It’s been a year to forget, for the most part, as all four local major sports franchises have hit low points. But there were some memories we’ll have for a long time made on the playing field, on the court or on television in 2016.
Here’s a brief look back at the top 10 moments in Philadelphia sports during the past year:
1. Cole Hamels no-hitter
Cole Hamels will be remembered for two main accomplishments during his fruitful time as a Philly. The first, winning World Series MVP in 2008. The second, no-hitting the Cubs during his final ever start in a Phillies uniform. You couldn’t have scripted it better.
2. ChipKelly is GM
Little did we know it at the time, but when Jeffrey Lurie gave the keys to the Eagles to Chip Kelly, our world was about to be flipped upside down. Months later, as the Eagles look back at a season of inconsistency, we’re wondering whose to blame, the coach or the GM?
3.Temple football emerges
The Owls were a laughing stock in Philly for decades but in 2015 everything changed. Seven straight wins to start the year (including one over Penn State), a multitude of national rankings, and one of the most memorable ESPN College GameDay episodes in history was capped by back-to-back disappointing losses (in the AAC title game and Boca Raton Bowl). That doesn’t take away from what was a banner year for the program.
4.Phillies tradeUtley, Hamels away
The memory of the 2008 World Series continues to fade, and was put further in the rear view as the Phils, desperate to rebuild, traded two of the best players in franchise history during the regular season in Chase Utley and Cole Hamels.
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5.Eagles crazy offseason
The Eagles swapped LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso, swapped Nick Foles for Sam Bradford,decided not to re-sign Jeremy Maclin, and spent big money on DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell amid rumors of racism.
6. 76ers take Okafor, continue tank job
The Sixers surprised many when they took a third young big man in Duke’s Jahlil Okafor at No. 3 back in June. They surprised no one at all when they one just one game during his first three months here.
7. Flyers hire Hakstol
The Flyers took a chance on a college coach, Dave Hakstol, and it appears to be slowly paying off as the Flyers have grinded their way into relevancy during the first few months of the NHL season.
8.Eagles beat Patriots
Philly, on the brink of ending their playoff hopes following three straight losses to bad teams, shocked the NFL with a crazy win in New England over the Patriots in Week 13. The win kept them in the midst of the race for the futile NFC East.
9.Villanova upset in NCAAs (again)
The Wildcats, ranked as highly as second during the 2014-15 season, were bounced in the third round by NC State in a thoroughly disappointing end to a fantastic season.
10. Local rookies emerge
With terrible records in the standings, Philly sports fans were given hope by the promising play of young rookies on all four teams; Flyers’ defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks and Sixers center Jahlil Okafor.