For Philly Sports, for Philadelphia, and For You….
Early in the pre-dawn hours of October 6, 1723, a ship slowly sailed up the Delaware River and docked on the Market Street Wharf in Philadelphia. As the morning rays from the sun lifted the early day fog and exposed the City of Philadelphia, seventeen-year old Benjamin Franklin disembarked from the boat and got his first look at one of America’s oldest cities.
His journal entry read only one line, 6 October — Philadelphia.
Franklin was immediately taken and overwhelmed by Philly. Even 300 years ago, during the city’s formative years since 1682 when William Penn had led European colonization of an area that was previously a settlement of the Lenni Lenape Indians and would become America’s First Capitol City, Philadelphia was full of vitality and entertainment. Mr. Franklin loved entertainment and sport, and would love Philadelphia even more for the rest of his life.
It’s all part of the entertainment. And we are as human as the next city.
Some of our fans have even been hauled in front of a judge during an Eagles game for bad behavior.
Today, young visitors of the same age as Benjamin Franklin when he arrived can feel the thrill of experiencing a city that resonates hard-work, pride, and determination through all of its sports franchises. You can feel the commitment whether you are from Philadelphia or not.
Within the walls of Lincoln Financial Field with its immense Wind-Turbines and green explosive fireworks that light-up the night sky is the finest Philadelphia Eagles team ever, complete with one of the NFL’s finest young quarterbacks who is not even close to his prime and an unorthodox Head Coach who bleeds green along with its devoted fanbase.
He’s the biggest kid in the stadium.
Seventy-five years ago, a determined Eagles team overcame a December 1948 Philly Nor’easter to become World Champions for the first time. This 2023 team is poised to do it again.
It’s a tradition to take in a Phillies game during long summer months at Citizens Bank Park. Since 1883, the City of Brotherly love has loved its Phillies and attended its games win or lose. Even after a Game 7 loss, Opening Day 2024 will be full of Philadelphia faithful ready to see these Phillies light up the sky with leather-bound projectiles. If you are at a game and your face gets inhaled by the Phanatic, don’t worry. Slow, deep, breaths. You’ll be fine.
Enjoy a beer and a cheesesteak. Every home run rings the Liberty Bell (the one in the stadium.)
In the comfort of the Wells Fargo Center, you can take a game from a team one of the NBA’s best Centers in Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey who is a true embodiment of Philadelphia. Even without James Harden, they are one of the best NBA squads in the East.
Besides, how can you get any more American than the 76ers?
Sixty-seven years after arriving in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin, the man who invented the Franklin/Pennsylvania Stove, the Lightening Rod, and three-wheel clock, died in April of 1790 in the City that he loved. His last words in his final days, “a dying man can do nothing easily.”
At time when the Philadelphia’s population was estimated to be around 28,000, some 20,000 people turned out for his funeral. On a crisp April day, not unlike the weather on the first day that Franklin arrived in Philadelphia back in October of 1723, he was laid to rest.
Today, you can still visit his grave in Christ Church Burial Ground at 5th and Arch Street and throw a penny for some Philly good luck. His legacy of innovation, love of sport and entertainment, resonates still today.
Most importantly, he appreciated Philadelphia, and all if its people.
I do, too.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families, Philadelphia.