago, it seemed as though Philadelphia was entering a new sports renaissance, which made its fall, as two championships slipped through Philly’s grasp, so much more devastating.
This year alone, Philadelphia has found two of its teams in the finals for their respective sports. The Phillies found their way into the World Series and the Philadelphia Union the MLS Championship. The Phillies were never expected to be in the World Series to begin with, finishing the season as the sixth seed, with a record of 87-75. Just enough to make it into the playoffs with a new expanded format. The key in any championship run, especially baseball, though, is to get hot at the right time, and that’s just what the Phillies did. They beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 in the wild card series, advancing them to the divisional round. They played the defending World Series champs Atlanta Braves, and upset them with a 3-1 win. The Phillies went on to win the NLCS against the San Diego Padres 4-1, sending them into the World Series. They faced off against the Houston Astros, and quickly became the favorites among baseball fans around the country. The combination of lovable players ranging from Bryce Harper and Kyle Shwarber to playing against a team a few years removed from a massive cheating scandal in the Houston Astros, made them hard to root against. Philly fans were running rampant in the streets, which only made the series loss 4-2 hurt that much more. The Phillies couldn’t finish the job. What about the Union?
On the same day the Phillies lost in the World Series, The Philadelphia Union took on LAFC in a nail-biter soccer match that went into a penalty shootout, as the score was 3-3 at the end of regulation. LAFC won 3-0 of PK’s, ending the Union’s historic season in heartbreak. The Union had a terrific season, too. Leading up to the championship, they found themselves as the first seed in the Eastern Conference of the MLS, with a record of 19-10. This earned them a bye in the first round of MLS playoffs, and they won their second round matchup against Cincinnati, 1-0, advancing to the conference finals. Their matchup was the former MLS champions, the NYCFC. They cruised through that match, too, winning 3-1. All this success just to come up short in the end is heartbreaking.
The Philadelphia Eagles, 76ers, and Flyers are all currently still playing in-season. The Eagles are the best team in the NFL so far, with an undefeated record of 8-0. The Eagles won their last Super Bowl in 2018, and after that win, they made massive changes in the following years. They fired head coach Doug Pederson, traded quarterback Carson Wentz, and drafted quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receiver DeVonta Smith. They added big this previous offseason, trading for star wide receiver AJ Brown, drafting first round pick Jordan Davis, and trading for cornerbacks James Bradberry and C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Under coach Nick Siriani and breakout quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Philadelphia Eagles are unstoppable, and looking to add their second Super Bowl in five years.
The 76ers have been no stranger to heartbreak in the past. Last season, they lost to the Miami Heat in the second round, in 2021 they lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round, and in 2020 they lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round. In 2019, they lost brutally to a game 7 game winner by Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors. Throughout the 2010’s, the 76ers have been accustomed to the phrase “Trust the Process,” as they tanked for better draft picks for years. Head coach Doc Rivers and the 76ers think this is their year. Last season, they made the blockbuster move to trade for former MVP James Harden. Joel Embiid has been the franchise man for many years now, being so close to winning his first MVP two years in a row. With emerging star Tyrese Maxey, the 76ers have created their Big 3. Right now they sit as the sixth seed, with a record of 7-7. With a lot of season left to play, they plan to take charge and win this competitive Eastern Conference.
Throughout the late 2010s, the Philadelphia Flyers were one of the better teams in the NHL. They were always near the top of their division, with records such as 41-21, 42-26, and 39-33. Recently, they haven’t found the same success. In 2020, they finished with a record of 25-23, and in 2021, they finished with a record of 25-46. They look to turn around this year, as they currently sit with a record of 7-6. There isn’t much to report at the moment because of how early we are into their season.
Philadelphia has found itself with a multitude of success across most major sports this year. While the Phillies and Union did not win it all, they still had historic seasons with many of the franchises greatest moments and players. The Eagles have started off hot, and hope to take that energy to the second half of the season. The 76ers and Flyers sit comfortably right now, but hope to go on a run with all the talent they have on their rosters. Philadelphia fans have been dealt some pretty good teams in the year 2022, and hopefully soon will be able to climb their street poles in celebration once again.