The year just concluding in local sports was most notable for its ups and downs.
As far as reversals of fortune go, the Eagles late season resurrection may be the stuff of legends,
The Phillies once again toyed with their faithful, stumbling out of the gate in April and putting on another late season rally that again fell short of the playoffs. To compensate for the overall team failure, however, the boys of summer gave us one Ryan Howard, the most personable and formidable slugger to come along in many a year. Howard impressed fans on both sides of the
Meanwhile, the Sixers provided precious few ups (truth be told I cannot think of a single one) on their way to another dismal season. They finished out of the playoffs at the beginning of 2006 and picked up right where they left off in the Fall of this year. Allen Iverson finally did what GM Billy King had been unable to do: pulled the trigger himself and demanded a trade. Meanwhile, to celebrate his pre-trade banishment from the premises, his teammates went on a ten-game losing streak, which was briefly interrupted by a two-game winning streak. The losing streak has resumed since that two-game aberration and AI’s eventual departure for the snows of
The Flyers were competitive last season albeit old and slow on defense and those liabilities took their toll as 2006 dawned, concluding with another early exit from the playoffs. Picking up where they left off, the Flyers began the current season in disarray that lead to the firing of head coach Ken Hitchcock and the resignation/firing of GM Bob Clarke. Instead of old, the Fly boys became young in the extreme: more than half their roster is made up of guys who were in the minors a year ago. As might be expected, they quickly sank to the absolute bottom of the NHL standings, all divisions considered. Last night they set a franchise record by losing their tenth straight game.2007 doesn't hold any promise for the Sixers or Flyers, unless one considers draft position. As for the Eagles, the likely outcome of their playoff appearance(s) will be a dose of reality. The Phillies can be rightfully labeled a work in progress. If they manage to fill a few glaring holes in their bullpen, they should be competitive. Whether that translates into their first playoff appearance in fourteen years remains to be seen.