PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia sports finally turned a corner in 2017.
The Eagles are winning, The Process is trying to win, the Flyers won in the lottery, and the Phillies are almost there.
Here are the top 10 Philadelphia sports stories of the year.
The Phillies family losses Dallas Green, Ruben Amaro, Jim Bunning, Darren Daulton, and Roy Halladay in the same year
It was an incredibly tough year for the Phillies family.
Dallas Green passed away in March at the age of 82. Green spent 46 of his 62 seasons in baseball with the Phillies, most recently serving as a special adviser.
Nine days later, the Phillies lost Ruben Amaro Sr.
In May, former Phillies pitcher Jim Bunning passed away at the age of 85.
In August, Darren Daulton lost his battle with brain cancer at the young age of 55. Daulton made his MLB debut with the Phillies on Sept. 25, 1983 and played for the Phils from 1983 to 1997.
And then on Nov. 7, Roy Halladay tragically lost his life in a plane crash. Halladay’s death shook up the entire sports world. He was 40.
9. Eagles lead by example, off of the field
Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long lead the charge
Malcolm Jenkins continued his quest as a social activist. Jenkins was honored by the city council and was nominated for NFL Man of the Year. Jenkins also teamed up with the Philadelphia police to bring food, toys, and holiday cheer to 140 families.
In October, Jenkins, Chris Long, and Torrey Smith headed to Harrisburg to meet with legislators to discuss criminal justice reform.
Long donated all of his 16 game checks to education funding in Charlottesville, Philly, Boston, and St. Louis. Long spoke out about the events that took place in Charlottesville in August. He’s also supported Jenkins in his protest against racial inequality during the National Anthem.
8. Nolan Patrick
An 18-year-old star?
On June 23, the Flyers selected 18-year-old Nolan Patrick with the second overall pick in the NHL Draft. Patrick became the first Flyers rookie to make the opening night roster in his draft year, since Sean Couturier did so in 2011.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward dealt with some injury issues early in the season, and has two goals and five assists in 25 games this season.
7. Eagles sign Alshon Jeffery
Howie freakin’ Roseman
The Eagles signed the NFL’s top free agent wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to a one-year deal worth $14 million this offseason. Howie Roseman scooped by Jeffery for a one-year “prove it” deal, as the 27-year-old wideout was coming off a PED suspension.
Roseman gave Jeffery a four-year extension worth $52 million on December 2nd.
Heading into Week 17, Jeffery has 56 catches for 781 yards along with nine touchdown receptions.
6. Phillies change managers
Mackanin out, Kapler in
On Sept. 29, the Phillies announced Pete Mackanin will not manage the team in 2018 and will serve as a special assistant to the GM. One month later, the Phillies hired Gabe Kapler as their new manager.
Kapler made headlines for his unique personality, incredible physique, and his lifestyle blog (Coconut oil!).
5. We’ll always have January
Sixers go 10-5 in January
The Sixers went 10-5 in January, but then it was over before you could blink. After dominating in five straight wins, Joel Embiid went down in a game at home against the Trail Blazers on Jan. 20. Embiid missed the next three games and then took the court for a national TV game against James Harden and the Houston Rockets.
Embiid poured in 32 points, seven boards, and four assists in a five-point loss…and never played another game for the reason of the season.
It was later revealed that Embiid suffered a “minor” meniscus tear and the 7-foot-2 center had surgery, ending his season.
4. The Markelle Fultz shoulder saga
The No. 1 pick problem continues
Markelle Fultz — a combo guard with the ability to score at all levels and create for players around him (23.2 PPG, 5.9 APG, 5.7 RBP as a freshman at Washington) — was seemingly the perfect fit for the Sixers heading into the 2017 NBA Draft. The problem was, the Sixers had the No. 3 overall pick and Fultz was the consensus No. 1 overall projected pick.
So, Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo flipped the Lakers’ pick and No. 1 to the Celtics for No. 3, and snagged Fultz. The Celtics took their wing guy, Jayson Tatum.
Now, six months later, and Fultz has played four games. He’s been out with “scapular muscle imbalance” and continues to rehab. Fultz started the season reluctant to shoot from the outside, while taking laughable foul shots.
Maybe he hurt himself trying to change his shot? Maybe he was shooting funky because of the injury? No one has any idea what to make of the Fultz shoulder saga, as it continues.
3. Philadelphia hosts NFL Draft, sets attendance record
Philly loves football
A quarter-million people attended this year’s NFL draft in Philadelphia, an all-time NFL draft attendance record. The event was held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Eagles selected Derek Barnett with the 14th overall pick and then took CB Sidney Jones with their second-round pick.
2. A dynamic duo
Pillars of The Process
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have jumped out of the gate in 2017 as one of the NBA’s most dynamic duos. NBA analysts have already compared them to all-time great duos, like Penny Hardaway and Shaq and Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Embiid is averaging 23.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.0 blocks in 31.2 minutes per game. Embiid has played in 25 of 33 games so far this season.
Before the season, the Sixers signed Embiid to a five-year, $148 million maximum contract extension.
Simmons made his NBA debut on Oct. 18. Through 32 games played, Simmons is averaging 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.6 assists per game. He is the front-runner to win this year’s NBA rookie of the year.
1. Eagles Win NFC East, Clinch Home Field Throughout
Carson rides it up the hill, Nick pedals down, and Doug directs traffic
The Eagles entered year two of Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson with heightened expectations — but nothing drastic. Vegas had the Eagles’ over/under win total around 8.5 games. Well, the Eagles squashed all projection models, winning nine straight games after a 1-1 start.
Carson Wentz was on his way to an MVP season before tearing his ACL in a win at the Los Angeles Rams — the same game he broke the Eagles’ single-season franchise passing touchdown record with 33. Wentz’s season was traumatically over, but the Eagles’ is not.
Enter: Nick Foles.
Foles threw for four touchdowns while committing zero turnovers in a sloppy 34-29 win over the Giants in Week 15, as the 12-2 Eagles clinched a first-round bye. The next week, on Christmas, Foles struggled but the defensive picked him up, creating five turnovers en route to a 19-10 win over the Raiders. With the win, the Birds clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC for the first time since 2004.
Despite season-ending injuries to Wentz, Darren Sproles, Chris Maragos, Jason Peters, and Jordan Hicks, Pederson kept the team together and has them ready for home playoff game(s) in January. He is a top candidate for the NFL’s coach of the year award, while Wentz is still in consideration to be named the league’s MVP.