Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies have a storybook in October, like they did in 1980
What started Friday with Rhys Hoskins’ batting peak ended Sunday night with Jalen Hurts kneeling, and Philly drowning in joy.
With 54 seconds left, as Hurts lined his team up in the victory formation, speakers at Lincoln Financial Field rang out with the refrain of “Dancing On My Own”. It’s the Phillies hype song. Get used to that tune.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie also heard it on Saturday night, when the Phillies finished their business with the Braves. Lurie watched the Phillies from owner John Middleton’s box. Middleton is from Philadelphia. Lurie has been in Philadelphia for 28 years.
For the first time together, the Broad Street pals are the toast of the town.
“I’m so excited for John,” Lurie said. “And that’s great for the city. When sport brings so much happiness and brings people together in such a polarized society, it’s wonderful to see. It’s very special.
Philadelphia has been a great sports city for about 160 years, but there hasn’t been a weekend like this in two generations; not since Pete Rose, Steve Carlton and Michael Jack Schmidt shared a concrete bowl called Veterans Stadium the year we saw a Miracle on Ice. This weekend, the two big city teams continued their unlikely races against great rivals they have long pursued and despised.
First, the Phillies knocked the Braves out of the playoffs on Friday and Saturday behind Hoskins’ bombshell, Aaron Nola’s dominance and JT Realmuto’s deafening home run inside the park. They had qualified for the National League Championship Series for the first time in 12 years by conjuring up the ghosts of their 2008 champion team, but as of midnight Sunday, “Dancing On My Own” no longer applied.
They were to share the floor with the Eagles.
The Birds not only cemented their claim as the best team in football, now 6-0 and alone among the undefeated, but they did so by hammering the hated Cowboys: three interceptions, two touchdowns and a 26- 17. They stole the 69,879 at Lincoln Financial Field almost as fully as Bryce Harper, Hoskins & Co. electrified Citizens Bank Park and earned their trip to San Diego, where they begin the National League Championship Series on Tuesday.
» READ MORE: » Nick Sirianni attracts Philadelphia fans, but even they know that beating the Cowboys is only a step.
Really, the excitement started last weekend. The Phillies swept the playoff baseball Cardinals with wild-card wins in St. Louis on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday night, the Eagles toppled the Football Cardinals in Arizona.
If this sparked a week of bliss in the city of brotherly love, it will be a week of total joy.
There’s no debating that the Phillies’ wins were more important, as the Phillies stayed alive in their quest for a third World Series title. But Sunday night’s game meant first place in the NFC East for the winner. The Cowboys were the preseason favorites to defend their division title, but the Eagles hold a two-game lead and the tiebreaker.
The Eagles can spend the week like the rest of the region, reveling in their achievement and watching the baseball players in California. All the other teams are busy, but the Birds have a bye.
“All the Philly teams are killing him right now,” Brandon Graham said.
He was drafted in 2010 and saw the last two seasons of the Phillies golden era, but he never caught Phillies fever. Now Graham is looking forward to the Phillies returning Friday for Games 3, 4 and maybe 5 on Sunday.
“I’m going to watch this week. And, you know, I’ve never been to a Phillies game! Sorry, y’all,” Graham said. “I’m going to try to do it this weekend. Me and my wife will come.
READ MORE: Nick Sirianni: ‘What a great time to be a Philadelphia sports fan! » Perfect eagles; Phillies advance
He will have a choice to make on Tuesday. The 76ers begin their season in Boston just 33 minutes before the start of the NLCS in California. For an appetizer, he can tune in to Tampa and watch John Tortorella’s undefeated Flyers first period (Undefeated Flyers?)
As crazy as the weekend was, the craziest thing is that everything could end the way you want.
The Eagles are the best team in the NFL after 36% of the season. With Zack Wheeler and Nola properly lined up, with the bullpen locked and with Harper scorching — he leads all postseason hitters with 1.437 OPS and .435 batting average — the Phillies should beat the Padres for the pennant. NL. As we learned in 2008, all bets are void at World Series time.
The Sixers have their best shot at winning a title since The Process began a decade ago.
With Torts cracking the whip, even the Flyers could sniff out the playoffs.
And the Union is the best it has ever been.
A loss on Sunday night football surely would have killed the buzz.
Please. The Cowboys weren’t level with the Eagles on Sunday night.
The Birds fooled former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, now the NFL’s top defenseman, twice with the same play. They silenced CeeDee Lamb. They took advantage, as usual, of Mike McCarthy’s duncery: he called a rollout pass for stinky Cooper Rush, fourth and first of the Cowboys’ 34, just 20 minutes into the game.
After the first quarter, the game was never really in question, and Philly felt it. It’s a feeling Philly hasn’t felt in almost exactly 42 years.
This week in 1980, on October 19, as the Phillies headed for the first World Series championship in franchise history, the Eagles picked up their sixth victory of the season en route to their first Super Bowl appearance.
The team the Eagles beat on October 19, 1980?
Visiting Dallas Cowboys.