Let’s state what we knew already: 2018 has been a big year for the City of Brotherly Love. Philly lit up in a blaze of glory when its long-beleagured, underdog Eagles stole the Super Bowl from the formidable clutches of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in February, and everything since then has been gilding the lily.
GQ Magazine, recognizing greatness when they see it, has named Philadelphia as its 2018 “City of the Year.” Along with football superiority, the magazine noted Philly’s many “woke” athletes and politicians, along with a bustling restaurant scene, as proof that the city is awesome.
The fact is that Philly’s gritty, inexplicable charm has been creeping onto center stage in the United States for the last few years. America caught a glimpse of how we do when Pope Francis selected Philadelphia for a US visit back in 2016, an event that drew global headlines and heretofore never-seen crowds. It was followed in quick succession by the Republican National Convention, which proved that we might throw car batteries at our football opponents, but we can be discreet and safe when it’s required. We need not bring up the Great Lamppost Crisco Incidents during the playoffs last year, because sometimes you just need to let it all hang out.
This past year, however, has seen more great things for Philly. For politically-charged reasons, the champsionship-winning Eagles got themselves gleefully uninvited from the traditional White House reception. Rapper Meek Mill, freed from jail after lengthy protests, arrived at a 76ers game in a helicopter. Philly hung in the game as the list of possible sites for Amazon’s huge HQ2 project whittled down. Will Smith, a Philly native nearly as dear to our hearts as Stallone, finally joined Instagram. In all regards, it’s been a hell of a year.
Drink deep of your celebratory malt liquor and party on, Philly – the last time I checked, the year is not over yet!