Bulls & Bears: Philadelphia celebrates the sports equinox in a big way

Only the 76ers are putting a stain on the sports landscape of the City of Brotherly Love


bulls of the week

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The city of Philadelphia has quite a bit of parlay this week. During this two-week sports equinox in which all five of North America’s major leagues are in play at the same time, Philadelphia has five teams busy this weekend, with four of its five major league franchises having winning seasons.


The parade of successes in the City of Brotherly Love is led by the Philadelphia Eagles, who are coming off a bye week putting the only undefeated record in the NFL on the line against their statewide rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The high-flying Eagles are a perfect 6-0 and are the favorites to turn home-court advantage at Lincoln Financial Field into a 2-5 win over the Steelers on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies reached the World Series after being the lowest-ranked wild card team to qualify for the Major League Baseball postseason. Sure, they’ll be in a tough spot against the Houston Astros, who are appearing in their fourth World Series in six years. Plus, the Astros are a perfect seven of seven in the playoffs. However, the Phillies have been the underdogs all of October, and if Bryce Harper can continue his bullish game at the plate, they could derail Houston’s plans to sweep the postseason.

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Regardless, the Phillies are already winners, defeating the NL Central winners St. Louis Cardinals, the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves and the San Diego Padres. Few expected them to make the playoffs and here they are, winners of nine of 11 postseason games.

However, it does not end there. The Philadelphia Union, which won 67 points thanks to a 19-10-5 campaign in Major League Soccer this year, hosts New York City FC in the MLS Cup Eastern Conference final on Sunday. And the Philadelphia Flyers are 5-2 coming out of the gates in the new NHL season. The only blemish on Philadelphia’s sports landscape heading into the weekend is the Philadelphia 76ers, who have won just once in five games to start the NBA schedule.

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Model Gisele Bundchen and her husband, NFL football player Tom Brady, arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala to celebrate the opening of
Model Gisele Bundchen and her husband, NFL football player Tom Brady, arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala to celebrate the opening of “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” in Upper Manhattan, New York, on May 5, 2014. Photo by Lucas Jackson /REUTERS

bears of the week

Tom Brady has played, worked and lived in a bull market for most of his adult life or at least since 2000 when he was drafted out of Michigan, well below 199th in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. Seven Super Bowl rings later, six with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he is arguably the most successful quarterback of all time and is generally considered the best.

Stock market crashes don’t happen to him. However, the closest thing to that happened to TB12 in a span of 24 hours on Thursday and Friday, where he lost both on and off the field.

On the field, Brady’s Bucs fell to 3-5 in a 27-22 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and neither he nor his team looked good doing it. It’s Brady’s first three-fight losing streak in exactly 20 years. The only other time it happened was on Oct. 27, 2002, when his Patriots lost a third straight game against the Denver Broncos.

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Off the field, Brady, 45, and his wife, supermodel Giselle Bundchen, 42, announced they were divorcing after 13 years of marriage. Given their combined net worth of $650 million ($250 million for Brady and $400 million for Bundchen), post-divorce finances will be the least of your worries.

What’s missing, though, is what seemed to be the almost perfect storybook power couple, arguably the richest and most famous celebrity couple on record.

Sports business commentator and marketing communications executive Tom Mayenknecht is a director of Emblematica Brand Builders and host of The Sport Market on BNN Bloomberg Radio 1410 and TSN Radio nationally. Follow Mayenknecht on: twitter.com/TheSportMarket

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