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Philadelphia Sports 2012: Top Three Best and Worst Moments


 So, what did we diehard Philly sports fans do to deserve such a miserable 2012?  Please: that was meant to be a rhetorical question.


Putting aside the truly tragic (the death of Garrett Reid at the Eagles’ training camp), the hallmark of 2012 seemed to be small beacons of hope that were quickly enveloped by shrouds of darkness. For the Phillies alone, how do you explain the promise shown by Freddy Galvis—Gold Glove caliber defense at a new position with the occasional clutch hit—only to see him disappear after June 6 (D-Day!) with an injury and suspension. Even the beloved Carlos Ruiz’s amazing season was then undermined and overwhelmed by, yes, injury and (coming) suspension. And that only accounts for a fraction of the misery and disappointment that our best franchise gave us during a puzzling 81-81 campaign.Andrew Bynum photo: Bryan Anderson/AP


The Sixers, sort of led by the enigmatic Andre Iguodala, finally won a playoff series and then put a scare in the Celtics before bowing out. But the big story in Sixersville was the acquisition of Andrew Bynum, which brought back sweet memories of Moses Malone…or was it the crushed dreams of Jeff Ruland?


As for that other team that sometimes plays in the winter, the Flyers thrilled us by dumping the Pittsburgh Crosbys from the playoffs, only to be ousted without a fight by Marty Brodeur? What year is this?


And as for the Birds, “Team Urgency” somehow won three out of their first four games, while looking terrible for great stretches of all of those contests. And then, well, “WTF” does not stand for “Watching Terrific Football.”  Perhaps, in 2012, we will even see Andy Reid let go after 14 pretty successful years here, although that begs the question: Will that be a top or bottom moment?

Eagles photo: Reuters



With all that said, here is my attempt at finding three positive stories and limiting the negatives to a trifecta. Here’s to a wonderful 2013; heck, just moving on and starting anew will feel great!


Top 3 Stories

3. 76ers land Andrew Bynum – Yes, I know it looks like this is on the wrong list…but in mid-August, when fans erupted with joy at the National Constitution Center press conference, and the big man professed his love…what, you knew that he wouldn’t suit up until Andy Reid left town?


2.  Phillies Re-ink Cole HamelsWith trade winds swirling, Phillies fans—not knowing if their homegrown co-ace would pitch in red pinstripes in South Philly again—serenaded the lanky lefty to a huge ovation, even as he strode off the mound after a subpar outing. Hamels would tip his cap to us literally at the stadium and verbally at his press conference, which announced his 6-year, $144-million extension.


1. Claude Giroux upends Crosby and the Penguins – Yes, it seems like 10 years ago…or at least three…but how epic was Giroux’s first shift in the Flyers’ Game 6, 5-1 home ice victory over the Pens? Knocking Sid on his butt six seconds in and scoring a beautiful goal 26 seconds later is the stuff of legend. After that opening shift, the game and series was ours; the rest was just details. But then, there was that deflating conference semis versus the Devils, our old nemesis. But, on April 22, we knew we were making a long run for the Cup. Right?

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Bottom 3


3. Cliff Lee and…the 1962 Mets? – Nothing typified the Phillies’ demoralizing, 81-81 season more than what happened to the Fightins every fifth day or so when Cliff Lee toed the rubber. Despite a terrific ERA, and elite strikeout and control numbers, the man just could not buy a win. “Highlights” of his 6-9 campaign were: 15 no-decisions (at least 10 of which could’ve easily been wins) and no wins at home until…wait for it, he did…August 23rd. Yeesh!



2. Andrew “Bynum and Bailey”? – Yes I had to put Big Andrew on both lists. For a guy that has yet to play a minute as a hometown player, the man is getting a lot of ink. Yet, it’s hard to overstate the euphoria of his signing (and even the promise that Iggy’s leaving heralded) and yet, how do I underplay how depressing it is that we don’t know when (or if) he’ll ever resemble an elite center here? When all is said and done, will Chris Webber have had a more eventful Sixers career? Anybody missing Elton Brand?


1. The Birds’ Continuing Decline – I’ll keep it brief. Shady McCoy, the team’s one very likeable superstar, was either misused or injured. Defensive leadership became an oxymoron. Turnovers were given, and never taken. After a somewhat lucky 3-1 start, going into our merciful season finale, the Eagles’ record is 4-11. On merit.

Along with being a lifelong Philly sports fan, Matt Goldberg is a unique, award-winning writer, speaker and all-around humorist who resides with his wife and son in South Jersey. He recently collaborated with the other Philly2Philly guys to write "A Snowball's Chance: Philly Fires Back Against the National Media." 

For information on ordering books, requesting customized writing, media requests and special events, please contact matt@tipofthegoldberg.com  

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