Penning today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog is easy. I’ve chosen to simply add Villanova’s Kris Jenkins to Philadelphia sports lore.
If you witnessed last night’s epic finish in the NCAA National Championship Game, would you even think about challenging me?
First, let’s rewind the clock on Philadelphia history (not just sports) and you’ll get a taste (pun intended) of the city situated between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.
Since the Declaration of Independence was signed here in 1776, the City of Brotherly Love has nurtured a rich and diverse heritage.
The home town of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall has also become synonymous with the birthplace of Chubby Checker’s twist and Pat Olivieri’s world famous cheese steaks.
Plus, other noteworthy Philadelphia food creations have garnered national attention; namely, Tastykakes, Italian hoagies and soft pretzels.
Legendary flag maker Betsy Ross’ name still stands as the city’s most historically celebrated. But, like the Founding Fathers who signed the United States Constitution in Philadelphia, Ross’ name is now mentioned in the same breath as other famous Philadelphians.
Dick Clark, W.C. Fields, Frankie Avalon, Will Smith, Grace Kelly, Pink, Boyz II Men, Tina Fey, Bradley Cooper and Richard Gere have all risen from Philly roots to international entertainment stardom.
Philadelphia Sports Heroes
Sports heroes have also afforded Philadelphia a rich heritage that rivals the celebrated of other great American cities.
Following the incredible finish to last night’s NCAA men’s national championship game, Kris Jenkins’ name soared to the top of the Philadelphia sports lore list.
This college kid will be mentioned for future generations in the same breath as the Flyers’ Bobby Clarke, Phillies’ Mike Schmidt, Eagles’ Reggie White, Sixers’ Julius Erving and even the fictional fighter Rocky Balboa.
Villanova’s Kris Jenkins etched his name in granite to the esteemed list of Philly sports heroes along with the footnote, “assisted by Ryan Arcidiacono.”
Poised and purposed, Jenkins caught a perfect Arcidiacono pass in stride and confidently drained it from well behind the three point line to give Villanova its second NCAA title with a 77 – 74 over favored University of North Carolina.
Philadelphians may want to name a special cheese steak after the kid, erect a stature on the city’s museum steps directly next to Rocky’s or change the annual Mummer’s Parade to the Jenkins Jubilee. A big acknowledgement for a college kid, but I don’t think either Jay Wright or Rollie Massimino would have a problem doing it.
The NCAA title game in Houston easily eclipsed Saturday’s yawn worthy semi final contests that both Villanova and North Carolina won handily. Last night’s contest failed to disappoint as most media outlets have already commented about it being the best championship ever.
Unless you’re a North Carolina Tar Heels fan, few hoops fans would disagree.
Jenkins’ amazing shot trumped an improbable shot by UNC’s Marcus Paige to tie the contest at 74 with 4 seconds remaining.
Plus, the junior’s three pointer and Villanova’s victory pumped new life into the once dominant, but now newly revamped Big East conference.
Jenkins’ Shot Made Rocky Balboa Proud
Both will also serve as ultimate hope for underdogs everywhere and probably make even the Rocky Balboa of fictitious Philadelphia fighting fame proud.
For NCAA tournament fans, Jenkins’ shot may have surpassed Lorenzo Charles’ put back in NC State’s upset of Houston as the best in history.
And, it will probably assure him a spot near the top of famous moments Philadelphia history along with Betsy Ross’ embroidery, the Broad Street Bullies’ Stanley Cup titles, the creation of the cheese steak and Rocky Balboa’s made-for-the-movies’ knock out of world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed.
Congratulations to the Villanova Wildcats!
You deserve being called 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions.
And, that’s my 2 cents!
MIKE on sports!