Cities split NFL-Series double dip

Cities split NFL-Series double dip

PHILADELPHIA -- Sunday figured to be one of the most memorable days in Philadelphia sports history. With both the Eagles and Phillies hosting rivals from New York -- the latter in the World Series -- the range of possibilities was wider than the distance separating these two northeastern meccas.

In the end, Philadelphia fans had to settle for a split, and probably not the one they would have chosen.

After the Eagles dismantled the NFC East rival Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon, the Phillies were unable to even the World Series with the Yankees, falling in a 7-4 heartbreaker at Citizens Bank Park.

"It's a very exciting day for Philadelphia sports," said Steve Shillingsburg, one of several fans who took advantage of the stadiums' proximity to attend both events. "This is one of the more potentially dramatic moments; either it'll be the greatest day or the most tragic day."

Unfortunately for Shillingsburg and the Philadelphia faithful, this year's Game 4 didn't follow the same pattern as last year's, when the Phillies backed up an Eagles' win earlier in the day with a 10-2 rout of the Rays.

For much of Sunday, it looked like 2009's doubleheader would top that one from Oct. 26, 2008. The Eagles' surprising blowout of the Giants helped many fans overcome the hangover from the Phillies' Game 3 loss and had them dreaming of a New York, New York sweep.

"It's one of those days you get once in a lifetime," said Mike Rauch, walking the concourses at Citizens Bank Park in an old-school Ron Jaworski No. 7 Eagles jersey. "This afternoon felt good for last night."

In fact, with the Eagles leading by as many as 26 early in the third quarter, the fans at the Linc were able to shift their thoughts to Game 4 later that night.

"There's nothing like beating the New York Giants," said Rob Wetmore, who was attending both games with his sister, Karen Schrampf. "Once we had that game in hand, then we started doing the 'Let's Go Phillies!' chants."

Wetmore and his fellow fans hoped the energy would cross the street from the Linc to Citizens Bank Park for the nightcap of the two-sport doubleheader. As for how those fans maintained their energy themselves, it came down to adrenaline.

2009 World Series
Gm. 1 PHI 6, NYY 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 2 NYY 3, PHI 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 3 NYY 8, PHI 5 Wrap Video
Gm. 4 NYY 7, PHI 4 Wrap Video
Gm. 5 PHI 8, NYY 6 Wrap Video
Gm. 6 NYY 7, PHI 3 Wrap Video

"We're running purely on adrenaline," Wetmore said. "We've been here since 8 a.m."

"I'm usually unbelievably tired after an Eagles' game," said Bill Clinton, who was with his son, Bob, and friend, Matt Hill. "But I'm not tired at all. It's all adrenaline. I did drink 12 cups of coffee."

The doubleheader did showcase just how far the Phillies have come in the Philadelphia sports scene during the last two years. Long considered a football town, Philadelphia has really taken to its baseball team.

"This team has kind of captured the imagination of a lot of people," Rauch said. "I think it's because the Eagles are viewed in a lot of ways as a business. And [the Phillies] go out and lay their heart and soul on the field every night and on every play."

Of course, the Phillies helped endear themselves to the faithful by claiming the city's first professional championship in 25 years last season. For much of the decade, it looked as if the Eagles -- frequently a contender in the NFC -- would be the team to bring a title to Philadelphia.

Nevertheless, the Phillies' Series victory over the Rays last season and their return trip to the Fall Classic this year have helped transform the mindset of fans in Philly.

"Since the Phillies won the World Series, we certainly have a different confidence and a very different swagger," said Shillingsburg, a native of Philadelphia who made the trip from North Carolina for the special Sunday. "Regardless of whether or not we win or lose, we feel much better about ourselves."

That's something Shillingsburg and his fellow Philadelphians will have to cling to for now. They don't want to place all their focus on the Eagles just yet.

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.