First impressions are hard to shake. For many, the image of Philadelphia’s sports fans is one of tough, loyal supporters who are perhaps extreme in their devotion and demands.
But the Philly of years ago isn’t the one of today. Times change, people change, and the city is far more diverse than it once was. Sure, some things don’t change much, like arguments about where to enjoy the best cheesesteak in the city and how the local sports teams need to get better.
In addition to the fervent followings for the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies and Flyers, the Union have built a strong and dedicated fanbase to go along with their excellent development academy and first team that regularly contends for titles.
It’s even possible that the 2026 men’s World Cup, which Philadelphia will host along with other U.S., Mexican and Canadian cities, could see two brothers line up for the USA in a World Cup game for the first time, both with Union roots - Paxten and Brenden Aaronson.
Inquirer columnist Marcus Hayes takes a closer look at some of the possibilities that lie ahead for Philly in the next four years.
❓What’s your reaction to Philadelphia landing the World Cup host city bid? Email us back for a chance to be featured in the newsletter.
Doc’s Dad inspired him
Doc Rivers had parents who not only raised him, but other kids in the neighborhood as well. They were pillars in the black community, especially when tensions rose.
Keith Pompey has the story of a family whose thoughtful actions and work ethic affected and influenced many, including the NBA coach who speaks out on social and racial injustices in part because of their inspiring example.
Early exit for Phillies’ Eflin
In the days leading up to his Sunday start, the Phillies didn’t know for sure if Zach Eflin would take the mound. Perhaps he shouldn’t have. Eflin said his bruised right knee isn’t 100% and it hindered his ability to push off the mound in a 9-3 loss to the Nationals as the Phillies were denied a five-game sweep of Washington. And then there was Corey Knebel, who lost his closer job and is trying to get back on track in low-leverage situations. He continues to struggle landing his curveball and commanding his fastball.
Bryce Harper didn’t swing a bat for a second day in a row Sunday because of an infection left over from a blister on his left hand.
Next: After a day off on Monday, the Phillies open a two game series in Arlington, Texas at 8:05 p.m. Tuesday (NBCSP). Kyle Gibson (4-2, 4.04) will be opposed by Rangers left-hander Martín Pérez (4-2, 2.10).
All tied up
Union fans have a secret to share with newbie soccer fans and it is this — sometimes the most frustrating result isn’t a loss. It’s the other uniquely soccer option — a draw.
It’s an especially difficult outcome to deal with when so many indicators in the game point to good possibilities for a win that ends up not happening. It doesn’t make it any easier for Union fans when it seems like it keeps happening, as the Union have tied opponents eight times this season.
Eagles sign another in the secondary
The Eagles signed veteran safety Jaquiski Tartt to a one-year deal, and the seven-year veteran who’s played his entire career with the 49ers should give the team another boost in the secondary. Already the Eagles had added cornerback James Bradberry, helping them fill a need. Tartt gives them depth and should compete with Marcus Epps.
Worth a look
Runner’s high: It wasn’t a new record, but Archbishop Wood’s Gary Martin still ended the high school season on a good note with a victory.
Lax leaders: The top United States lacrosse players are getting called in for a look ahead of the World Lacrosse Championships.
Rookie returns: Amirah Ali shares how her career is going in the National Women’s Soccer League.
On this date
On June 20, 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000 and banned from boxing for three years. Ali refused to be inducted into the United States armed forces, saying “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong.”
What you’re saying about Torts, still!
Major Thumbs up. You don’t give 100%, you will let someone give 100%. You have to hustle. Flyers have lost consistency in 100%. That will change under Torts. — Stephen M.
I would like to see a total house cleaning from the GM on down. Total rebuild with a somewhat younger staff/ management, etc. Stick it out come hell or high water and look to the future and if done right, success will follow. — Carlton H.
The Flyers’ front office got it wrong — spectacularly so. Tortorella’s whip cracking will wear thin very quickly indeed. As constituted, the team is not built to suit Tortorella’s style, nor is it ever likely to, given Fletcher’s ineptitude in assembling a team. True, Tortorella won a Cup, but his Cup-winning team compares to the Flyers as lightning does to a lightning bug.
I’ll be surprised if Tortorella lasts through the 2023-2024 season. He’ll be cheered initially but those will have turned to Boos by the time this year’s Christmas decorations get packed away. — J.D. Barry
Terrible hire. He coaches as a tyrant & dictator. This hire will be the nail in the coffin for Fletcher. Players will tune him out after the honeymoon, 1/2 - 2/3 through the season. This organization has become really sad. Our cross-state rivals have 16 consecutive playoff appearances. How many do the Flyers have over the same period? The Flyers do not have the talent to compete with the Lightning, Avalanche, and Oilers, actually over 1/2 of our conference. — D. Jones
It’s finally official. The 76ers will select No. 23 in the 2022 NBA draft, picking in the latter half of the first-round, which is a position they are familiar with. Sixers star Tyrese Maxey, defensive stalwart Matisse Thybulle and backup guard Furkan Korkmaz were all chosen in that part of the draft. The Inquirer’s Gina Mizell and Keith Pompey will discuss potential picks for the Sixers and touch on a big offseason to follow.
We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Jonathan Tannenwald, Keith Pompey, Melanie Heller, Scott Lauber, Josh Tolentino, Marcus Hayes, and Joe Juliano.