Thanksgiving is a holiday all about expression of gratitude and an appreciation of life’s greatest offerings. Whether you’re religious or not, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones and give thanks to those around you. As Philly sports fans, there is a lot to be thankful for. In this week’s PFO Roundtable and in honor of the upcoming holiday, we dish out the goods and express what we are most thankful for in the realm of Philadelphia sports.
Roundtable Question: In the spirit of giving and the state of current Philly sports, what are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I’m thankful for PFO. We built this little endeavor on the basic principle that none of us have to be “just” anything. We can all have careers and ALSO pursue our passions without limits. We self fund this and shed blood, sweat, and tears (bye Bobby) for this, and as a result, we have the right to have the kind of culture we want. I take a stand against the whole reductive nature of objectification and categorizing humanity. Brian Jacobs wanted to build a platform where people could be more than who others think they are. We are all whatever we choose to be here in PFO, and that brings me joy.
This year, I’m grateful for Robert Covington and Dario Saric (and I guess Jerryd Bayless) for being so good that we were able to trade for Jimmy Butler. I’m also grateful to the Sixers for being fun to watch and for being something my husband and I could bond over the last several years. I’m thankful for “Here Come the Sixers” and the number of times we’ve already heard it this season, and for Brett Brown’s beard. I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season has in store and following in the Eagles’ footsteps by winning a title!
I’m very thankful for Philly Front Office. I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve made and thankful for the opportunities in which I’ve been able to use my photography skills. I am also thankful for a reduced stress level now that Eagles have officially quit on their season. Much easier to watch the games now that I don’t have to worry beforehand – and if they somehow play well and win, it’s like an added bonus. Lastly, I’m thankful for the healthy arrival of my Super Bowl son, Nicholas. His mom is tougher than any athlete in Philly, and I’m obviously thankful for her as well.
Everyone knows I am starting it off with being thankful for Sam Hinkie for his vision and fortitude. Without it, I am not sure where this team would be right now – but probably in the abyss of mediocrity. I am thankful for the best big man in the game. Joel is playing tons of minutes, dominating almost every night on both sides, and is adjusting nicely to Jimmy Butler on the floor. An MVP award is a very real goal for him. I am thankful for having a truly elite wing on the roster. Jimmy Butler has been better than advertised and gives this team a dimension that was clearly lacking before he got here. Of course, I am thankful for everything that Dario and RoCo gave to this team and city during their time here. Both are true legends of the Process and will be missed. Best of luck to them. I am thankful for Ben Simmons. As much as I ride him on Twitter, I still think his potential is through the roof. He has been more aggressive as of late, which has been nice to see. I am thankful for Brett Brown. He has built an amazing culture here and it is the reason this team has been as successful as it has been. I am thankful to Jason, Brian, Dave, and Bryant for starting PFO and working so hard to get it up and running. They have accomplished a ton in such a short period of time. I love what everyone is doing, and I am just happy to be a part of it.
There are obviously tons of things to be thankful for in the Philadelphia Sports World. I’m thankful that Wentz is our baby, I’m thankful that the Sixers’ star core plays outstanding defense, for the time Dario and Covington gave to the Sixers, for the magic of the Super Bowl 52 run, for new slants and normal collars. But there are two things that occur to me as the most impactful things I’m thankful for in Philly sports. The first is the fervor this city has for its sports teams. The Super Bowl parade (which I’m thankful for in itself) was the clearest descriptor of this to me – people dancing on sanitation vehicles, chanting, drinking, and smoking, all without a moment of feeling unsafe. I love and appreciate that Philadelphia is a place where differences stay at the door when the team you support is the same. The second is that our superstars and coaches are fundamentally good people. It already takes some luck to have superstars, but Joel Embiid, Carson Wentz, Ben Simmons all regularly remind me how thankful we should be that our guys are as good off the court as they are on it. Doug Pederson and Brett Brown deserve this credit too. Lastly, I’m thankful for Brian’s killer profile pictures (Hi Barb!) starting this whole Philly Front Office train rolling, and for the incredible opportunities it’s presented for me and everyone involved.
There is a lot to be thankful for as a Philadelphia sports fan these days, but none greater than the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, 41-33, against the New England Patriots. A moment that I thought I’d never see has finally happened, and it was better than I ever could have imagined. From Nick Foles’ underdog run towards a Super Bowl MVP to beating those clowns from Boston, only seeing the once-injured and disregarded Joel Embiid hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy will rival how the Eagles Super Bowl win made me feel. One dream down, one more to go: Thank you Eagles…now Let’s Go, Sixers!
I am thankful for Sixers Twitter and the phenomenal jobs that Spike Eskin and the RTRS crew have done over the years to grow such a strong community of Philly sports fans in our region. Their love for the Sixers has rooted a resilient and knowledgeable (most nights) group of basketball heads that has refused to let go of what is most important. This is, in many ways, the reason why Philly Front Office is here and exists. It is no secret that we Sixers fans have been through a lot. Joel Embiid is in the beginning of an MVP season, Jimmy Butler looks like that second piece for a championship, and yet the current drama centering around Markelle Fultz is taking center stage. Whether injuries, medical staff, or off the court issues, I’ve come to the realization that there will always be drama with our Sixers. The Sixers journey to a championship is still in its infancy stage. I firmly believe that the team we see now will look drastically different within the next 2 years. I am thankful that, through the good and the bad, I know that we will experience all the pain and the joy together. And isn’t that what sport is all about?
As in all of life, including but not limited to the Philly sports landscape, I’m most thankful for the relationships with which I’ve been blessed. First and foremost, I’m eternally grateful for Jesus Christ and the personal relationship I have with him. I’m thankful for my amazing wife, Hannah, who is currently cooking up some delicious Thanksgiving grub as I type this. I’m thankful for my two crazy, energetic sons, Malachi and Drayson, and the joy they bring into my life and the lives of so many others. I’m thankful for my sister and her beautiful new baby girl who was just born a couple weeks ago. I’m thankful for my parents who raised me to pursue what I love – God and sports. And I’m thankful for the relationships I’ve built through those pursuits, both here in the Philippines and through this Philly Front Office endeavor. Which finally brings me to the thing for which I’m most thankful in Philly sports – the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, they won the Super Bowl and that was one of the most amazing days of my life, but even prior to February 4, 2018, I had fallen in love with that team. From the incredible run as an underdog in every playoff game to the outspoken faith of so many on the team, I never connected with a team quite like I did with that one – and probably never will again. They were truly special.
On behalf of everyone at PFO, we wish everyone a glorious and safe Thanksgiving holiday! HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!