There is a lot of buzz in Philadelphia about Pope Francis’ visit on September 27, and the Twittersphere is no different. Over the past seven weeks, there were more than 26,000 tweets around the hashtag #PopeinPhilly, which is an interesting juxtaposition of Pope Francis’ beliefs on social media. He makes it clear that society is at risk of media overuse and warns against substituting human relationships with virtual ones, and I can’t say I disagree with him. “Real relationships with others,” Francis writes, “now tend to be replaced by a type of Internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and nature.”
Since 2010, no team from Philadelphia made it past the second round of playoffs in any of the four major sports, and 2015 isn’t shaping up any better. With the exception of hope fans have for the Eagles this coming season, the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies are and were, bad. Currently, the Phillies sit in last place, 21.5 games back in their division. The Flyers missed the playoffs by 14 points this year, which if you don’t follow hockey….is really bad. The Sixers are one of, if not the worst team, in the NBA, finishing the 2014-2015 campaign with the 3rd worst record in the league, 31 games behind first place in their division.
We’ve all come back to that little colored envelope tucked so thoughtfully under our windshield wiper with the loving note “Your meter ran out. Please pay us all the money you made today.” Parking tickets are the buzzing mosquito in the ear of city goers. But is there a societal benefit? Each individual fine may not seem like much, but have you ever thought about how much they might add up to? Philadelphia collects just under $70 million every year in fines! Read More
Between October 20 and 25 of this year, WXPN, Philadelphia’s local radio station operating out of the University of Pennsylvania, played a week-long playback of the 885 best songs of all time, voted on by listeners. And then, on the 26th, they aired a playback of the 88 worst songs of all time, also voted on by listeners. The count downs were so popular that they ranked #2 on Twitter in the US for large portions of Friday and Saturday, and they even brought down the XPN website.
June is almost over and the 4th of July is right around the corner; summer is in full swing. We probably should be talking about baseball, but I’m thinking about the Eagles. I just love football and can’t really help it. (Plus the Phillies are bleh.) So I’ve been thinking about rivalries and how they’ve changed over the years for the Eagles, as well as the rest of the NFL. With free agency and fantasy football we just don’t hate other teams like we used to, but they’re still fun to think about. I believe there are a few things that build a good rivalry: number of regular season games played, win/loss records, playoff games and also proximity. I started this exercise by grabbing a bunch of data from pro-football-reference.com to look at the number of total games played by opponent as well as win/loss percentage. The bar chart below shows the total number of games played. The color shading is for win/loss percentage. The brighter the green, the better the winning percentage.
So like many other residents of this region I am a Philadelphia sports fan. I’ve been a fan of all four major sports since I was a young kid. I remember the ’93 Phillies, Allen Iverson dragging us to the NBA Finals, Eric Lindros’s bad back, the Flyers inability to beat the Devils in the playoffs, and the list goes on.
One criticism that we hear from outsiders a lot is that Philadelphia fans are not loyal. They support their teams in the good times, but not the bad. So is this really true? Are we flighty as a fan base? Also, are fans of one sport more loyal than fans of another sport?