For 26 years I’ve dealt with the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s very, very bad.
I joke that I’m a ‘recovering Philly sports addict’ - but let’s be real - I relapse every time I see a glimpse of hope in the City of Brotherly Love - and right now, it’s all good in the neighborhood - or at least it will be.
The Flyers top line is finally clicking. They have some of the best young players in the league, including the 2017 No. 2 overall draft pick Nolan Patrick - who I lovingly named my kitten - Nolan Catrick - after. AHL prospects are moving up and making an impact. Our captain is being a captain. And Wayne Simmonds is a God among men with four game-winning goals in five wins.
The Eagles finally have a quarterback who isn’t riddled with injuries and will likely stick around. Our defense is working. Our receivers are, you know, actually catching the ball. And even with Darren Sproles out indefinitely, the Birds still have the best record in the NFL heading into Monday Night Football. Who saw that coming?
The Sixers are still the Sixers. But we’re only a few games in and I’m trusting the process. Despite another slow start, this team is incredibly fun to follow, simply because of the collective personality on the court. Joel Embiid is the city hype man. And Markelle Fultz’s Players' Tribune column made the whole fan base instantly fall in love with him.
And finally, my Penn State Nittany Lions are the key to my PA sports euphoria.
You’ll remember I blogged about Penn State’s hype in September.
Well, I told you so.
Tonight Penn State hosts Michigan in one of the strongest rivalries we have in Happy Valley, and it’s certainly going to be fun. The last whiteout Michigan walked into at Beaver Stadium ended in epic heartbreak for the Wolverines in four-overtime fashion. Here’s hoping for a less stressful, but equally amazing game tonight.
The next two weeks, though, will be the real test. Beating Ohio State in the Horseshoe is going to be no easy trick, and while Michigan State isn’t even close to being the team they used to be (yes, I know I picked them in my CFB pick last year Coach Shaner - stop giving me grief), by the time they meet Sparty, they’ll be on the last leg of a tough, tough stretch.
But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And after this three-week stretch, I might need to make an appointment with a cardiologist, but at least I can watch the rest of my teams in sheer bliss.
(Please don’t screw this up, Philly)