In a way, perhaps there is no better place than Philadelphia, the is the center of North American sports right now. There may be no place where teams are more important to fans and residents, which of course causes them to sometimes have curious words and actions. You have to be really dizzy for a group to do some of the things we’ve seen from various loons covered in green or orange or red. That’s not to protect them so much as to determine the root.
So sure, why don’t they have a weeklong stretch that others, and possibly them, dare not dream of? The Phillies are entering the World Series, the Eagles are one of the NFL’s four best teams and still the only one that hasn’t lost, and last night, Union earned their spot in the MLS Cup final with a 3–1 home win. NYCFC defending champion.
How many other cities are there where a chain like this really matters? Sure, LA had years where the Dodgers were the best team and the Lakers really lived up to their name and they won the Super Bowl last year that none of their fans could really afford. attend. But that’s LA. They’d ignore it all if they even noticed it if it all turned into a pear shape.
I lived here when the Hawks and Cubs won championships in recent years. The Knicks and Rangers each reached their respective finals at the same time in the spring of ‘94, though that gets too far in the rearview mirror as I don’t hesitate to remind the fans either. Let’s not discuss Boston.
But as an unreachable place, it matters to Philly. We heard a ruckus at Citizens Bank Park this fall (I would give anything to find a gif of Philly Phanatic hugging every fan during a Game 4 rally with Braves, but I can’t seem to). Even if you don’t know an Eagles fan, there’s one person in your life that hasn’t closed since Week 2. You’re assigned one if you haven’t, whether you like it or not. I don’t know what football is. They are the rules. Or listen to this:
There aren’t many places where this kind of noise can be made, especially after most, if not all, some of these people have been screaming nightly for the past three weeks. I wonder how many people will not make it through this distance before their loved ones have to… send them off, as it was.
I can say a part of me is that and happy, because I also come from a place where sport is really important. I can tell there’s a tiny part of me, a very small part of me, that has a crush on Philly because it’s the only city on the East Coast that doesn’t sell bullshit about what it is compared to other cities. what it really is. People from there just talk. “That’s damn Philly, what more do you want?” They will do it too loudly, but there is no frenzy about what a cultural or intellectual center of the world it is. It’s a sticky dump on a river and that’s it.
I could say all that… but damn it. This sucks and I hate it. That’s what Philly fans really want to hear.
To go Union!
Speaking of that Philly Union win, Subaru Park’s foundation was at stake as Union scored three goals in the first 11 minutes of the second half to take the lead. It was limited by this Cory Burke goal, which was just the most remarkable display of meaningful power in football. Watch him turn Justin Haak into a rock around the center circle and then plunge into the NYCFC box. Haak could also be a bug on his windshield:
That is a great goal.
Does it get any better than this?
Elsewhere, while Tom Brady may be the embodiment of sadness these days, it’s been nothing but joy to watch the Packers and Aaron Rodgers in particular look like the roadster in the sun these days. Brady is as cocky as Rodgers in the grand scheme of things, but Brady is just trying to convince us of it so he can sell one of his huckster oils or whatever. Rodgers is here every week trying to convince us he knows something we don’t simply say anything with a word that he thinks sounds interesting being said by someone else.
It’s better when Cris Collinsworth sheds tears Sunday night football broadcast, afraid of three-The Packers’ butt-kiss workshop won’t be enough to save them. First, he tries to defend Quay Walker after he punches an opposing trainer, then makes sure to mention some of the Packers equivalent of whatever Bills topic was being discussed at the time. . I can really badmouth all of this if we can figure out how to ventilate it.