The late great Temple head coach John Chaney once greeted an overzealous fan with a hilarious response when asked whether his team would make a run that season.
- "No, man, we ain't gonna do nothing. They gonna fail me again," he said.
College hoops is finally back. To celebrate, we made a shortlist of the most intriguing men's basketball games in Philadelphia this season.
1. Penn vs. Saint Joseph's
Probably the most funky of all the Philadelphia Big 5 games, St. Joseph's has a 6-4 advantage in the last 10 matchups against the Quakers.
It's not a great week for turkeys or the Eagles, who have a tricky Sunday matchup with a Green Bay Packers team trying to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Why it matters: This could be a "trap game" for the Birds, who relied on late heroics from QB Jalen Hurts to escape last week with a 17-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Ben Simmons is back — and perhaps better than ever.
Why it matters: Expect the rims to shake as an extra raucous crowd at the Wells Fargo Center breaks out its best stuff while heckling their former star.
Driving the news: Tonight’s Sixers game is the first time since Simmons was shipped out of Philly that the Brooklyn Nets guard will take the floor as a visitor.
The intrigue: Simmons is playing his best basketball since being traded in February for James Harden, who will miss tonight’s game because of an injury.
- Simmons scored a combined 37 points in his last two games for the Nets and missed only two shots in a 127-115 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
Catch up quick: Simmons was mercilessly criticized during his time in Philly for his lackluster jump shot and refusal to take big shots in big moments, which he admitted gave him a complex.
What he’s saying: Simmons laughed when asked if he expects to encounter anything less than a hostile crowd at his homecoming.
- "I know what's coming,” he told ESPN. “That's part of the game.”
💭 Isaac’s thought bubble: The Sixers’ star center Joel Embiid is out with a sprained foot, taking some of the excitement out of this one. But what an intriguing story it’d be for Simmons to torch the home team for 30 points and power the subpar Nets to the win.
"Just go for it." That's the advice Marc Giges gave his three daughters growing up.
Driving the news: Naomi Giges Downey, Katy Ingulli and Melissa Giges are honoring their father's words by participating — in their own ways — in this weekend's Philadelphia Marathon.
The World Cup has arrived and Philly has plenty of bars where you can watch the matches.
What's happening: The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar at 11am on Sunday, with the host nation taking on Ecuador.
The Eagles are off to their best start in franchise history as they get ready to host the Washington Commanders on "Monday Night Football."
Driving the news: The city is frenzied after Jalen Hurts, who's having an MVP-caliber season, led the Birds to their first-ever 8-0 start with a win over the Houston Texans almost two weeks ago.
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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