We lost two championships in a day, but we'd do it all over again
Sports are joy and pain, sunshine and rain, and this weekend certainly felt like an Ivan Drago punch to the stomach.
Driving the news: A spellbound town unofficially designated the “sports capital of the universe” watched our title dreams gutted in historic fashion.
- We became the first city to lose two major championships on the same day, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Flashback: The Phillies’ improbable postseason run ended in a 4-1 loss on the road to the Astros in Game 6 of the World Series, while the Union fell to Los Angeles FC on penalty kicks in what Fox soccer analyst Stuart Holden called the “greatest game in MLS history.”
Not-so-fun fact: It was two Philly-area natives who sealed our gnarly fates.
- West Chester product Chas McCormick’s leaping catch for the Astros in Game 5 robbed J.T. Realmuto of at least a double, preserved a 3-2 win for Houston and sent them home to close out the series. McCormick rested on the warning track after the catch, literally leaving his imprint on Citizens Bank Park.
- La Salle alum John McCarthy, who once played for the Union, entered late in the match for Los Angeles and made diving saves that earned him MVP honors.
Yes, but: Summing up the teams’ magnificent runs, Inquirer columnist Marcus Hayes reminded Philly faithful to savor the journey.
- “The biggest thing the disappointing endings shared,” he wrote, “was that neither team was supposed to have this wonderful chance to lose. And wonderful, it was.”
He’s right: Nothing feels quite like the city’s sports franchises killing it simultaneously.
- Just remember the split-screen last Thursday night, when Philly fans packed bars and living rooms to cheer the Phillies hosting Houston and the undefeated Birds pummeling the Texans. It was only the seventh time that teams from the same metro areas shared the stage on the same night, 12 minutes apart.
Everywhere you looked, from the burbs to Broad Street, people rocked Phillies swag, while a giant banner on City Hall celebrated “Red October.”
- Fans showed Olympic-like grit climbing greased-up poles, heckled Astros superfan “Mattress Mack,” joked about denying catering requests from the Astros, put “Dancing on My Own” on repeat and dressed up like the All-Star slugger and $300-million man responsible for the unforgettable “swing of his life” that sent the team to the Fall Classic. Inexplicably, they managed to piss off Nick Castellanos’ family, too.
- We helped the Union finish perfect at home this year, and set a Subaru Park attendance record of 19,770.
From Lawrence, Kansas, to the Liberty Bell, Philly faithful embraced Rob Thomson, the “baseball lifer” who took over for fired manager Joe Girardi and picked the team up after a 22-29 start.
Forever skeptics: We cheered wildly when the feast-or-famine Phillies tied a World Series record with five home runs in Game 3. Complained bitterly when the Phils bats’ went silent, striking out a World Series record 71 times.
- And then doubted Thomson’s decision to replace ace pitcher Zack Wheeler in Game 6. Because that's how we roll.
The bottom line: Yes, this weekend felt like a knockout blow. But when you’re on the canvas, get up and remember the glee of the past few weeks. In the words of Rocky: “Yo, Adrian! (We) did it.”
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