WINNING, WINNING and more WINNING on the horizon for Philadelphia sports
It looks like the Philadelphia Eagles have really set the tone for the other sports teams in the city. The Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII seems to have made a big difference in this town. Players like Brandon Graham, Nick Foles, Malcolm Jenkins, Alshon Jeffery and head coach Doug Pederson have given quite a boost to the local sports community.
And it wasn’t just the Super Bowl victory that has the fans excited throughout the city. It was also the Super Bowl victory parade, which galvanized Philly and received national attention.
However, the Eagles are not the only team that has city abuzz this year.
After several years of rebuilding, the Philadelphia 76ers seem to be hitting its stride as the team is in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Sixers are currently in sixth place in the NBA Eastern Conference. The top eight teams in each conference make the playoffs. The Sixers haven’t been to the playoffs since 2012.
A return to the playoffs could happen in the coming weeks. It would certainly rejuvenate a lot of city’s NBA fans. Sixers center Joel Embiid and rookie sensation Ben Simmons have given fans plenty to be excited about with the playoffs right around the corner.
Embiid showcased his talent in the NBA All-Star Game last month. The Sixers 7-foot, 250-pound center, is averaging 23.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
Simmons, a 6-foot-10 point guard, is a strong candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year honors. He is averaging 16.2 points, 7.7 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game. A playoff run for the Sixers could make for a magnificent spring with Embiid and Simmons.
Along with the Sixers, the Philadelphia Flyers had a really strong month of February winning 10 of 13 games. Although the Flyers have struggled of late, the team is battling for a playoff spot.
If they can put together a good push these last 11 games, there could be postseason hockey at the Wells Fargo Center.
Finally, the Phillies have a young team with Odubel Herrera, Maikel Franco, Aaron Altherr, Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams and J.P. Crawford. These players have a lot of potential.
However, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak went out and signed right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta to a multi-year contract. Arrieta, 32, had a 14-10 record with a 3.53 ERA with the Chicago Cubs last year.
Arrieta is a huge signing for the Phillies. He won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award with a 22-6 record and a 1.77 ERA. In 2016, he led the Cubs to a World Series championship.
Arrieta and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana could help the young players in terms of winning. Arrieta and Santana have both played on winning teams. If the Phillies can get off to a winning start, the spring could really be a fun time in Philly.
In 1980, the Phillies, 76ers and the Flyers played for championships. The Phillies won the World Series while the 76ers and Flyers came up a little short in the NBA and Stanley Cup championships. In spite of that, there was a great winning feeling throughout the city. It would be nice to experience that again. (Donald Hunt)