I've decided to embrace the role of heel that Philadelphia is rapidly casting itself into. Here's why people like underdogs: Because they're jealous of the top dog. It's that simple.
For so long, we've hated New York, Dallas, Boston, and other cities more successful in sport. Why? Not because they were any more evil or nefarious than other teams and cities, but because they always won, always got the best players, and always received the most attention.
We got hard-ons when the Phillies made rare national television appearances in the late 90s and early 2000s. Our city turned into one giant boner in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XXXIX. And we lost our shit when Allen Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lou. Those were just a few of the brief instances where we felt like we belonged and, in some cases, were sticking it to the man.
That mentality is present all over the sporting landscape.
Fans hate the Lakers, the Yankees, the Cowboys, the Patriots, and Manchester United (futbol, yo). For the most part, these teams conduct business in a similar manner as their competition, only they do it better. The Phillies, Eagles, and perhaps even the Flyers if Homer proves to still be seated on his rocking chair, are all working their way into that pantheon of exalted sports franchises.
Twice in a row now, Philadelphia has bested New York in its quest for a top free agent. The Flyers are among the best, most profitable, and consistent franchises in the league. The Phillies are enjoying the best era in their history. And the Eagles are in the midst of one of the most improbable, bizarre, and fantastic off-seasons their sport has ever seen. It’s a good time to be a Philadelphia sports fan.
I guess this is all just a really long way of telling you that Nnamdi Asomugha is on the cover of Sports Illustrated, just two weeks after Carlos Ruiz graced the magazine’s front page.
The picture is via Philadelphian Bryan Graham, who works for Sports Illustrated and tells us this is the Eagles' 10th cover in the past eight years.
They were only on the cover five times in the magazine's first 50 years.
It’s nice being the center of attention.
XOXO[Related: Wall Street Journal says Philadelphia is out-New Yorking New York]