Friday, June 29, 2007

Play to win

By John McMullen
The Phanatic Magazine

Philadelphia, PA - Playoff games aren’t exactly a common occurrence at the Wachovia Center these days. And, after taking in the Sixers’ draft yesterday it’s becoming pretty obvious Billy King isn’t trying to change that fact too quickly.

Down the hall, there is hope. The Flyers are Ed Snider’s true love and the Chairman will not tolerate failure for the Orange and Black. At least that’s the party-line with the puck heads in town who seem to forget their hockey team hasn’t strutted down Broad Street in 32 years. Sure, the Flyers no longer have Bob Clarke weighing down the franchise like an anchor. But, let’s remember how deeply Clarkey buried the club last year – rebuilding takes time..

That brings us to the Philadelphia Soul and the 8,013 alternative sports fans that were thrilled to take in an actual postseason encounter on Friday as Philly’s arena football team welcomed the Orlando Predators for the first home playoff game in franchise history.

Of course, most of the bad drivers in town were taking in the Phillies latest implosion and the fireworks across the street at Citizen’s Bank Park while the Soul gave their faithful a rather easy 41-26 win and moved on to the National Conference Divisional Round.

I learned last week that most of you may yawn at that.

Much like it took Ric Bucher of ESPN to break the story that the Portland Trail Blazers would take Greg Oden in the NBA Draft yesterday, it was the Inky’s Phil Sheridan that let me know that arena football will never compare with the major sports in town last week.

That got me thinking on two fronts.

First I wondered whether the great investigative journalists of my time like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were checking the rearview mirror for the young lions like Bucher and Sheridan. But, more importantly -- in a city starved for a winner -- it may be time to switch gears and get behind the Soul.

Great coaches say winning is a habit. I don’t know if that’s true but losing sure is. Poor management and coaching has killed every franchise in South Philly with the exception of your beloved Eagles. And even their lack of public relations savvy and servitude to the bottom line have kept the Vince Lombardi trophy as nothing more than a dream.

Win, lose or draw, the Soul do things right. They play to win.

“When you talk about Jon Bon Jovi, Ron Jaworksi and the rest of the organization, honest to god they will give these players whatever they want...the world,” Soul head coach Bret Munsey told me.

“They are just wanting to win and to bring a winning team and a championship to this city.”


Anonymous said...

said the unknown Phanatic writer

Anonymous said...

Which Phanatic writer has the man crush on Bon Jovi that makes you continually write about a BS sport.