The Best Philadelphia Sports Arguments

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Every Philadelphia fan knows that the only thing better than watching sports is arguing about them - picking the best, the worst, and who will come out on top. And no city tears its sports teams apart like we do in Philly.

Philly-area native and senior writer Eric Karabell takes you inside the 100 best debates in Philadelphia sports. ...

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The Best Philadelphia Sports Arguments

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Every Philadelphia fan knows that the only thing better than watching sports is arguing about them - picking the best, the worst, and who will come out on top. And no city tears its sports teams apart like we do in Philly.

Philly-area native and senior writer Eric Karabell takes you inside the 100 best debates in Philadelphia sports. Covering the Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, Flyers, and beyond, every question you want to debate is here - as well as a few surprises:

  • Are Philadelphia Sports Fans the Best ... Or Worst?
  • Should the Eagles Have Drafted Ricky Williams?
  • Who's Better: Iverson or Doc?
  • Was Joe Carter's Home Run all Mitch Williams' Fault?
  • Was the Terrell Owens Era Worth It?
  • Did Santa Deserve to Get Booed by Philly Fans?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402214127
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: Best Sports Arguments Series
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 680,725
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Karabell (Philadelphia) is a senior writer for Eric has covered fantasy sports for ESPN since 2001, specializing in baseball and football. He frequently appears on ESPNEWS, hosts a national ESPN radio show, and contributes to ESPN the Magazine. Eric grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and formerly worked for the Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives in the Philadelphia area.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from The Best Philadelphia Sports Arguments

Are Philadelphia Sports Fans the Best... or Worst?

Say what you want about Philadelphia sports fans-and everyone pretty much has, by the way-but you can't deny the passion. The fans demand winning and, if forced, accept losing, but most importantly you've gotta put it all on the line, every time, or they'll let you hear it. Philly fans are truly misunderstood as sick, evil malcontents who booed Santa Claus and root for opponents to suffer misfortunes.

Yeah, so what? At least we're not apathetic. If you don't like it, you must root for Dallas or New York or Washington or Pittsburgh. This is Philly, a tough town where the athletes are doing more than swinging a bat and throwing a football. They represent Philadelphia when they're in battle, and if someone misses a block or doesn't skate as fast as they can, that's when trouble occurs. Because there is something worse than finishing second in Philadelphia and it's finishing second while not giving extra effort. Philly fans are smart and knowledgeable, and while that comes off as overly critical at times, to home and road teams alike, so be it. The stadiums aren't empty for big games, and neither are the parking lots before them. Eagles games are events, not just from one o'clock ET until the game ends, but for the entire day, the weekend, the season. When the Eagles made it to Super Bowl XXXIX, generations of fans came along for the ride to Jacksonville. It had been 24 seasons since the Eagles were in the biggest game. Not everyone could get tickets, of course, but Eagles fans stormed the Florida city and turned it green.

You want loyalty? Philly fans don't stop loving-or hating-their favorite teams in bad times, of which there are many. They demand the very best from the players. When the teams are good, there's no better time to be in the city and hop along for the ride. Kids wear the jerseys of their heroes proudly, and not only Donovan McNabb, Jimmy Rollins, and Andre Iguodala. How about Chad Lewis, Jim Thome, and Kyle Korver? Sure, the names change, because sports aren't like the 1970s anymore, but the passion doesn't end.

Philly fans get a bad rap nationally, but they don't care. In fact, the Philadelphia sports fan considers the notoriety an honor, a badge of overwhelming spirit to be passed on from generation to generation. There's no apathy here! If you're not from Philly you wouldn't get it, and you know what? It's your loss. That's what the Philly fan believes. They don't want your sympathy or forgiveness for the bad things that have happened over the years. Fair or unfair, consider Philly guilty for some wretched and raucous acts. There's no point in naming the bad events again, because you wouldn't understand our thinking. Hey, Michael Irvin walked again. J. D. Drew doesn't have scars from the batteries. And Santa Claus-look, that guy just plain deserved it.

