PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The last year has been an eventful one for Philadelphia sports, and it's not over yet. Looking back, what or who should Philly sports fans be thankful for? And what are some things from 2022 that you're not so thankful for?
Think about that, and compare your answers to our list here.
👍 The Phillies' magical World Series run
The 2022 Philadelphia Phillies were 21-29 and 22-29 when Rob Thomson took over for fired Joe Girardi. They absolutely stumbled through September. But then, thanks to an extended postseason field and getting hot at the right time, they gave this city a Red October to remember.
With Jean Segura’s 9th inning leap along the first base line in St. Louis, and Rhys Hoskins' bat spike against Atlanta, and Bryce Harper’s epic swing against San Diego and too many highlights to mention, the Phils and their fans were dancing together all the way to the World Series.
Citizens Bank Park was the place to be this fall. And for those who couldn't be there in person, Scott Franzke, Larry Andersen and Tom McCarthy provided the perfect soundtrack over the radio.
Maybe the result of that Fall Classic against the Astros is not something to be thankful for, but getting that far in an improbable run leaves excitement for what’s to come.
(Trea Turner? If Phils President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski pulls that off in free agency, it would be a lovely holiday gift for Phillies fans.)
👍 Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni
The Eagles at 9-1 by Thanksgiving isn’t too shabby. There is still a long way to go in this season, but Jalen Hurts is playing at an MVP level, and head coach Nick Sirianni has an outstanding record since the 2021 Eagles were a dreadful 2-5.
With Jason Kelce and the Eagles offensive line playing at an elite level, the outstanding off-season addition of A.J. Brown, Jonathan Gannon’s defense forcing tons of turnovers, and Merrill Reese and Mike Quick guiding Eagles fans through the ride with outstanding radio broadcasts every week, this season feels kind of like 2017.
A lot of Birds fans are probably thinking: "Super Bowl or bust."
👍 The Philadelphia Union
The Union gave Philadelphia a reason to get hype about soccer. Their loyal, knowledgeable fans will argue until the sun goes down that Philadelphia is a "5 for 5" sports town. Making their first appearance in the MLS Cup Final certainly helps that case.
Jim Curtin and the Union front office have developed a very competitive team that came within minutes — literally minutes — of going all the way.
Their devastating MLS Cup Final loss to LAFC is 100% something not to be thankful for, but the best season in franchise history falls under the thankful category.
👍 Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey
When healthy (more on that in a bit), Sixers stars Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey are more than worth the price of admission. Embiid is one of the best players in the NBA, and Maxey is a young, enthusiastic rising star whose personality fits Philadelphia perfectly.
Too bad Maxey has a broken foot right now and Embiid seems to have a variety of injuries, some more severe than others, way, way, way more often than the Sixers would prefer.
👍 The end of Ben Simmons' drama
Whether or not you wish Ben Simmons the best going forward in his career, it’s safe to assume just about everyone, if not everyone, hated the drama that came with the end of his Sixers tenure when President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey traded him to Brooklyn in February.
A lack of drama in the Sixers 2022 preseason was a marked improvement over the previous season. In fairness, the road has been very bumpy for the Sixers this season, but it has nothing to do with a player wanting a fresh start elsewhere.
👍 Dick Vermeil's Hall of Fame moment
While Vermeil won his Super Bowl coaching the St. Louis Rams, he led one of the more successful times in Eagles history by moving them up the ranks in the late 70’s to a memorable 1980 season, which resulted in an appearance in Super Bowl XV.
Vermeil, wearing his heart on his sleeve, won over his players and Eagles fans, making it very pleasing for the Delaware Valley to see him enshrined in Canton.
👎 No thank you!
👎 — Inconsistent Sixers
Despite their intentions, the Sixers still don't look like a championship-caliber team. They were bitten by the injury bug early in the 2022-23 season, making it very difficult for them to get in a rhythm — regardless of how many new players they added to the roster.
Currently with a 9-9 record, and Embiid, Maxey and James Harden injured, this team has some catching up to do if they’re going to give fans something to be excited about in 2023.
👎 Underwhelming Flyers
The Flyers, who actually are more banged up than the Sixers, have been mediocre for many years now since their memorable, and unlikely, 2010 run to the Stanley Cup Final.
And they don’t appear anywhere remotely close to ending the title drought, with their last one happening nearly half a century ago.
Head coach John Tortorella, in his first season with the club, helped lead them to a surprisingly hot start, but they’re currently on an eight-game winless streak. Simply put, they lack talent and you will probably find a lot of people who believe they need a complete rebuild with most of their roster.
👎 Referees becoming part of the story
While Eagles great Jason Kelce thinks complaining about officials is a loser’s mentality, the officiating and umpiring we’ve seen in professional sports lately hasn’t been good. Yes, being a referee is a very hard job, but at the same time — when they make questionable calls and become part of the story of the game, it’s never a good thing.
👎 Pete Rose at Alumni Weekend
Alumni Weekend is always a fun few days during the Phillies season. After the Phils outstanding postseason run, it was easy to forget about how controversial this Alumni Weekend was in 2022.
Even though iconic public address announcer Dan Baker was honored for 50 seasons at the mic, and Bake McBride and Ron Reed went onto the Wall of Fame, the weekend was overshadowed by Pete Rose’s behavior in his first time on the field at a Phillies game since he was banned from baseball.
Rose wasn’t very friendly when asked questions about the allegation of having a relationship with a minor in the 1970s, which included referring to a female reporter as “babe” when responding to her question about the matter. That Sunday afternoon, he also used inappropriate language when he was a guest on the Phils television broadcast.