It really, truely seems like the best time (in decades) to be a Philadephia sports fan. As Philly sports lovers across the Delaware Valley, South Jersey and all over the country sit down to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner, they selfishly have just a little bit extra to be thankful this year.
Here’s our list of the 5 things we are most thankful for:
1. Howie Roseman
The Eagles are 9-1 and the architect is Roseman. Not even considering he was the one who made all the moves to trade up for Carson Wentz, he used picks traded for Sam Bradford to draft Derek Barnett and trade for Jay Ajayi. He swapped second rounders to get Timmy Jernigan and later tied him down with an extension. And he signed weapons for Wentz in LeGarrette Blount, Alshon Jeffery and Corey Clement (an undrafted free agent). Thank you Howie, for making this holiday season extra special.
2. Doug Pederson
By the same line of thinking, Pederson also deserves our thanks. From a middling second choice and “unqualified” to the coach of the NFL’s best team, Pederson has shown a creativity, adaptability and leadership skills that could take this city to the promised land. He is keeping many mouths happy with just one football for feeding and has made Eagles fans happy.
3. Joel Embiid
We thought about going with Sam Hinkie here, but Hinkies influence doesn’t stretch to Embiid’s twitter feed. The 7-foot-3 monster had one of the best individual performances for a Philadelphia team since Wilt Chamberlain went for 100 points in his 46 point, 15 rebound, seven assist seven block game in Los Angeles and has been a master troll, drawing media coverage and technical foul calls left and right. He has the Sixers destined to a playoff berth and himself heading to All-Star Weekend.
4. Ben Simmons
Simmons could be another All-Star and is running away with rookie of the year honors early this season. He is a double-double machine and has also posted two triple doubles quicker than anyone ever in NBA history. When he touches the ball the Sixers score at a breakneck pace and his 6-foot-10 frame is creating nightmares for opposing defenses.
Sure, Wentz deserves to be mentioned here — and he is a big part of Philly’s joy at this time. But the other two teams, the Phillies and Flyers, are offering up hope and promise as well. Though only at the .500 mark the Flyers are showing nearly every night on the ice that youngsters Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan provorov and others will one day very soon take the reigns and lead. On the baseball field, new manager Gabe Kapler will be leading a young offensive core with sky-high potential in J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams, Rhys Hoskins and a host of others. The present and future are both bright down at the sports complex this holiday season.