Just a year or so ago, Philadelphia sports was predominately doom and gloom. We may
as well have been living in Toledo. If you’ve never been to Toledo, there are good people and music therebut the surroundings have a never-ending view of drab greys and rust-browns.
While today is a bit more grey and chilly than I’d like on April 28th, I’m all warm and shiny inside because all of the Philly sports teams have given me reason to have hope.
There are critics who may say we are dopes who are easily duped by clueless front offices who constantly sell hope, but rarely close the deal. F**k them. Let them go on with their cynical, miserable, hopeless lives.
Me, things are looking up. As Monty Python reminds me:
Let’s look at the current state of our beloved squads.
Take a look at where “experts” ranked the Flyers going into this season:
NESN.com – 23rd
FOX Sports – 21st
USA Today – 23rd
SI.com – 25th
TSN.ca – 23rd
The over/under for wins going into this season was 37.5. The Flyers won 41 games.
Ron Hextall refused to trade any young players for an aging and over-priced veteran. THE FLYERS MADE THE PLAYOFFS and went 6 games with the best team in the league. They did that with a rookie coach from the University of North Dakota. Let that sink it. He wasn’t an NHL assistant or win an AHL Championship.
Neuvirth looks to be the real deal. Their minors have some young talent, especially at defenseman in the likes of Provorov and Morin. Center Travis Konecny looks ready for the NHL next season. They don’t have any elite forwards, but a nice future core.
Hexy is still strapped with the bloated contracts of Mark Streit and RJ Umberger for one more year so a stud free agent signing may not happen until the 17-18 season.
This team is on its way up, no doubt.
Sure, there has been some front office shakeup. They went from manifest-genius Hinkie, who never won a Championship to mediocre experienced GM Bryan Colangelo, who also has never won a Championship.
Jahlil Okafor can play…offense. There’s no denying that. He’s an NBA caliber player. He’s 20 and put up 17.5 Pts and 7 Rebs a game. That’s only going to improve.
Rumors are that Saric is coming over this year. If he doesn’t, he definitely will in 2017-18, when his salary can exceed the rookie cap limits.
They have 3, maybe 4, first round draft picks this year. They definitely have one of the top 4 picks and possibly 2, if the Lakers pick falls out of the top 3. They also have picks 24 and 26.
This coming year they have about $57M in cap space and currently are on pace to have $69M in cap space the following year.
Noel and Okafor struggled at times while on the floor together, but both are NBA talents. Noel has a lower ceiling so may be expendable for more assets.
If Colangelo doesn’t go nuts and sign a veteran to a max contract, the 76ers are prime to make serious moves in the 2017 season. 2016-17 should see improvement with 3, maybe 4, first round picks.
Doug Pederson, eh. Howie Roseman, eh. Jeff Lurie, eh. Possible franchise QB, YES!
The reality is that a franchise QB is all that matters in the NFL. The Eagles haven’t had that since 2009. That’s been a long six season with a carousel of mediocre quarterbacks. That’s six hopeless seasons. They may have won 10 games a couple of times since then, but never were serious contenders to win a Super Bowl.
Will Wentz suck? Odds say that there’s a 50% chance he will. Those same odds say that he’s got a 50% chance of succeeding. If he does, that’s worth 10 draft picks.
Drafting Wentz OR Goff gives the Eagles fans legit hope for the next couple years, which is something we probably wouldn’t have with Bradford or Daniel.
If you got a shot at a franchise QB you have to go for it. No point sitting middle of the road. Sixers and Flyers have done that for far too long. It sucks.
Young arms like Velasquez, Nola, and Eickhoff look legit. Franco is Franco.
Pundits such as Buster Olney have been reporting that the Phillies are prime for one of the quickest turnarounds in baseball. Their minor league system is consistently ranked in the top 10.
They only have $50M on the books for next season. More importantly, they have $0.00 on the payroll after the 2018 season. Why is that important? Because the free agent crop that year will include: Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Andrew McCutchen, David Price, Jose Fernandez, Manny Machado, Jason Heyward, Dallas Keuchel, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Harvey.
The Phillies are currently one game over .500 and are 3.5 games behind the Nationals, who they’ve recently beaten three times in a row. Are you kidding me?
The Phillies currently have a better record than the New York Yankees. The Phillies current payroll is $60M. The Yankees are at $211M.
Phillies are going UP!
Hope is all around us. High Hopes!