The Calm after the Storm: Optimism for Philly sports and the month ahead
So, we made it through another day of hell in Philadelphia. Between the media meltdown, Joel Embiid being the only adult in the room, Spike Eskin creaming himself over a 25 year old struggling, and a literal tornado in the Philadelphia area, it sure was interesting. We are into September, closing in on the greatest sports coalescence of the year, and yet we all find a way to be miserable. Today, let’s try something new, forget about false reports and player or team failures, and find appreciation for what we do have.
Bryce Harper is the god damn MVP of the National League right now. Read that again. The last time we have seen this from a Phillies player was Jimmy Rollins, in 2007, so please, give this man his flowers. Harper took a chance on Philadelphia, won the fans over, and has turned himself into arguably the most complete hitter in the game of baseball this season. Bryce Harper was 1-for-5 last night, but still is in the midst of an MVP season and coming off one of the best months of his career, slashing .337/.463/.776 with 11 doubles, 10 home runs, 25 RBIs, and an OPS good for 1.231 in the month August. He deserves better from the organization but let’s not take him for granted during the shortcomings of the front office.
Even with a team that resembles Triple A Lehigh Valley around him, the Phillies are just two games out of first place in the National League East and 7-3 over their last 10 games. They are on a six game winning streak and have scored seven or more runs in seven straight games. The Phillies are in Miami tonight to face the bottom feeder Marlins and looking to snap a near decade long playoff drought at the end of the month. Let’s be thankful we still have meaningful baseball in September.
Jalen Hurts was named the starter, which is unsurprising, but an amazing thing nonetheless. There is a clear new era with the Eagles, they’re going to be exciting, they have weapons, and they have a QB who bears swagger unmatched by anyone else in the league. They turned the page following a sad, uninspired season, and flipped this rostern into a young, explosive core. They even kissed and made up with Zach Ertz, what more can we ask for?
Joel Embiid went to social media to defend his co-star, and regardless of how you feel about the situation you have to be proud of our guy for being the bigger man and not allowing the media to continue disrespecting Simmons and the 76ers organization. There is a lot to be upset and frustrated with in reference to this basketball team, but they also wasted my formative years as an adolescent with Sergio Rodriguez and Alexey Shved, so it could always be worse.
I cannot deal with the Process fetishizers, and all those that would rather the Sixers win 10 games than lose in a playoff series. YOU are the people harboring a losing culture here, get out of your bag and realize that this team is good. Joel Embiid is an MVP candidate, Ben Simmons is the best defender in the NBA, Tobias Harris played like an All-Star, stop being so indignant.
The Flyers are definitely doing something. Sean Couturier and Joel Farabee are both locked in on long-term extensions and I know the fellas over at The Liberty Yell are pumped for mid-October when the NHL season returns. If you’re a hockey person, make sure you check out The Liberty Yell for those updates because I don’t have all the answers.
The talking heads of this city do not represent the fans directly, I understand that, but it comes to a point where the commentary around our teams becomes unbearable. I realize the fundamental issues that come with being a fan of these teams, but sometimes it does us all justice to realize what we do have here, and instead of spewing the disgusting need to be “right” all the time, find time today to appreciate what these teams and city have given us.
It’s September. We have college football this weekend with the NFL following next week. 76ers basketball, regardless the form, will be back in action within a month as well. Phillies baseball and the Hunt for Red October is in full effect. The NHL season is right around the corner too. Hell, we even have people swimming in essentially sewer water on what’s now being called “The Vine Street Canal.”
This is just a post from me sharing my thoughts about sports in the city of Philadelphia. Enjoy your weekend. Crack open a beer, get basic and have a pumpkin spice latte, throw on DONDA or CLB, and let’s all just enjoy ourselves.
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images