Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. You would think with a slogan like that things couldn’t go so hilariously bad, right? If you follow sports, you know that Philadelphians all unfortunately have to live by the infamous “Murphy’s Law.” In Murphy’s Law it is stated that:
“Everything that can go wrong WILL go wrong, and at the worst, and I mean WORST, possible time.”
That could not be more accurate when it comes to the sports teams of Philly. After the absolute collapse of the 76ers in game 7 of the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Fans had to watch in despair as their team blew a 3-2 series lead with a chance to close out at home for game 6, only to blow it in the fourth quarter. Now most fans would still have some optimism seeing as they had one last game to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since Allen Iverson was on the team.
But we know better.
The 76ers followed up their game 6 performance by getting absolutely demolished in Boston for game 7 against their “rivals” the Boston Celtics. I put rivals in quotes because a rivalry usually means that both teams win at some point or the matches go back and forth. That cannot be said about these two teams.
Since newly crowned league MVP Joel Embiid has been on the 76ers, he has struggled against Boston, especially in the playoffs. As it stands now, Joel Embiid’s playoff record against the Celtics is a crushing 3-12 with Sunday’s game potentially being his worst game to date against the team. Embiid finished with 15 points on 5-18 shooting with eight rebounds to pair with it. But he wasn’t alone when it comes to MVPs current or past that struggled in game 7.
James Harden also decided that game 7 was going to be his worst game of the series as he delivered an unimpressive 9 points in 41 minutes. 9 points. A former MVP of the league and the guy that has dropped 40-plus points multiple times this series. A travesty through and through. Embiid and Harden struggling added with 76ers coach Doc Rivers’s record of blowing series is a recipe for disaster. And what a disaster it was. Doc Rivers is now 6-10 all-time in game 7 and is on a 9-game losing streak to clinch a Conference Finals berth.
What’s more brutal is that this isn’t anything new for sports fans in the beautiful city of Philadelphia. Things have been tough for Philly sports fans the past year as they’ve managed to get with reach for not just one championship, but three. Those three teams would be:
and lastly The 76ers. Though you can argue the 76ers still would have had to win the Eastern Conference Championship before they could have won the NBA Finals, this is the closest they’ve come since the early 2000s so I’ll let it slide. The other two teams were in the World Series and Super Bowl, just to see victory slip from their fingers.
The Phillies honestly had an incredible playoff run in October this past year. They won in the Wild Card 2-0, then the NL Divisional Round 3-1, followed up by them winning the NL Championship Series 4-1. They were firing on all pistons leading up to the World Series. Unfortunately for them, they met the Houston Astros. Though the Astros have a not so shining light on them due to the cheating scandal that still hangs over their last World Series Win, The Astros were ready to put all of that behind them and did they ever. The Astros were well in control of the series and closed it out in game 6 as the Phillies lost the series 4-2. Being the second-best team is always bittersweet. On the one hand, you had months of euphoric joy as your team dominated the regular season and playoffs. On the other hand, you had to watch your team lose on the biggest stage in the sport and through the span of six games no less. A slow and painful way to go. That can’t be said for their NFL counterpart the Philadelphia Eagles.
In all honesty, the Eagles were a bit of a surprise for most NFL fans this past season. A new head coach, new free agents, and an unproven QB that most weren’t sure what to make of him. Those doubters were quickly silenced as Jalen Hurts and the Eagles dominated the regular season. If not for an injury late in the regular season, Hurts most likely would have been this past season’s league MVP. Hurts and the Eagles instead decided to focus on him getting healthy for the playoffs and man did he look healthy. After becoming the 1 seed in the NFC division and the first round bye week that comes with it, the Eagles made quick work of their division rivals the New York Giants by thrashing them 38-7. Philly wasn’t done though, as they followed up one thrashing with another as they dismantled an albeit injured San Francisco 49ers team 31-7. It felt like this was the year for Philadelphia and with what seemed like everyone outside of Kansas City (and maybe Dallas) rooting for the Eagles to take down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
You see where I’m going with this.
The Eagles looked poised to take the Lombardi Trophy home as they lead going into the 4th quarter 27-21. Then Patrick Mahomes decided to remind the world that he’s playing 4D chess while we’re all playing checkers. The Chiefs scored 17 points in the 4th quarter and cut through the Eagle’s defense like a hot knife through butter. Final score 38-35 in a gut wrenching defeat for the Philadelphia Eagles. Fast forward to Mother’s Day where the 76ers decided to complete the trifecta of disappointment for the city of Philly.
Though it has been a lot, and I mean A LOT of pain for Philly fans, there is still a lot to be optimistic about. The Eagles look like they’ll be great for the foreseeable future, the Phillies are currently second in the NL East, and the 76ers… well they have a league MVP in Joel Embiid, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16 returns June 7. So though it is raining pain today, sunnier days are soon to come. In the meantime,
The gang rides the struggle bus.