In honor of 8/8, I want to I want to point out the great Philadelphia #8’s that have made an impact on my life.
There have been a handful of #8’s that have played for the four major Philly sports teams during my lifetime. All of them hold a different place in my heart for various reasons.
Please allow me to break these studs down for you. Whether you agree or disagree, I don’t really give a shit. I’m not going to go too deep into this. I just need you to know that all of these guys helped form me into the amazing man that I am today.
Let’s get started.
#1. Mark Louis Recchi. I barely remember the tail end of his first stint with the Flyers. I was like five years old, and I remember that he was the only name on the team that I knew. However, by the time he came back to the Flyers in ’98, I was fully aware. In fact, Recchi was my first shirsey. I dont give a shit what you say. Shirseys are the best piece of fan gear in all of sports.
Recchi was a fuckin stud. Although we never won a cup, we did go to the playoffs every year he was here. Recchi went on to win two Cups after he left the Flyers. OF COURSE HE DID!!! This shit always seems to happen. We have a great player, move him because we didn’t win a Cup, and then he goes on to win multiple. (looking at you Carter and Richards). That still chaps my ass.
#2. Aaron Fitzgerald McKie. Was he one of the greatest Sixers ever? Maybe, maybe not. However, I loved him as a kid. The first ever live professional sporting event I remember going to was a Sixers game in like ’98. You had McKie, Iverson, Snow, Ratliff, Stackhouse, etc. Like, how did the Sixers stink? That lineup is FIRE.
McKie was just an average dude. Went to Simon Gratz for HS, then went to Temple for college, and eventually made his way to the Sixers a few years later. It’s a good ol’ Cinderella story. And let’s be honest, I don’t care how much we make fun of it – everyone secretly likes his weird-ass jump shot.
#3. Shane Patrick Victorino. The Flyin’ Hawaiian baby!!! Of all the Philly 8’s in my lifetime, Victorino holds the biggest spot in my heart. That magical ’08 season was amazing. I lived with a Yankees fan and a Mets fan, so the win was extra sweet. I used to run around the house doing the hang ten hand sign just like Shane. Used to piss them off reaaaaal good.
I also loved that Shane retired a Phillie. I remember his retirement ceremony like it was last Friday. I was at the OD watching him give his speech. Did I cry a little right at the bar? Probably. But not as much as I cried when the Birds won the Super Bowl, though. Which brings me to my final #8…
#4. Donald Scott Jones Jr. Come on. Honestly. Who doesn’t love Donnie Jones? Dude had an absolute WMD of a leg, and would throw his body at any punt returner that made his way through. Donnie is a savage. He also won a ring, which immediately puts him as the best Eagles punter ever, right?
I’m glad he got his SB win. He was like the grandpa on the team, but he still got it done. He did it right and retired right after we won the Super Bowl. Enjoy retirement, Donnie. I hope you’re kicking it on a beach somewhere right now. (get it?)
So there you have it. The top #8’s of my lifetime for the four major Philadelphia sports teams.
That being said, since the date is 8/8, there is one more Philadelphia Great that I need to mention…
#88. Eric Bryan Lindros. He was an absolute machine. He was like twice the size of everyone else on the ice and had no issues using his size to bully the shit out of people. Not only was he huge and fast, he had a great stick, too. Dude put up points for days. He was so fucking good.
Aside from the injuries he caused to others by his dominating play, he had his share of injuries, too. He had like 32 concussions throughout his career – mainly caused by him hitting other people so Goddamn hard. That was, until Scott Stevens absolutely annihilated him in Game 7. Stevens is such a fuck face. You didn’t have to hit him that hard you prick.
All of these 8’s (and 88) are unforgettable. But, there is one last 8 that I can’t wait to forget.
Jahlil Okafor. Probably the worst to wear #8 since Tony Wroten.
Listen, I wanted it to work out with Jah. I really did. But come on dude. I don’t get it. He was so good at Duke.
Daaaamn homie, in college you was the maaaan homie. Da fuck happened to you??
See ya, Jah. Enjoy your time in New Orleans.