Could Philadelphia become another city of champions?

Heartbreak has become a reoccurring theme for Eastern fans over the past few years, many of whom are also accustomed to watching helplessly as their favorite Philadelphia team falls just short of a championship title.

An end to the championship drought in Philadelphia may represent a change in the tides for Eastern.

The long overdue and well-deserved championship title drew millions of Phillies fans into the city of brotherly love just a few weeks ago. In fact, most methods of public transportation reported being overwhelmed by midmorning, as no one was prepared for the turnout of Phillies fans. The celebration, however, did not start or stop on Broad Street; it instead extended across the tri-state area, including Eastern’s campus.

It is estimated that two million more people showed up at the parade than the last time a pro team won a championship, the Sixers in 1983. Note that the parade in 1983 was on a summer day in July when school was not in session, yet the crowd just a few weeks ago exceeded that celebration.

When the final out at Citizens Bank Park was recorded and the Phillies were crowned World Series Champions, two and a half decades of pain seemed to vanish. Most Eastern undergraduate students weren’t even born the last time a Philadelphia team could be called champions in its respective sport. But could there be more championships in store?

There is a possibility we can be one of those cities that rally off one team’s success. We are more than the city of brotherly love. We are the city that craves winning and nothing less.

Why can’t Philadelphia be like Boston, which has won six major championships in the past eight years? The Patriots started their winning spree in 2001 with a Super Bowl, and the city hasn’t looked back since then. There was, once upon a time, a pro team in Philadelphia that won a championship, and then the city went on to win four championships in the next eight years: 1975-1983. Can you say repeat?

Those eight years of glory can easily happen again with the talent each of Philadelphia’s pro sports teams has. I am sure students wouldn’t mind skipping classes to go to more parades.

The Philadelphia Eagles have been the team with the longest championship drought. The last time they won a championship was in 1960, when the Super Bowl wasn’t so super because it didn’t even exist yet. Even though the team has won five NFC East Divisions in six years, they have not yet earned us a parade.

This season the Eagles are looking to win their seventh division title in eight years, but I don’t think any Eastern Eagles fan is satisfied unless you win the big dance.

As we start our own basketball season here at Eastern we can consider the Sixers as well. The Sixers gained respect in the NBA by taking a highly talented Detroit Pistons team six games in the first round of the playoffs last season. Now with a more experienced team and a big acquisition in Elton Brand, basketball fever has spread from our own Eastern Eagles to the court of the Sixers.

But what about you ice hockey fans? The Flyers created their own success this past season. Underdogs in the playoffs, they took the city on their shoulders to the conference finals where they lost to a highly-skilled Penguins team. In what seems to have been forever ago, the Flyers carried a city on their backs to championships in 1974 and 1975.

Most Eastern students were not around when Philadelphia averaged a parade every two years for eight years. Hopefully, history will repeat itself.

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