The 10 Biggest Philadelphia Sports Stories of 2015
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It was not a great year in 2015 for Philly sports, the Phillies were the worst team in baseball, the Flyers missed the playoffs, the Eagles have been a disappointment, even though they still have a chance to win the division and the Sixers are historically bad - again.
So what were some of the top moments of the year? Let's take a look back at 2015:
(1) Chip Kelly Fired: The Eagles fired head coach Chip Kelly, along with VP of Player Personnel Ed Marynowitz on Dec. 29. The team announced the moves themselves, issuing a terse press release. Kelly was fired one year after winning a power struggle for personnel duties last winter, producing back-to-back 10-win campaigns, followed by a 6-9 mark this season. He had no playoff wins during his three years in Philly.
(2) Cole Hamels no-hitter: In a year where the Phillies were the worst team in baseball and had very very things to cheer about, on July 25 in Chicago while making his last start in a Phillies uniform, Hamels fired a no-hitter against the Cubs, striking out 13 in the process.
(3) Trade LeSean McCoy: The Eagles sent their all-time leading rusher to Buffalo in a surprise move that brought back linebacker Kiko Alonso. His 6,792 yards were the most in team history and his 44 rushing touchdowns placed him third on the list. The deal hasn't worked out so far for the Eagles, Alonso has just 26 total tackles and one interceptions this season. Alonso was the 2013 defensive rookie of the year, a playmaking linebacker, he flashed that ability in week one in Atlanta making a one-handed interception in the endzone.
(4) Cole Hamels traded: On Aug. 1st, the Phillies rebuild made its biggest move, sending Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman and cash to the Texas Rangers for catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams and pitchers Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, Matt Harrison and Jerad Eickhoff. This was the first major move by the Phillies and first sign of a total rebuild, sending their biggest peice away for six players, two of which made it to the big club before the end of the year.
(5) Trade Nick Foles for Sam Bradford: It was a controversial move, but on March 13th, the first day of the new NFL year the Eagles sent their starting quarterback Nick Foles, Philadelphia's fourth-round pick in 2015 and second-round pick in 2016. to St. Louis for Sam Bradford and a fifth round pick. The move was a risky one, Bradford missed the entire 2014 season after tearing his left ACL for the second straight season. In the 18 games Foles started for coach Chip Kelly, his record was 14-4, Bradford's record as a starter in St. Louis was 18-30-1.
(6) Draft Jahlil Okafor: The Sixers rebuild has been a long process, but one of the major parts of the "process" was taking Duke big man Jahlil Okafor with the third overall pick in the 2015 draft. While many people were hoping for Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell, the Sixers lucked out when the Lakers took Russell at No. 2 overall, leaving Okafor to land in their lap at pick No. 3. Averaging 17.6 points, Okafor leads all rookies in scoring and his 8.0 rebounds is third overall.
(7) Sign DeMarco Murray: The Eagles sent LeSean McCoy to Buffalo and replaced him with the 2014 NFL;s leading rusher DeMarco Murray, who carried the ball 392 times in 2014 for 1,845 yards and 14 scores. The deal was a five-year, $42 million contract with the Eagles, but has turned into a disaster for both sides, Murray has just 606 yards and four touchdowns and is owed $9 million guaranteed next year.
(8) Maikel Franco and Aaron Nola debut: The Phillies got a glimpse of the future in 2015. Franco made his 2015 debut when he was called up to the Phillies to be the Phillies starting third baseman on May 15 after hitting .355 with four home runs and 24 RBIs with the IronPigs. He finished the year hitting .280 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI's. As for Nola, the Phillies first round pick, he made his major league debut for the Phillies on July 21. He went 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA in 13 MLB starts.
(9) MCW traded: On February 19, the Sixers caused a major stir among fans of the "plan" when they sent the reigning NBA rookie of the year to Milwaukee in exchange for a protected first round pick. The pick was protected from pick 1-thru-5 in 2015 and did not convey. It is protected from picks 1-thru-3 in this season next and unprotected in 2018. Carter-Williams, the 11th overall pick in 2013, won the NBA Rookie of the Year by averaging 15.0 points, 7.4 assists and 6.2 rebounds with the Sixers.
(10A) Jerry Colangelo hired: With their record at 1-21, the Sixers hired Colangelo to try and help change the perception of the franchise, when he was named chairman of basketball operations. A team that has been near the bottom of the NBA standings each of the past two years and again in the third year of their rebuild, turned to Colangelo to try and cover for some of the weaknesses of Sam Hinkie. Reports that agents didn't want to deal with the Sixers, meaning getting free agents to sign in Philly, or adding veteran leadership was a problem, so the Sixers turned to Colangelo to try and help fix that.
(10B) Dave Hakstol hired: The Flyers fired Craig Berube on April 17 after the team failed to qualify for the playoffs and then shocked the hockey world on May 18, when it was announced that Hakstol would become the Philadelphia Flyers' 19th head coach, becoming just the second head coach to go directly from the NCAA to the NHL since 1982. Hakstol has spent the last 11 seasons as the University of North Dakota's head coach, where he compiled a 289-143-43 record.
Eagles beat New England: The Eagles saved their season and kept their NFC East playoff hopes alive when they went to New England and beat the Patriots 35-28. The loss was the Patriots second in a row and brought the Eagles record to 5-6
Temple plays Notre Dame in the Linc: The Owls found themselves in the center of the college football map when they hosted Notre Dame in from of 69,280 fans in Philly. Though they lost a hard fought 24-20 game, the Owls proved they belonged and now talks of getting their own stadium on campus has emerged.
College Game Day comes to Philly - twice: This was an unprecedented college football season in Philadelphia. As ESPN's College GameDay came to town not once, but twice, drawing a big and loud crowd to Independence Mall for the Temple-Notre Dame game and then again for the Army-Navy game, which was live at XFINITY Live.
Villanova earns No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament: The Wildcats finished the season 33–3, 16–2 in Big East play to win the Big East regular season championship and earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, losing in the third round to North Carolina State. It was just the second time the Wildcats earned a No. 1 seed, the other was in 2006