The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

How Philadelphia has Risen to the Top of the Sports World


Philadelphia is regarded as one of the best sports cities in the United States in terms of its teams’ histories and its passionate fanbases. While many outsiders do not like Philadelphia sports fans due to their fans’ love/hate relationship with their teams, one thing that cannot be denied is how well their sports teams are doing right now.

The Philadelphia sports team that has garnered the most attention recently is the Phillies. From firing manager Joe Girardi in May to promoting Rob Thomson, this season has felt like a roller-coaster ride. The team was 21-29 when Girardi was fired, and despite dealing with injuries to players such as star designated hitter and outfielder Bryce Harper, Thomson and the rest of the team rallied the troops to clinch a playoff berth and advance to the World Series.

Jef Feeley is a contributor for Bloomberg, and he wrote about how Philadelphia is savoring this triumph with their pro sports teams. He described how the Phillies’ playoff run has been marked by one key moment that occurred in the National League Championship Series.

He said, “The signature Phillies moment of the year so far was designated hitter Bryce Harper’s clutch two-run blast in the eighth inning on Oct. 23 to seal the pennant-winning playoff game against the Padres.” The image of Harper’s go-ahead home run to clinch the Phillies a spot in the World Series will be remembered for a long time, and it is a moment that has marked the Phillies’ return to the playoffs after an 11-year drought. Petey Lemmon, a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan from Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, said that the Phillies’ return to the postseason is a product of how Philly fans stay loyal to their teams through ups and downs.

He added, “We go through large droughts of being good, but that only makes us more loyal, and when we do have that one team that finally heats up, we will go to the ends of the earth to support them.”

The Phillies may be getting the bulk of the attention when talking about winning a championship, but another Philadelphia team that is in the same position is the Union. After defeating New York City F.C. on Sunday, 3-1, the Union will travel to Los Angeles to take on L.A. F.C. this Saturday for a chance to win the franchise’s first Major League Soccer Cup.

Jake Manoukian moved from San Ramon, California, to Radnor, Pennsylvania, and has since become a passionate Union fan.
He is excited to see the team compete for a championship this weekend.

“With the Union being in the MLS Cup finals this Saturday, hopefully another major trophy can be brought to Philadelphia,” Manoukian said. “We won the Supporters Shield last year proving we are an amazing regular season team, now it’s time to get one more win and prove we are a playoff team and the best team in the league.”

The Union is striving to prove that it can get the job done when it matters most. As someone who is not originally from the Philadelphia area, Manoukian has gained an appreciation for how Philly sports fans care deeply about their teams.

He added, “Even for myself, who isn’t a huge Philly sports fan since I grew up in the Bay Area, it’s so cool to see all the recent success now since living outside of Philly .”

While the Phillies and Union are seeking to win in their sports’ championship round, the Eagles are hoping to get there in their respective sport. An undefeated 7-0 start has fans buzzing about where the team can end up  – hopefully, for their sake, in the Super Bowl in February. Coach Nick Sirianni and quarterback Jalen Hurts have answered the bell so far, and along with newcomers, such as wide receiver A.J. Brown, the team has gelled on both sides of the ball.

The dramatic improvement of Hurts has led to more fans believing in his ability to be a starting-caliber NFL quarterback. Feeley points out how the fans are noticing the rise in his play.

He said, “Sales of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts’s jersey jumped 500% after the team’s opening-day win in September.” Eagles fans are behind Jalen Hurts and they want him to lead the team to the promised land – a Super Bowl title – and the fans are showing support not only at home but on the road as well.

“You see Philly fans everywhere during away games and there’s a reason for that,” Lemmon said. “We wouldn’t miss a good season for the world.” The Phillies, Union, and Eagles are making all of the headlines when it comes to the recent rise of Philadelphia sports, and the two teams hiding in the background are the Flyers and 76ers. However, after a surprising start to this season, the Flyers are making fans wonder if this start is a sign of things to come later this season.

Feeley said, “Even the lowly Philadelphia Flyers, predicted to once again miss the National Hockey League playoffs, started the season 4-2.” The Flyers have had a pleasantly surprising start to their season, but the same cannot be said for the 76ers. Coming into the year with championship aspirations, the team is still trying to kick its season into gear, and fans are paying attention to their slow start.

Lemmon said, “Being a Philly sports fan is like waking up on Christmas morning and getting every single present you asked for, minus maybe a basketball.”

If you are a Philadelphia sports fan, it is a great time to be alive. With multiple teams striving for championships, it has fans on the edge of their seats.

Manoukian said it best, “I think this time in Philly and being a Philly sports fan is absolutely amazing.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Jeffery Bozzi

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