Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's Suddenly Sunny in Philadelphia

By Steve Lienert

Philadelphia (The Phanatic) - Waking up this fine Wednesday morning, I find myself so sated sports-wise that there should be a cigarette dangling from my lower lip. And I don't even smoke.

What a week this has been.

First, the Eagles rally to beat the hated Dallas Cowboys, punctuated by DeSean Jackson's Nestea Plunge into the end zone, down in Jerry's world to remain tied for the NFC East lead. Couple that with all of the Giants travel woes while trying to play the vagabond Vikings, thus giving them a short week to prepare for Sunday's divisional showdown with the Eagles, it had to make Andy Reid as jolly as St. Nick himself.

Then the Phillies come out of nowhere to re-acquire Cliff Lee, giving them, on paper, one of the top 10 pitching rotations in baseball history.

When the move was announced just after Monday Night Football ended, a large cheer went up in the local watering hole. Just after midnight. In mid-December. For baseball.

It was such a great move, it pissed off both New York teams. It may be the first time in most Phillies' fans lives that their team delivered a devastating blow to both the Mets and Yankees in the off season. Listening to them bitch has been more pleasurable than you can imagine. English needs a word like schadenfruede.

As if that wasn't enough, as of Wednesday morning, Philadelphia has the best team in hockey. That accolade also came at the expense of a hated rival, who entered the last night's contest against the Flyers with a 12-game winning streak. Alas, thanks to a dumb penalty by Evgeni Malkin, the Flyers scored the game-winner on the power play, snapping the Penguins' streak and vaulting Philly to the top of the standings.

By the way, not only did the Flyers win the first ever game in Pittsburgh's brand-spanking new Console Energy Center, but they have now beaten the Crosbys in three of their last four meetings.

Giggitty.

Even the Sixers are getting in on the act. Now, let's not get ahead of ourselves here, but they had a nice win at New Jersey that snapped an eight-game road losing streak. If you haven't noticed lately, and judging by the attendance you haven't, the 76ers are a formidable opponent at the Wells Fargo Center. Maybe this team ain't so friggin' bad.

Doug Collins seems hellbent on making them a contender, even if it kills him.

Also receiving honorable mention during perhaps the best week Philly sports has seen across the board since all four teams played for their respective league championships in 1980: Drexel men's hoops team knocking off previously undefeated and 21st-ranked Louisville at Louisville on Tuesday night and Villanova's and Delaware's football teams advancing to the Division I-AA semifinals last Saturday.

All in all, not a bad little stretch for a Philly sports fan.

Forgive me for cutting this short. With the way this week has been going, at any moment I'm expecting the Swedish bikini team to show up at my front door with a Publisher's Clearinghouse-size check that has lots of zero's and my name on it.
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