Philadelphia Sports: The State Of Philly's Four Major Sports
The four major sports franchises in Philadelphia have seen their share of ups and downs over the last decade. The fans have been with them every step of the way, gleaming in the times of glory, and hurting in the times of turmoil. Here's a quick look, from a fan's prospective, of where the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, and Sixers are at this point, and where they are headed.
The Philadelphia 76ers, for the most part, have been irrelevant since the glory days of Allen Iverson. Granted, this team has made the playoffs a few seasons since that time, but has never been seriously considered a contender.
There is hope on the horizon, however. Coach Doug Collins has breathed new life into this franchise. He's been getting the most out of this rebuilding roster, and the Sixers have surprised many people so far this season. Jrue Holiday is becoming one of the better point guards in the league, and Evan Turner, after a rocky start to his professional career, seems to be getting better with every game that he plays.
The Sixers are still a long ways away from competing for a championship, but it is nice to see them come back into relevance.
The Philadelphia Eagles continue to be about as successful as a team can be, without winning a championship that is. The Eagles have put some great teams on the field over the last decade, but they always seem to be missing those one or two pieces to put them over the top.
The 2010 season brought many twists to the Eagles faithful. Head Coach Andy Reid shipped the most prolific passer in team history in Donovan McNabb to the rival Washington Redskins, and turned the keys of the franchise over to Kevin Kolb. The rest is history: Kolb goes down to injury, and the reemergence of Michael Vick begins.
Vick wowed fans around the league with his incredible athletic ability, but the Eagles still fell short in the playoffs. This team still has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, however Reid will need to address a few of the problem areas if the Eagles want a chance of winning their first championship since 1960.
The Philadelphia Flyers put together a storybook season in 2010. They barely made the playoffs, needing a shootout victory on the final day of the regular season to clinch a spot in the postseason. That emotional win seemed to carry them throughout the playoffs when they needed it the most.
After overcoming a three games to none deficit in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 to eventually complete on of the greatest comebacks in sports history, the Flyers knocked off Montreal in five games to reach their first Stanley Cup Finals in 13 years. However, their long championship drought would continue as well, as Chicago Blackhawks' star Patrick Kane broke every heart in Philly with his series clinching overtime winner in Game 6.
That was just the beginning for Peter Laviolette's squad though. The Flyers are in the midst of one of their greatest seasons in franchise history. They have some great veterans, but also a great crop of young players, all led by their stellar captain Mike Richards. GM Paul Holmgren has built this team to be competitive now, and for many years to come.
Has there ever been a better time to be a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies? The last four seasons have brought a lifetime of memories for fans.
In 2007, they accomplished their historic comeback to catch the Mets in the final month of the season to win their first NL East Championship since Domonic Brown was in elementary school. In 2008, they won their first World Series since the days of Tug McGraw and Mike Schmidt in 1980. They repeated as NL pennant winners in 2009, but fell to the Evil Empire in the Fall Classic. They traded for the best pitcher in the game after that season in Roy "Doc" Halladay. All that he did was win the Cy Young, throw a perfect game in the regular season, and throw the first postseason no-hitter since Don Larsen.
Now, they brought back fan-favorite Cliff Lee to add to their already exemplary pitching rotation, and are being picked by the majority of the sports world to bring home the World Series trophy yet again.
It is safe to say that the Philadelphia Phillies have become the class of Philadelphia sports.