I caught up with Aakash Koduru ’24 to gain some insight into how the Philly sports teams were doing. “Our baseball team is four wins away from the World Series, our football team just beat the Cowboys to stay undefeated, our hockey team is undefeated, and our basketball team starts the season on Tuesday and looks good. And Taylor Swift, who calls Philly her hometown city, is releasing a new album on Friday.”
Wow. That is quite the rap sheet. Clearly, things seem to be going well, but how did these teams get here? And what does it mean for the future of Philly sports?
We first ought to take a look at America’s true pastime: football. Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles were the epitome of mediocrity, trudging through a 9-8 season. However, this year they’ve gotten off to a soaring start, leading the National Football Conference (NFC) East with a 7-0 record at the time this article was written. Young star quarterback Jalen Hurts is arguably most integral to the Eagles’ success. Though throwing the occasional interception, the twenty-four-year-old Houston native has racked up twelve touchdowns thus far in the regular season, ultimately establishing himself as one of the more reliable QBs in the league. Under the leadership of veterans like Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson, the Eagles seem to be in tip-top shape as they approach the halfway point of the regular season.
As for America’s actual national pastime, baseball, the Phillies are showing some serious promise in the postseason. After a crucial crushing of the Cardinals in the Wild Card games and a decisive defeat of the San Diego Padres, the Philadelphia Phillies have heartily entered the World Series. In terms of pitching, Zack Wheeler has been taking care of business while Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber have been steady in the batter’s box. Currently, the Phillies are up against the Houston Astros — a hearty foe, to say the least. However, the Phillies took the lead in the series from a previous 1-1 tie on Tuesday, Nov. 1, defeating the Astros handily 7-0. Should the Phillies continue to prove victorious over the Astros, it will be Philadelphia’s first World Series Title since 2008.
The City of Brotherly Love is also proving her worth on the ice. Currently, the Philadelphia Flyers are off to a strong 5-2-1 start. Right-wing Travis Konecny and Center Kevin Hayes have been getting it done offensively. Filling out the stat sheet, the two have earned nineteen of the team’s 69 total points. Also, goaltender Carter Hart has been reliable for the team, boasting an earnest .938 save percentage. The Flyers are ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference and third in the Metropolitan Division at the time of this article’s writing, and they are looking to pick up a win in their next game against the New York Rangers.
Finally, the best sport: basketball. Though the Philadelphia 76ers so far seem to be the metaphorical crack in the Liberty Bell of the Philly sports scene with their meager 3-4 record, it is still very early in the 82-game season. The sixers exude pure potential; it may just be a matter of working out the kinks in team chemistry. After all, star guard James Harden just recently started playing for the Sixers this February. With the addition of such a prominent player in the league, Philly will need some time to restructure the inner workings of the team. Obviously, big-man Joel Embiid and Harden are forces to be reckoned with on the offensive end, combining for four season-scoring titles. Sixers fans should also expect strong contributions from Tobias Harris and rising star Tyrese Maxey.
It is certainly an exciting time for the infamous Philly sports fans, as their teams seem to be firing on all cylinders. Given Swarthmore’s proximity to “The Birthplace of America,” it would be in Swatties’ best interest that Philadelphia teams continue to impress. Hopefully, our very own Garnet athletes can channel the success of these teams into their own athletic pursuits.
*Note, some of the information in this article may be slightly inaccurate due to the ever-changing nature of sports*