Friday, August 14, 2009

The Keystone Standard

So, the Eagles signed Michael Vick.

Good luck with that.

Why do we say that? Because there is no higher standard for winning in all the land than in the Keystone State (disclaimer: we were born and raised there). Let’s look at the case…


Since this space focuses on hockey, let’s start with that. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the defending Stanley Cup champion and two time-defending Eastern Conference champion. And that’s only the beginning. On the other side of the state, where Vick will play, the Flyers have made the playoffs in 13 of the last 14 years and have had a better than .600 (not just .500) winning percentage, expressed as percentage of available standings points won, in nine of those seasons.

Then there is the next level. The Hershey Bears are the defending Calder Cup champion and have played in the Calder final in three of the past four years. They’ve won the Calder Cup ten times and appeared in the finals 21 times.

And when Hershey wasn’t appearing in the finals recently, another team from Pennsylvania was. A Pennsylvania team – Hershey, the Philadelphia Phantoms, or the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – has appeared in each of the last six Calder Cup finals and nine of the last 13 finals.


The Phillies are the defending champions of Major League Baseball and currently have the second-best record in the National League, making them one of the favorites to appear in the World Series once more.

At the next level of play, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are the defending Governor’s Cup champions of the International League in Triple-A and lead the North Division of the IL this year.


The Pittsburgh Steelers are the defending Super Bowl champions of the National Football League. They are the NFL’s only six-time Super Bowl champion. The Eagles – that team that Vick is joining – has appeared in five of the last eight NFC conference championship games and has averaged more than ten wins per season in the last nine years.

Down a level, the Penn State Nittany Lions have won 372 games in 42 seasons under Coach Joe Paterno. That includes 23 bowl wins and a winning percentage of almost 75 percent.

And back to the Super Bowl… in each of the 43 games played there has been at least one player who also participated in the “Big 33” all star game featuring the top 33 high school all stars from Pennsylvania hosting representatives from another state (Ohio, Maryland, and Texas in the history of the contest).

You’d be hard-pressed to find another state in the union with as high an athletic standard for winning as Pennsylvania. And they don’t suffer losing gladly, none less so that Eagles fans.

So like we said about Michael Vick landing in Philly…

Good luck with that.