This is our third annual “Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of the Year.” You can find lists from 2009 and 2010 here and here. We will be rolling out the moments over the next few days until New Year’s Eve.
This was not a particularly good year. In 2009 and 2010, respectively, we had many moments to celebrate: a World Series trip, two no-hitters, a Stanley Cup Finals run, a Final Four run and postseason heroics in multiple sports.
2011 didn’t see similar success.
All four teams made the playoffs. Three of them lost in the first round, and the Flyers were swept in the second before the organization was blown up and put back together with a decidedly different design.
The Phillies had their best regular season ever… followed by their most disappointing postseason. They lost to the eventual champion Cardinals.
The Eagles had their best, um, summer ever… followed by their most disappointing season. And back in January, they lost to the eventual champion Packers.
The Flyers had one of their most successful calendar years ever in 2010– they won 59 total games, including the 2010 playoffs. That reality set expectations high for the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unfortunately, the Flyers failed in epic and hilarious fashion. They needed seven games, overtime heroics and 88 goalie changes to beat the Sabres in Round 1. They were then swept by the eventual champion Bruins in Round 2.
The Sixers were the only overachieving pro team in Philadelphia in 2011. Doug Collins turned what looked like another horrific season into a respectable – fun – campaign. The Sixers drew a first round matchup with the Heat, and while no one thought they could win the series (except Spike Eskin), we were somewhat enthused to see our team have the chance to give the Dream Team a run for its money. Which they didn’t.
The Sixers lost the first three games, though they did keep Games 1 and 3 close. By Game 4, most of us had tuned out. Whatever small chance of shocking the nation there was had vanished. The Sixers had no shot to win the series. That said, like they did all season, the Sixers fought until the very end… and that’s where we’ll start our countdown. Number 10 on your Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of the Year list is Lou Williams’ game-winning three-pointer in Game 4 against the Heat on an Easter Sunday which saw other memorable moments…
Several videos after the jump.