Welcome to the inaugural installment of The Philly Five Power Rankings. I was gonna call it ‘The Philly Phive’, but then I came to my senses.
What is The Philly Five all about? Well, I’m glad you asked. The Philly Five will be a power ranking of the five things in the Philadelphia sports world that were hot for the past week, and a few that were not. Not a real ranking system, just what got some buzz and what was a bust.
I hope you enjoy it.
Ok, enough chit chat. Onto this week’s Philly Five for April 25th…
1) Flyers fans – It’s only the first round but knocking out the Penguins in the fashion that they did has to be a huge morale boost for the Flyers faithful. And suddenly, as the first round dust settles the Flyers are the Vegas favorites to win the Eastern Conference and 5-1 to win the Stanley Cup (for amusement purposes only). Penguins – OUT. Bruins – OUT. Devils/Rangers – both forced to Game 7’s. 2010 nemesis Blackhawks – OUT, 1997 nemesis Red Wings – OUT. It’s good to be a Flyers fan this week. Schadenfreude is nice while it lasts.
2) Pat Burrell and Brian Dawkins – I had to lump them both together because when it came to Philly sports in the late 90’s into the 2000’s, they were two of the most high profile guys in town. And now they are officially retired.
B-Dawk could go down as the most popular Eagle of all time. The heart and soul of the Jim Johnson defenses. Weapon X. We loved him and when the team let him go after the 2008 season it was mixed emotions. We hated to lose him, but glad to see him keep doing his thing in Denver.
And Burrell? Well, Pat the Bat had a rough run as a Phillie. The fans (myself included) probably gave him more grief than he deserved, but ultimately he had the last laugh. No scene was more powerful in the 2008 parade than seeing Burrell and Elvis on the front of the beer truck riding down Broad Street.
Both guys will get the Philadelphia homecoming celebrations that they deserve.
3) Claude Giroux – X went from “this kid is really, really good” to “OMG Claude Giroux just set a Flyers playoff record for points in a series, he blew up Crosby on a check then turned right around and scored a goal, and his jersey ended the regular season as the #1 seller at NHL.com. Think about the playoff series scoring record for a second. More points in a single playoff series than Bobby Clarke, Rick McLeish, Bill Barber, Tim Kerr, Brian Propp, Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Simon Gagne? And he’s only 24.
4) Phillies training staff – if they are getting paid by the body, then they are doing well. First Howard and Utley, and now Cliff Lee goes on the shelf for 15 days? Phillies fans are hoping (praying) that these guys get back to full strength. Not to mention Hunter Pence had a bum shoulder and somehow he gets miraculously healed by these guys and smacks a homer on Wednesday night.
It’s been a sluggish start for the Phillies to say the least, and losing Lee to the DL makes the job even harder. There’s no need to panic yet, but if the weeks go by and we still can’t put up any runs it could be a loooong summer. Then Hamels will leave for LA or Anaheim (but that’s a topic for September).
5) Sixers owner’s bank accounts – The Sixers (finally) clinched a playoff spot. They will either be the #8 seed v. Chicago, or #7 v. Miami. Most fans are expecting a one and done playoff run (not fun, son). But the Sixers ownership made the bold decision to jack up the price of playoff tickets for the first round. I know this because I am a season ticket holder. My $45 seats (Section 215) are now going to cost me $63, plus whatever other dumb fees they throw at me.
I realize most teams increase the price of tickets for the playoffs, but this new Sixers ownership came in with a “hey, we’re fans too” mentality. Heck, they gave alot of season ticket holders (like me) club box seats for the home opener for FREE. That was great. Last year the playoff price was the same as the regular season price for the first round and would increase if they advanced. I like that model. Earn the increase. Your fanbase is loyal, but we’re not rich, at least most of us aren’t. But enjoy your payday.
Honorable mention: Jonathan Papelbon (6 for 6), Philly Live! (Flyers playoff games have filled that place up lately), NFL draftniks (you’re time is NOW!, then we’ll see you again next April).
And then there’s the bottom…
999) Kyle Kendrick – Phillies fans suddenly remember why they love Joe Blanton so much. Ouch, KK got rocked in Arizona on Tuesday. Should of kept Happ.
See you next week. The Phillies will be over .500 by then, right? Right?