The buzz is back in Philly sports, thanks mostly to the Eagles and Sixers.
The Sixers’ tanking strategy the past several years finally is paying off with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as the ringleaders of a winning team that could/should make the playoffs and then do some damage.
Meanwhile, many Eagle fans already have their team playing in the Super Bowl, which is a big leap when you see a conference loaded with other hot teams, such as the Saints and Rams.
The Eagles play the Cowboys on Sunday night, and if Philly wins, fans will start planning for a February parade. As we say, that’s getting way too far ahead, but a win over the Cowboys will be nice, indeed, considering they are a big rival.
But are the Cowboys the biggest rival among all of Philadelphia’s four pro sports teams? Nah. It’s the Giants.
Here’s a look at the city’s biggest current rivalries, in rough order of intensity and bloodshed:
-- Eagles-Giants: I-95 clash fueled by location – a North Jersey-South Jersey civil war, if you will. You know, fights-in-the-parking-lot-and-stands type of thing.
-- Eagles-Cowboys: The Cowboys are hated, but they are hated everywhere but in the Southwest. In other words, Eagle fans see Dallas as a bigger rival than Dallas fans see the Eagles.
-- Flyers-Penguins: Pittsburgh’s Sydney Crosby, who by all accounts is a great player and nice guy, might be the present-day athlete most despised by Philly fans.
-- Phillies-Mets: This has lost some luster now that both teams stink. But it’s another rivalry driven by proximity. Met fans travel to Philly and Phillie fans travel to New York, and then the fun begins.
-- Flyers-Rangers: Both teams always seem to be competitive, which adds spice to the ice when they play.
-- Phillies-Nationals: A new rivalry juiced up by the Nationals’ Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth – both reviled in Philly.
-- Eagles-Redskins: Division foes but there doesn’t seem to be the same passion as there is when the Eagles play the Giants and Cowboys.
-- Sixers-Celtics: This rivalry waned a lot the past two decades, but with both teams winning again, it promises to heat up once more.
Honorable mention: Phillies-Pirates and Eagles-Steelers (it’s a Pennsylvania thing but they don’t play each other often enough anymore), Flyers-Devils, Phillies-Braves.