Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia isn’t anywhere near a debate

Trophy comparison as of 2016

Trophy comparison as of 2016

Luke Henne, Contributor

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Sure, Philadelphia may have a much bigger population than Pittsburgh. Sure, Philadelphia may outnumber Pittsburgh in professional sports teams (4 to 3). However, recent antics in Pennsylvania’s biggest city proves that indeed the west side is the best side.

It is worth noting that the rivalries within the city hardly exist anymore. The Pirates and Phillies have not shared a division since 1993. The Steelers and Eagles are best remembered for their “Steagle” merger during World War II. Pittsburgh has never been home to an NBA franchise, and Pitt and Villanova haven’t shared the hardwood since Pitt’s last Big East season in 2012-2013.

One rivalry that still exists is one of the National Hockey League’s best: the Penguins vs the Flyers. Aside from an outdoor match up in the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series and a six-game playoff series in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, not even this rivalry has been ignited to its max potential.

Although the Flyers have played exceptionally well against the Penguins in recent years, the Penguins have won all five of their franchise’s Stanley Cups (’91, ’92, ’09, ’16, ’17) since the Flyers last won one Stanley Cup (1975).

It’s what has happened indirectly between the cities that has sparked the great conversation, which stands nowhere near a debate.

Recently, the Philadelphia Eagles won the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. This was the first title for the city since the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 World Series. This victory was celebrated very unconventionally, but rather naturally for the inhabitants of a city that show anything but “brotherly love.” Examples of behaviors included climbing street poles, robbing a Wawa’s [convenience store] and starting a mass food fight and eating feces off a public street, just to name a few.

At the victory parade, a sign emerged saying, “Crosby is still a [expletive].” Because nothing says winning a Super Bowl like obnoxiously targeting an NHL player who has made the Flyers one of the league’s punchlines.

Pittsburgh won three championships in between Philadelphia’s last two, and behavior never escalated to those levels. As a matter of fact, it didn’t even come close. Pittsburgh knows how to win and act with class.

Can the same really be said about Philadelphia?

Speaking of the Flyers, they have not even reached the Stanley Cup Finals since 2010, when the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane silenced the Wells Fargo Center with a Cup-clinching goal in overtime of game six of the series. The Flyers’ last postseason appearance came in 2015-2016. They faced the division-rival Washington Capitals in the first round. In game three, trailing 2-0 in the series, the “phaithful” began to voice their displeasure.

One may ask, how was the displeasure displayed?

Fans decided it was in the best interest of everyone to throw bracelets onto the ice, with one even hitting a Capitals player. These bracelets were giveaways that were used as part of a pregame ceremony to honor Ed Snyder, the team’s owner who had recently passed away. Brilliant.

Nothing else needs to be said. Pittsburgh acts with class, wins championships, and keeps their mouth shut. Their eastern Pennsylvania counterpart won’t stop talking, they claim a championship once in a blue moon, and could be categorized as one of the country’s most obnoxious cities.

Enjoy your cheesesteaks, Philadelphia. Pittsburgh will always welcome the sweet taste of victory.

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