Any sports fan living in Philadelphia has heard of the Big 5, comprised of the basketball teams of Villanova, Temple, St. Joe’s, LaSale and Penn, who engage in intense rivalries at The Palestra, a home court tucked inside the grounds of the University of Pennsylvania. Nova is a perennial Top 25 contender, Temple a bona fide younger sister, St. Joe’s had a good run with Jameer and Delonte who’ve gone on to play pro ball. Penn favors brain over brawn and LaSalle hasn’t had a contender since Kobe Bryant’s dad played for them back in the day.
That’s the backdrop for the cover of the first issue of the official magazine this year, Philly’s Other Big 5. Roy Halladay is Nova, Cliff Lee is Temple, Roy Oswalt is St. Joe’s, Cole Hamels is Penn and Joe Blanton is LaSalle. Any fan with a ticket to yesterday’s game breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday afternoon when rain PPD the game against the Marlins, pushing Cole Hamels’ start to Sunday, only mild disrespect intended for Joe Blanton’s skills as a starter. Here, then are some snippets from Sunday’s game which the Phils pulled out 3-2, despite the absence of a second baseman, a legitimate closer, and a #3 hitter who may not exceed single digits in RBIs this year. Dan at the game with me, and who knew it was the Phanatic’s birthday party?