This may currently be the most dysfunctional sports town in America bar none.
On Sixers Fan Appreciation Night at the Wachovia Center, coincidentally the last home game of the season, the Sixers two top stars, Allen Iverson and Chris Webber, showed up very late and never played a minute. In fact, they never even made it to the bench. Rumor has it they knew they would be sitting due to “injuries”, a little known fact withheld from the paying public, some of whom no doubt came just to see them. They certainly weren’t coming to see the rest of the Sixers, who were miserable all season and failed to make the playoffs.
Oh, and by the way, it might also have been the last opportunity to see Iverson and/or Webber appear in Sixers uniforms at home. Both are the subject of numerous trade rumors. How appreciative.
Meanwhile, across the street at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies were returning from a successful road trip during which they managed to crawl back from their disastrous 1 – 5 start to the season at home. The highlight of that opening home stand was the merciless booing of some veteran players during the introduction ceremonies.
So, what did our prodigal sons do for an encore? They promptly went out and dropped an ugly game to the lowly Washington Nationals 10 -3, prompting a whole new round of booing sure to endear both parties to each other.
Meanwhile, back across the street at the Wachovia Center, the Flyers are preparing for the opening round of the NHL playoffs during which they will face old nemesis Buffalo in the Sabres’ building.
The Flyers fell across the finish line to end the season, dropping five of their last ten games and looking completely defenseless on, well, defense. And to top that off, the goalie controversy that dogged the team at least since the Olympic break remains a sore point despite appearances Robert Esche has won the starting nod for the playoffs. In the next to last game of the season, Esche was yanked after given up three goals and arrived at the bench yelling at someone or group as yet unidentified. That’s the spirit!
Meanwhile, across the parking lot from the Wachovia Center, the Philadelphia Eagles followed up their losing Super Bowl appearance by going 6 – 10 for the season and carrying on the most pitiful soap opera in recent NFL annals. It all began in that Super Bowl when receiver Terrell Owens returned from a serious leg injury to play a great game only to believe and announce to the world that his quarterback, Donovan McNabb, crapped out, especially at the end. Their personal feud carried over into training camp and the regular season and was exacerbated by Owens’ insistence that the Eagles rework his contract. They refused, banished him first from training camp and finally from the team in mid-season. Unable to work things out or trade him, the Eagles watched as their problem became division rival Dallas’ potential problem (or salvation) next season through free agency.
Have you got all that?