Philadelphia Sports Fan: An Optimistic View

     Philadelphia, as we all know, has been a great sports town since the beginning. We have come a long way in our history of sports. The Sixers winning a championships in the 80’s, the flyers winning the Stanley Cup in 1974, and also 1975. The Phillies winning the World Series in 1980, and 2008. The Eagles won a championship in 1960, but not a super bowl. Philadelphia is one of the largest cities across America, and is a top sports destination. It’s not like New York,  LA, Dallas, or even Boston, but it is an awesome city to play in.

We are known for winning, we are known for being very critical of our players, we live for our teams and expect the same in return. Unfortunately, we are also known for falling short year after year. Playing in Philadelphia should be a privilege that everyone should encounter , before they  retire from professional sports. Each team is loaded with young, developing talent. The Eagles have Carson Wentz, the Sixers have Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons. The Flyers have Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, and Shayne Gostisbehere. The Phillies have Aaron Nola, J. P. Crawford, and Roman Quinn just to name a few. We have the talent to win a bunch of championships in the next decade. Once we start proving to everyone we can win, and that we can beat the top/elite teams, we will start to attract the top free agents. The Phillies and Sixers have all of the money in the world to spend on free agents, the Flyers are a little stuck for now, the Eagles are stuck as well but can make some moves to free up space. The Eagles are slowly, but surely making the right signings, and drafting the right players to make a super bowl run. Philadelphia is destined to be the next best thing.  The Flyers and Sixers are in the middle of a youth movement and the potential is endless. The Phillies have one of the best farm systems in the Major league. 

Lets start with the Phillies. From the outside they are not a very sexy looking team, but anyone that really knows this team, knows they are building the team the right way. No tanking necessary. This team has one of the better farm systems, and have 3 prospects ranked in the top 100 (by ESPN). Aaron Nola is only 23 and looks like he will be very good for a very long time, and Maikel Franco seems to be the power hitter we have so desperately desired since 2011 when Howard suffered the injury that appeared to derail his career. J.P Crawford is a consensus top 10 prospect in all of baseball and Mickey Moniak is going to be awesome. What is there not to love about this team.

The Sixers are a funny story. After 3+ dog-shit years, this team is finally starting to give the fans their moneys worth, which is not hard considering tickets are only 5 dollars per. It is all thanks to the man, the myth, the process….yours truly, JOEEEEEL EMBIID. This man is everything you love about basketball, those people who gave up on this team because of the tanking are now back, enamored by this man. He does it all, he scores, he blocks, he rebounds, he appears to get along with everyone (obviously we will not pretend to know because we are not on the inside)l, and he is an awesome follow on social media. Noel has also been decent since returning from injury. Jahlil kinda sucks but you can’t win them all. Even Robocop Covington has really been stepping it up as of late. Say what you want about management’s strategy for building this team, do not take anything away from how hard these kids play every game.

The Flyers are looking to make another run at the postseason. It will be a fight to the end but honestly I did not expect much from this team going in, the future looks simply awesome. We are doing what we need to do, get experience for our kids, let the veterans teach them a thing or 2, realize how bad our goalie situation is, and make excuses for why Andrew Macdonald still holds a roster spot. Konecny, Ghost, and Provorov are all looking pretty good out there. Next year, this team has the chance to see Sanheim, Morin, and Hagg, but chances are, not all 3 will make the big club. Stolarz managed to gain some valuable experience as well which is very crucial for his development. For the first time since 2010, I can not wait for next season.

Who does not love talking about the Eagles?  Even when they are 4-12 they still dominate the airwaves. This team FINALLY has its franchise QB, that is the most important part right now. The bad news is there are still plenty of holes that need to be filled (that’s what she said???). Ryan Matthews has simply got to go. Luckily there are some nice running backs in this draft (Mccaffrey or Cook?). The team needs to make decisions about Jason Peters, and apparently Jason Kelce. We have many wide receivers who fail to know the fundamentals of the position THEY HAVE PLAYED THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. I am the biggest Jordan Matthews fan, but the fact that he is our best receiver is kind of scary. On the defensive side, the front 7 looks solid…for the most part. Decisions need to be made about Mychal Kendricks and Bennie Logan. The safeties for the first time since Dawkins are actually a strength, and Jalen Mills is the only solid corner and he may pan out to be nothing more than a slot corner.

Get ready everyone, all of our patience is about to be rewarded. Are championships guaranteed? Nah dawg. At the very least, we can expect all 4 teams to be very competitive, very soon. If each team crashes and burns, at least it will be nothing new. A new chapter is ready to begin, lets write a good one.

-Paul Makalsky

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