On December 15, 2010, the Philadelphia Phillies formally re-introduced to their fans the bright, determined face of Cliff Lee. This move by GM Ruben Amaro, which is by far the best acquisition of his young, budding career, has cemented the Fightins as the elite team in all of baseball and possibly labeling them as the most talented team in the last 15 seasons.
Although this move was outstanding and will surely bring at least one parade back to Broad Street in the upcoming years, the success of the other teams in the City of Brotherly Love have also contributed to the idea that 2010-2020 will be the best sports decade in Philadelphia history.
Let's start with the buzz of the town—Mr. Michael Vick. This man has revived a team that has recently been known to be the squad that could never win the big one and could never fully achieve what they had set out to do—win a championship. Many blamed this on Donnie's inability to deliver when it mattered most. Others saw it as Andy Reid's fatal flaw. None of that matters now.
Mike Vick, with his play over this season (especially the clinic he put on in Washington), has erased all sour memories of bitter Birds' fans. The slate is clear, the city is optimistic and all that matters on Sundays now is watching No. 7 scamper, throw and celebrate. Oh, and things are starting to look as if they have a date with destiny against Tom Brady's New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Get your popcorn ready, this one's going to be good.
How many championships will Philadelphia teams win in the next 10 years?
Another major Philadelphia sports team that deserves praise and recognition that it does not get on a daily basis is the Flyers. It seems that now, more than ever, the Phils and Eagles are simply dominating the Philly sports media.
To me, the only time the majority of Philadelphians paid attention to the Flyers last winter was during the comeback versus the Bruins and when they were in the Stanley Cup. Although they don't get much love, the team seems poised to make several deep playoff runs in the near future, win a Cup or two and hopefully steal the headlines they've always deserved.
This was the section of the article that I had planned to dedicate to the bright future of the Sixers. I figure we'll save some unnecessary space and say they seem morbidly irrelevant, even in the midst of their current turnaround. The best thing that can happen for the 76ers is that they go back to losing, make a great lottery pick and establish some sort of fan base.
While the Sixers' fan-base, whoever that may be, is dwindling, college basketball is thriving in Philly. Villanova is a Top 10 program with title hopes, Temple looks to be a bracket-buster come March and The Big Five matchups get tons of respect and attention as being some of the most exciting sporting events in the city. In fact, not including Phillies and Eagles games, I would bet that the majority of Philly sports fans would choose to go to a Nova game at the Pavilion or a Penn game at the Palestra over any other local sporting event.
Now back to my opening sentence: this move is a sign of great things to come for Philadelphia. With those great things, however, come expectations. This move has signified the concept of Philly as one of the best, most successful sports cities in America. I believe that the next 10 years will produce at least five titles for major Philadelphia teams. If they do fulfill this quota, the sports world may never be the same.
If not, so what?
Either way, the 2010-2020 decade looks to be the best, most entertaining decade in Philly sports history.