Yeah, yeah, so we've booed our own, even the Hall of Famers. Well, maybe if Michael Jack Schmidt had talked to us once in a while, let us into his life, maybe we'd understand him better. Similarly, if you don't want to be here, Scotty Rolen and Curt Schilling, then get out. It's not just that Philadelphia fans demand more than 100 percent effort, you've gotta look like you're trying as hard as the fans would if they got that chance for one shining moment. Athletes get paid a lot of money to use their gift, and a tough town like Philly certainly recognizes that along with that gift comes a duty.

Philadelphia has enjoyed fantastic moments, unforgettable games, but for the most part the city has had to deal with bad teams more than good. That just makes us stronger, able to enjoy the good with a fervent zeal more than other towns. It's been 25 years since Philadelphia celebrated a winner, but in reality, we celebrate every day. Philly teams are rewarded with unbridled loyalty through thick and thin. That's a sports town. Without even knowing the politics, Philly fans would elect any number of sports people mayor if they could. That's how much sports mean. Dick Vermeil has been gone for 25 years, but remains a beloved personality for what he accomplished as Eagles coach. Pete Rose might never make it to the Hall of Fame, for other reasons, but in Philadelphia, he got us over that proverbial hump. He caught the carom off Bob Boone's glove. He was a winner who never gave less than 100 percent. Bobby Clarke and Maurice Cheeks didn't get booed in Philadelphia when they were players, that's for sure. They were the little guys out there, the overachievers who made their teams better.

There's a rich history of sports in the City of Brotherly Love, and the fans have been through all of it. They care. More than you know. It's called passion. And it's what makes the Philly sports fan second to none.

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Table of Contents


1. Are Philadelphia Sports Fans the Best... Or Worst?
2. Who Belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Philly Sports?
3. Can the Philly Sports Year 1980 Ever Be Topped?
4. Did Santa Deserve to Get Booed?
5. Is Philadelphia a Football or Baseball Town?
6. Which Five Teams Are Philly's Biggest Rivals?
7. What Is the Most Memorable Date in Philadelphia Sports History?
8. Was the Vet Really That Bad?

9. What Were the Eagles' Five Most Memorable Games?
10. What Were the Five Greatest Plays in Eagles History?
11. Who Were the Eagles' Five Most Important Draft Picks?
12. Who Were the Eagles' Five Worst First-Round Draft Picks?
13. Should the Eagles Have Drafted Ricky Williams?
14. Did Donovan McNabb Puke Away Super Bowl Chances?
15. Was the Terrell Owens Era Worth It?
16. Should the Second Half of the Fog Bowl Have Been Played?
17. Why Is Dick Vermeil So Beloved?
* Taking Offense: Who's on the All-Time Eagles Offensive Dream Team?
18. Quarterback: Donovan McNabb
19. Running Back: Steve Van Buren
20. Wide Receiver: Tommy McDonald
21. Tight End: Pete Retzlaff
22. Center: Chuck Bednarik
23. Guard: Bucko Kilroy
24. Tackles: Jerry Sisemore and Stan Walters
* Defense Never Rests: Who's on the All-Time Eagles Defensive Dream Team?

25. Defensive End: Reggie White
26. Defensive Tackle: Jerome Brown
27. Middle Linebacker: Bill Bergey
28. Outside Linebacker: Chuck Bednarik
29. Safety: Brian Dawkins
30. Cornerback: Tom Brookshier
31. Kicker: David Akers
32. Punter: Joe Muha

33. What Were the Phillies' Five Most Memorable Playoff Wins?
34. What Were the Phillies' Five Most Memorable Regular Season Wins?
35. Who Else Couldn't the 1980 Phillies Have Won Without?
36. What Were the Phillies' Five Best Trades?
37. What Were the Phillies' Five Worst Trades?
38. Was Joe Carter's Home Run All Mitch Williams's Fault?
39. Why Did the Phillies Draft J. D. Drew?
40. Was Curt Flood Just Trying to Avoid Philadelphia?
41. Is the Phillies Losing 10,000 Games Such a Bad Thing?
* Who Makes - And Misses - The All-Time Phillies Dream Team?

