Philly Sports on the Rise

Sports columnist Patrick Storti shares his views and expectations for the season as a fan of Philadelphia sports.

More stories from Patrick Storti

Sports 2022
December 31, 2022
Photo+courtesy+of+Patrick+Storti.+Patrick+with+his+brother%2C+Kevin%2C+at+a+Phillies+game+at+age+14.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Storti. Patrick with his brother, Kevin, at a Phillies game at age 14.

The Philadelphia Phillies are in the World Series for the first time since 2009. After a 10-year playoff drought and as the last team to make the playoffs, the Phillies have soared through the playoffs and have shockingly made their way to the World Series.

However, this should come as no surprise. Philadelphia has always been a city of underdogs, Perfect example: Rocky Balboa. We’ve all seen those movies. Home to the city of brotherly love, Rocky began as a massive underdog who nobody believed in. He put his head down, worked his tail off, and became a champion. 

The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles had their MVP caliber quarterback, Carson Wentz tear his ACL in week 14 of the season. Having to rely on their backup Nick Foles, nobody believed in them, even though they had the No. 1 seed. The Eagles were underdogs in every single playoff game, including being only the second No. 1 seed to ever be an underdog in the divisional round. The Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl beating the greatest quarterback (Tom Brady), and greatest coach of all time (Bill Belichick) in the New England Patriots. 

This year’s Phillies were the last team to make the playoffs. The Phillies had one of the longest odds to win the World Series at the beginning of the playoffs. That didn’t matter. They went on to upset the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round, and then dethroned the defending World Series champions in the Atlanta Braves, and then in the NLCS they ironically went up against another Cinderella in the San Diego Padres and came out on top. The Phillies go up against no Cinderella this time. The Houston Astros won 106 games in the regular season, second most in the MLB. This is their fourth World Series appearance in the past six seasons. If the Phillies can pull this off it would be a massive upset.

Being underdogs comes with a lot of passion. Philadelphia isn’t all glamorous like Los Angeles or New York. Philadelphia has a bit of a chip on its shoulder. It’s a bit more hard nosed and tough. That’s what makes being a Philly fan so special. We don’t have our 27 World Series titles like New York or 17 NBA Championships like Boston, but we have passion. We have a family. We care about our teams as much as anyone. It truly is an inspiration to see your hometown team rally to victory as an underdog. It develops an anything-is-possible mentality, and if you work hard, anything can happen. That’s why the Eagles won in 2017. That’s why the Phillies are on the verge of a World Series title. They don’t just represent their team. They represent the whole city of Philadelphia and its fans. There’s truly nothing like sitting at home with your family rooting for Philadelphia sports with all your heart and emotion. 

I’ve spent my whole life passionately rooting for Philly sports. I, myself, am a bit of a pessimist when it comes to Philly sports, but it’s hard not to believe in these teams. Every Sunday, I watch the Eagles with my family. My mom has been a diehard Phillies fan since she was a kid. When she was a teenager, she listened to every single Phillies game on the radio. She would NEVER miss a game. All 162 games. She was at the game when Pete Rose passed Stan Musial’s record for most hits in a game. After the game she ran onto the field and collected dirt from every single base. She had to put her hands in between a security guard’s feet to grab the dirt from the bases. To see that they have reached the World Series means so much for her, and all of the other diehard Phillies fans. My dad is a huge hockey fan and loves the Flyers. He played for the Philadelphia Junior Flyers from ages 15-18. He has also met and had lunch with Phillies famous reliever Tug McGraw who threw the final pitch of the 1980 World Series. The Phillies winning the World Series would mean so much for my family and me. We love watching the games from home together. Last weekend, when Bryce Harper hit that two-run home run the whole house was screaming. In 2017, when the Eagles won I remember crying tears of joy and seeing how happy my family was. It’s currently 2022, and Philly sports are looking better than ever. The level of joy and excitement is second to none.

The Eagles are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL, 6-0. Not to mention, they just recently won a Super Bowl in 2017. The 76ers have consistently been a playoff team in the past five seasons and always have championship expectations with two superstars in Joel Embiid and James Harden. After a bad year, the Flyers have started off strong this season with a 5-2 record. The Philadelphia Union are the No. 1 seed in the MLS playoffs and are in the semifinals. Also, Philadelphia is home to a blue blood college basketball program: the Villanova Wildcats. The Wildcats have won two national championships since 2016 and have three Final Four appearances. No other college basketball program has been as successful in the last seven years. Last, but not least, the Phillies are four games away from winning a World Series – after being the last seed in the playoffs. Who would’ve thought that? If you think about it, the city of Philadelphia has four teams that are legitimately capable of winning a championship. The Eagles, Phillies, Union, and 76ers are all championship contenders. 

The Phillies begin the World Series today at 8:03 PM. A best of seven series. I think the Phillies will bring it home. I’m predicting them to win the World Series 4-2. How about the Eagles? I think the Eagles will finish the regular season with a 15-2 record, and yes, I think that the Eagles are going to bring home their second Super Bowl in six seasons. I predict they will defeat the Kansas City Chiefs and bring it home again. Last but not least, the 76ers. I predict the 76ers to finish the regular season with a 51-31 record and as the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately I don’t see the 76ers getting past the second round. I think they’ll lose to the Boston Celtics 4-2 in the second round. Still a solid season, nonetheless, but we’ll see what happens!

Go Phils!