PHILADELPHIA (AP) - LeSean McCoy stood on a bench after the Eagles jolted the New York Giants and yelled at a stunned, disbelieving crowd. Around him, teammates jumped and celebrated, the comeback victory too astonishing to comprehend.
“We own New York. We own New York. We own y’all,” the normally mild-mannered running back shouted at fans.
There’s no denying McCoy is right _ at least for now. The City of Brotherly Love really stuck it to the Big Apple last week.
First, the Phillies swooped in from nowhere and signed Cliff Lee away from the Yankees. The star pitcher turned down an extra $30-plus million from New York to return to Philadelphia and be part of a starting rotation that’s the envy of baseball.
Next, the Flyers beat the Rangers 4-1 on Saturday after snapping Pittsburgh’s 12-game winning streak a few days earlier. These were the same Rangers the Flyers defeated in a do-or-die shootout to clinch a playoff berth last spring en route to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Then the Eagles capped a spectacular week by overcoming a 21-point deficit with 7:18 remaining and beating the Giants 38-31 Sunday on the final play _ DeSean Jackson’s 65-yard punt return that’s being called the “Miracle at the New Meadowlands.”
“We removed the inferiority complex to New York in one week,” die-hard fan Dave Maco said. “After Cliff Lee took less money to come to Philly instead of the Yankees, the Flyers destroyed the Rangers with everyone watching, and the Eagles yet again made the Giants look like circus clowns, New Yorkers can no longer ignore the fact that Philly owns them. Not just in sports. But in character and heart.”
Yes, it’s a great time to be a sports fan in Philadelphia. The city is the epicenter of the sports world these days.
“I’m sure it’s exciting,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “I know it’s exciting for us. I know it’s exciting for the fans.”
Michael Vick’s remarkable comeback is perhaps the most compelling story in sports. With Vick and Jackson leading the way, the Eagles (10-4) are strong contenders to get to the Super Bowl after taking sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
The Phillies, despite failing to reach the World Series for the third straight year, have assembled a starting staff that’s being hailed as among the best in major league history. Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels are still two months away from reporting to spring training, but the excitement surrounding the Phillies has never been higher.
The Flyers, who fell two wins short of winning their first championship since 1975, lead the NHL standings and are on track to make another deep playoff run.
Even the 76ers are playing better after a rough start under first-year coach Doug Collins.
In college basketball, Villanova is ranked No. 8, and Temple and Drexel knocked off top-20 teams in the past two weeks. The Owls even had their football coach, Al Golden, lured away by Miami.
“I think all of those coaches, the coaches in Philadelphia I’ve gotten to know, the majority of them in the professional ranks and some of the college guys, there’s a lot of pride there,” Reid said.