42. Catcher: Bob Boone
43. First Base: Pete Rose
44. Second Base: Juan Samuel
45. Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins
46. Third Base: Mike Schmidt
47. Left Field: Del Ennis
48. Center Field: Richie Ashburn
49. Right Field: Chuck Klein
50. Left-Handed Starter: Steve Carlton
51. Right-Handed Starter: Robin Roberts
52. Closer: Tug McGraw

53. What Were the 76ers' Five Most Memorable Wins?
54. Were the 1966 - 67 76ers the Best Team Ever?
55. What Were the 76ers' Five Best Trades?
56. What Were the 76ers' Five Worst Trades?
57. What Was Harold Katz Thinking on June 16, 1986?
58. Who's Better: Iverson or Doc?
59. Who Was the Top Allen Iverson Sidekick?
60. Would Dr. J Have Won the Title Without Moses?
61. What Is Wilt's Greatest Achievement?
62. Starting a Franchise: Wilt or Bill Russell?
63. Does the 76ers-Celtics Rivalry Even Matter Anymore?
64. Who Deserves the Most Blame for the 9 - 73 Season?
65. Why Does Philly Hate Kobe Bryant So Much?
* Who Makes - And Misses - The All-Time 76ers Dream Team?

66. Center: Wilt Chamberlain
67. Power Forward: Charles Barkley
68. Small Forward: Julius Erving
69. Shooting Guard: Hal Greer
70. Point Guard: Allen Iverson
71. Sixth Man: Bobby Jones

72. What Were the Five Most Memorable Wins in Flyers History?
73. What Were the Five Best Individual Playoff Year Performances in Flyers History?
74. What Were the Flyers' Five Best Trades?
75. Is the Lindros Trade the Worst in Flyers History?
76. What Is Lindros's Legacy in Philly?
77. Is Bobby Clarke Ultimately Loved or Hated in Philly?
78. Did Leon Stickle Cost the Flyers a Stanley Cup?
79. Did Kate Smith Really Help the Flyers Win?
80. Who Were the Five Toughest Flyers?
* Who Makes - And Misses - The All-Time Flyers Dream Team?

81. Center: Bobby Clarke
82. Left Wing: Bill Barber
83. Right Wing: Tim Kerr
84. Defense: Mark Howe and Eric Desjardins
85. Goalie: Bernie Parent

86. Who Are the Five Best Pro Coaches in Philly History?
87. Who Are the Five Worst Pro Coaches in Philly History?
88. Who Are the Five Greatest Big 5 Players of All Time?
89. Who Are the Five Greatest Big 5 Coaches of All Time?
90. Which Is the Greatest Rocky Movie?
91. Who Are the Top Five Fighters from Philly?
92. What Was the Best Defunct Team in Philly History?
93. What Is the Best Announcing Duo in Philly Sports History?
94. What Were the Five Most Memorable Quotes in Philadelphia Sports History?
95. Should Penn State's Joe Paterno Retire?
96. What's the Worst Decision in Philly Sports History?
97. What Are the Five Greatest Numbers Worn in Philly Sports History?
98. Which Are the Five Greatest Philly Teams to Not Win a Championship?
99. Where Does One Get the Best Philly Cheesesteak?
100. Which Philly Pro Team Will Break the Championship Drought?

Index by Subject
Index by Name
About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Philadephia Sport Fan Alert!

    Our grandson is crazy about Philadelphia sports' teams and isn't old enough to have lived through long periods of disappointments. He and his friends love to "argue" about sports and so we thought this would be a fun gift. It turns out everyone in the family was "discussing" things in this book during our winter holiday get-togethers. I happened to mention this book to a friend whose husband has been an Eagles season ticket holder for years. She bought a copy for him as a holiday gift and he, too, loved going through it. I'm sure the "arguments" go on and on and on....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014


    All the phila teams suck. Exept the flyers

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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