This was an AWESOME weekend for Philadelphia sports, and sports in general. The NFL returned, and Philadelphia Eagles took down the Detroit Lions 38-35 to lock up a road win in Week 1. The Dallas Cowboys lost. The Philadelphia Union tallied another victory. Temple and Penn State both won their football games, and there was an incredible slate of upset laden college football games. My softball team won the championship in our tournament on Saturday (humble brag). When you settle in at work this week, it’s easy to feel like you’re caught in a whirlwind when it comes to deciding what game to discuss first at the water cooler. And hey, that’s this time of the year, right? It’s sports paradise, and with the NBA and NHL seasons around the corner, it’s only getting busier. For that reason, I can’t totally blame you if the Philadelphia Phillies sweeping the Washington Nationals this weekend got lost in the shuffle. Where I can blame you, though, is if we as a city begin to let the Phillies fade into the frenzy of football season.
We’ve been waiting over a decade for the Philadelphia Phillies team that we have today. They are a potentially 90 win baseball club that seems destined to make the playoffs and give us the much desired Red October once again. They haven’t been the most consistent team this season, and they’re behind 2 teams in their own division that are clearly better than they are, at least in the regular season, but they’re still the best Phillies team we’ve seen since the Obama administration. It would be totally unfair to those players, and to owner John Middleton, who shelled out a luxury tax level payroll for the first time in franchise history, if this fan base turned immediately to Eagles football. I will never pretend like this isn’t an Eagles-first city; that has always been the case, and probably always will be. That being said, we have enough love in our sports lives for more than one team at a time! The Phillies have done what we’ve asked them to do this season, and they deserve the support of their fans even with the Eagles getting into full swing.
If you’re one of the folks who are saying “I’m not giving up on the Phillies! What are you talking about??” well, this is more of a precautionary thought than a reactionary one. I do believe that when (yes, WHEN) the Phillies make the playoffs, this city will get behind them and support them like a true Philadelphia fan base does with every successful team we have. That being said, though, we’ve all heard the E-A-G-L-E-S chants at Sixers, Flyers, and Phillies games. Football runs this city, and the Eagles have high expectations this year. Just don’t let early season NFL action take away from a pretty darn good baseball team that has spent a summer working hard to end a decade long playoff drought.