Phils advance, Flyers win, and amped fans are hoping for ‘a perfect weekend’ with an Eagles victory
"It means a lot to the city," a lifelong fan said after the Phillies advanced to the pennant round of the playoffs, echoing a popular sentiment.
Leslie Cuthbertson was wearing Phillies red from crown to toe, and just in case her loyalties were unclear, the legend on her necklace read “authentic fan.”
For Cuthbertson, the 40,000-plus people at Citizens Bank Park who were so loud that they set off decibel warnings, and for the partisans who were riding the Broad Street subway with Cuthbertson, Oct. 15, 2022, was an amazing day to be just that.
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“It was so thrilling,” she said after watching her Phillies dominate Atlanta and make it to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2010.
Echoing a sentiment expressed by many of those who came to the sports complex Saturday to luxuriate in the Phillies’ accomplishment, she said: “It means a lot to the city.”
The North Philadelphian is a lifelong Phillies fan, and goes to the ballpark regularly, but on Friday she went to her first postseason game to see the Phillies beat the Braves. 9-1. and to her second on Saturday to see the 8-3 win.
For Cuthbertson, like many other fans, the Phillies’ win is only one course in a weekend-long sports feast. Sunday, after work, she will head back to the South Philly complex to see the so-far-undefeated Eagles play the Dallas Cowboys.
“To be 5 and 0 ... wow!” she said. .
At Xfinity Live!, the sports-bar complex across the street from Citizens Bank Park, Flyers fans who had tickets for the hockey game at the arena were glued to the screens watching baseball. Among them were Philadelphian John Griffith, 24, and his friends.
“It’s a perfect weekend,” he said.” It’s a trifecta.”
He said that Philadelphia is a blue-collar city. People work all week and come down to the stadiums to tailgate, attend the games, or go watch with other fans at bars to have a good time and be together with community.
When the Phillies game ended, judging from the raucous cheers inside the Wells Fargo Center, you might have thought the Flyers had just won the Stanley Cup.
Back at Xfinity Live!, the MC declared, “The Atlanta Braves will not be in the World Series this year!”
With that he introduced a song by one of Georgia’s most famous citizens, Ray Charles. He sent the crowd into a frenzy by playing “Hit the Road Jack.”
It seemed as though everyone was loving Philly this weekend.
Kelly Fisher, who comes from a family of die-hard Philadelphia sports fans, said she noticed the recent success of Philadelphia sports teams affecting the general mood of the city.
“It means the world to the city,” she said. “It means the world to my family.”
Fisher, who works as a graphic designer in Center City, noticed a shift in the city in recent weeks. Instead of generic greeting in the office, coworkers share “Go, Phils!” or “Go, birds!” People seem happier. ”We’re all sports energy,” she said. “It’s electric.”
She is not the only one who noticed, and psychologists confirm that the joy that comes with sport victories is infectious.
As the crowd in Xfinity Live! erupted for every run scored by the Phillies, and out made by the Braves, Keith Smith was enjoying every minute. He remembers his father taking him to the parade celebrating the Phillies’ 2008 World Series victory.
He was 11 then but now, 24, he can enjoy the team’s success as an adult.
“First-time playoff experience with the Phillies, some beer, some friends going crazy,” he said as he watched the game at Xfinity Live! with friends.
He said the victory over the Braves is “bringing the city back” after two very hard years. Smith is already anticipating the celebrations.
“Expect mayhem in Philadelphia but not the bad kinds,” he said.
Like for many others, the Phillies game was only the beginning of the weekend for Smith. He will be back in the stadium complex early afternoon on Sunday to tailgate ahead of the Eagles game.
“I might as well sleep here tonight,” he joked.
Some young fans weren’t around in 2008, so it might be harder for them to appreciate how long the wait has been for so many.
Jay Eisenhower went to the game with his 9-year-old son, Henry and his two friends Caden and Tommy. Ahead of the game, he and Henry watched the 2008 World Series.
On the way out of the stadium after the Saturday win, the boys were overjoyed — even though they complained about being sprayed with beer after Bryce Harper’s home run in the eighth inning.
They also were equally excited about Sunday, and what might happen at Lincoln Financial Field.
“Let’s have a great Philadelphia season,” Caden said.