You’ve had the argument in the bar several times: Which athlete matters more to Philadelphia? Is it Mike Schmidt because of his many years of brilliance at third base? Or Julius Erving because he changed the game and the city with his dunks? Or did the Phillies’ 2008 World Series title matter so much that Cole Hamels is the best?
Billy Penn and Fox 29 are teaming up so this question can be answered. We have selected 30 of the city’s best athletes and seeded them in an NCAA Tournament-style bracket. Each round will be open for one week from the first round to the championship.
For the first round, we’re also holding a poll in which you can vote for an athlete to take up the final two spots in the bracket. We’ll select the top two highest vote getters and place them in first round matchups as 8-seeds.
Before we get to the final 30, here’s who you’ll get to vote for; the top two vote-getters will be added to the bracket at the top of this post. We’ll reveal those choices on Billy Penn and on Fox 29 on Monday, when we’ll open Round 1 of the bracket.
LeSean McCoy, Eagles – McCoy has rushed for 6,792 yards in six seasons.
Rod Brind’amour, Flyers – Brind’amour played in a record 484 consecutive games as a center.
Mo Cheeks, Sixers – Cheeks was the point guard for the Sixers’ 1983 NBA title team.
Billy Cunningham, Sixers – Cunningham was part of the Sixers’ 1967 title team and became the team’s top player after Wilt Chamberlain left.
Lenny Dykstra, Phillies – Dykstra, an outfielder, hit four home runs in the Phillies’ 1993 World Series and made three All Star appearances for the team.
Herman Edwards, Eagles – Edwards played in every game for the Eagles for nine seasons and intercepted 33 passes as a cornerback.
Ryan Howard, Phillies – Howard has hit over 300 home runs and won an MVP and World Series title before struggling in recent years.
Bobby Jones, Sixers – Jones was the star defender on the Sixers’ 1983 championship team and has his number retired by the team.
Robin Roberts, Phillies – Roberts won nearly 300 games, helped the Phillies to the 1950 World Series and is in the MLB Hall of Fame.
Brian Westbrook, Eagles – Westbrook earned the NCAA’s all-time all-purpose yards record at Villanova and gained over 10,000 yards with the Eagles.