BY SPENCER REITER, Contributor
Philadelphia has done a good job of keeping the sports world on its heels this past year. This month itself, has been interesting for the city’s sports teams, and has caught the attention of fans everywhere. The moves, trades and pickups Philly has made this past year has made Philadelphia and the sports world talk like teenage girls gossiping at the high school lunch table.
Of course the Phillies made a huge trade this past week, shipping ace Cliff Lee to Seattle as part of a three-team trade to bring Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. While in Philly, there were mixed reactions, the rest of the country seemed to be a tad confused with this deal. Fans of course saw this past year how Cliff Lee pitched in the playoffs, and saw the deal as risky. Some wanted Lee to stay, and forget about Halladay, because he has already proved himself as an effective Phillie. Others hated the fact that Lee wanted to “explore” the market, which, for some, proved that his ego’s as big as Shaq’s bicep, and were just as ready to see him go. But whatever your stance is, Lee’s out and Halladay’s in and it’s got everyone talking.
Another move that has had people talking is the 76ers signing back old friend Allen Iverson. “The Answer” was loved in this city and when people heard he was coming back, they were again a mix of both enthusiastic and puzzled by the move. Fans wondered if this move was purely a stunt by general manager Ed Stefanski to plant more butts in the seats, which have been cold during Sixers games the last few years. And they were probably right, but he sure does entertain you.
One of the most controversial pick ups of the year is the Eagles picking up “The ConVICK”, Michael Vick. The entire sports world was shocked, especially Philadelphia, when the news broke on the Eagles signing the convicted dog fighter. No one expected Vick to get picked up so fast after getting out of jail, especially by a team who already has a solid number one quarterback and a backup who they selected with their forst pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. This news lead to a lot of publicity, mostly bad, however you know the saying, any publicity is good publicity. Of course, people were not happy with the signing of Vick, with the exception of a few fans who though he payed his debt and they might as well let him play. Either that or they were fans who just don’t care about what he did. At all. But not to get off one one of Homer Plate’s favorite tangents… However, as the year has gone on, people have seemed to come to ease about Vick. He has played well the past couple games and actually contributed to the community by helping out shelters and other community service projects.
The Flyers made the papers in Philly this season with a story other than them losing (ouch). In 2006, as the Flyers were at the very bottom of the NHL, they hired Jon Stevens, a coach who was supposed to help the Flyers get back to a place where they could win it all, but this season the organization made a surprising move in firing Stevens. Fans thought Stevens was doing a good job, and it was the players faults for not playing up to their standards. Now, Peter LaViolette has the reigns and hopes to steer the Flyers back on the winning track. Unfortunately, not all is going according to plan.
These four major teams in Philadelphia are always keeping us Philadelphians on our feet, as well as the sports world. So, while all of us baseball fans are bored during the off-season, we can be count on our beloved teams to keep up going and ready for April.