Quite without warning, a new era is dawning in Philadelphia.
Open the window, cock an ear, and hear. It’s a parade. And another parade. Any many more to come. All that misery and despair evaporate now when we have winners at every turn.
The Eagles, after only a 57-year wait, now rule the world. And the thing is, they are positioned to make another run at it. The only thing I worry about is, “Slide, Carson, slide.”
The team that intrigues me the most is the 76ers. For one thing, they are reinventing the game. There used to be a time when you never took a shot from long range, from 30 feet.
And now you have Joel Embiid, who is 7-foot-2 and launches 35-footers without conscience. He has the wingspan of a pterodactyl, and he seems to play with a little boy’s exuberance, playing to the crowd.
All those seats that were empty for all those years are now filled. Tanking seems a long, long time ago. Apparently the fans of the Philadelphia 76ers have forgiven them for all that losing on purpose.
And then there is Ben Simmons, who is absurdly long and creative and is a Fourth of July in sneakers. They have invented a new position for him to accommodate his 6-10 Erector Set physique.
They have already exceeded expectations and legitimately have 12 players on the roster. The Sixers are on the bullet and ascending and look poised for a long, long run. They play at mach speed, throttle open with abandon.
And let’s not forget the blade runners. It’s been half a century since the Flyers were holding the Cup. And they got to the playoffs this year by the thinnest of margins, having to win only one point in the final game of the regular season.
For the Phillies, “Be bold” is the mantra of the manager who set a Major League Baseball record for earliest boo, on his very first trip to the mound to remove a pitcher. Gabe Kapler baffled everyone with what was to follow.
Analytical. Analytical. Analytical. That’s the rallying cry for all the finger-pressing calculator types. Gabe’s managerial debut was a resounding thud.
Villanova also seems poised to extend its reign for a long time to come. Imagine, these players still go to class, stay off the police blotters, and shoot the lights out with the three ball. There is every reason to believe they could defend their championship next year.
So go ahead, open the window and listen to the song that has been missing all these years. It’s another parade. Another parade. Another parade.
Bill Lyon is a retired Inquirer sports columnist.