Philly teams show promise

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         Philadelphia sports has been a bit of a garbage pit in the last few years. The 2010s started out promising, with a brand new Michael Vick leading the Eagles, a young “prospect” in Evan Turner beginning to play for the Sixers, and the Phillies coming off two straight national league pennant wins.
Hard to screw it up, right? From 2012-2013, the Sixers and Phillies reentered mediocrity while the Eagles went 4-12. Philadelphia was one of the worst sports cities in the country (shout out to Cleveland).
Players came and went through these teams, none of which held any value to the fans. Who cared about Lavoy Allen? Or King Dunlap? Or Pete Orr? Players like Vick, Howard, Utley, and Holiday were still playing, but everyone knew they had played better in the past. All of the teams seemed lost.
The Sixers realized what had to be done: ruin the team entirely. Trade rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams, trade their draft picks for other draft picks, don’t stop until you are the worst team in the league. This ensure you with a high draft pick, one of the easier ways to build up a team. After finishing with just 19 wins in the 2013-14 season, the Sixers drafted injured center Joel Embiid with the third pick in the draft. Another year passes (Embiid doesn’t play) and the team is absolute trash again.          Again, with the third pick, now in 2015, we drafted offensive center Jahlil Okafor. This seemed like a sound choice at the time, but after two years of watching Okafor play relative to people picked after him (looking at you, Kristaps), this was the worst mistake of this entire rebuild. 2016 comes, after they finish the season 10-72 (Embiid doesn’t play). This lands them the first pick, which would be spent on Ben Simmons. He, of course, also hurts himself and misses his rookie season (Embiid plays 31 out of 82 games). 2017 draft comes along and the Sixers have the third pick again. After pulling of a crazy trade with the Celtics for the first overall pick, we nabbed our point guard in Markelle Fultz.
Now, the Sixers play their first game in their first hopeful season in years with Embiid, Simmons, and Fultz all on 1 team. They might not win 50 games this year, but they could very well be perennial contenders in the years to come.
What madman could have concocted this intricate plan? This lengthy maneuver? This strenuous process? None other than Philadelphia’s messiah, Sam Hinkie. This general manager turned the NBA on its head at the cost of his job. Now, the whole city chants “Trust The Process” for the team that he created.
The Eagles on the other hand took a similar path but without losing so many games. They hired Chip Kelly to coach in 2013, and his revolutionary scheme won them 10 games and a playoff spot. Quarterback Nick Foles threw 27 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions with star receivers Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Rather than keeping all of these good players, Chip Kelly traded them for the equivalent of a bag of 2 cents and a baseball card. The 2015 team was led by Sam Bradford and Jordan Matthews, so why they went 7-9 isn’t a hard mystery to solve. Kelly was fired by the end of the year, and the Eagles had to fix themselves. They traded up to the second pick in the draft to pick Philadelphia’s second messiah, Carson Wentz. Now, the Eagles sit atop the NFC with a 5-1 record and a team full of young stars.
The Phillies are still pretty bad, losing over 90 games in each of the last 3 years. At least this year we got a glimpse of the young talent that can bring this team back to relevance. Nick Williams and Rhys Hoskins both showed off their prowess with the bat, as Hoskins broke several rookie home run records while he was playing. Aaron Nola had a dominant year, being one of the MLB’s best pitchers in July.     Prospects like Jorge Alfaro, Scott Kingery, and JP Crawford are all making their way up.
I don’t know much about hockey, but I hear that Nolan Patrick is pretty good. Go Flyers!
Philly could be a scary city for sports in the years to come. It would be surprising if none of these teams brings home a championship. For the first time in a long time, there’s hope behind our teams.

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Philly teams show promise