The Sirianni household in South Jersey, like most domiciles in the Delaware Valley, is full of Phillies fans basking in this golden autumn.
“I got home yesterday, and my son was sleeping,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “One of my sons was sleeping, and he was wearing his [Bryce] Harper jersey. I think that’s really cool. Really excited.”
Sirianni has been part of the Phillies’ playoff run from afar and up close from a Citizens Bank Park suite, where he watched Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Braves — a 9-1 Phillies victory punctuated by the already famous Rhys Hoskins bat spike.
WHAT A TIME IN PHILLY
Sirianni’s Eagles and the Phillies have combined to make this one of the great times in Philly sports history.
- The Eagles are 6-0, the NFL’s only undefeated team.
- The Phillies unexpectedly have won three consecutive playoff series to advance to the World Series against Houston.
For a town wild about sports, this is the life, my friends. Sirianni knows it, too. So do his players.
BROWN: WHY PITCH TO HARPER?
Wide receiver A.J. Brown is also a baseball guy. He was drafted out of Starkville (Miss.) High in the 19th round by the Padres in June 2016. The centerfielder signed with San Diego before going to the University of Mississippi on a football scholarship.
- “From the little I’ve been watching, they’ve been doing a great job,” Brown said about the Phillies. “I don’t understand why people are still pitching to Bryce Harper.
- “It’s something serious when you really seen a baseball, when you can hit any pitch. I think that’s where he’s at right now. If I’m the opposing team, I don’t want to pitch to him.”
HURTS’ GUY IS SEGURA
Quarterback Jalen Hurts is from Houston, home of those Astros. “I’m Houston-born and raised,” he said. “I love my city. That’s my hometown. But my home now is Philly and I love this city, too.”
Hurts said he kept up with the Phillies’ exploits during the bye week.
“I watched the games,” Hurts said. “I like No. 2 [Jean] Segura. I like how he plays. He plays with a lot of swag. I think ‘Harp’ always shows up, so I’m excited to cheer them on this week.”
Hurts sees something in the Phillies that he witnesses in his own team.
- “It shows the type of team that they are, how they’re coached, and the mentality that they have,” Hurts said.
- “We preach it all the time. You see it on display when you see them play. How they play together. Truly making plays for one another.
- “I saw the clip of Bryce Harper [after his epic, eighth-inning home run that finished off the Padres in Game 5], he’s like, ‘I just did that.’ It was a pivotal moment in the game.
- “He made a truly game-changing impact, legendary moment for his team. I check on things like that. I take note of things like that.”
CHECKING OUT THE PHILLIES
Sirianni said he was a big Phillies fan over his team’s bye week.
- “I did. I watched the game,” said Sirianni, a native of Jamestown, N.Y. “The fan of the baseball team that I grew up liking, I’ll keep that to myself [it’s the Pittsburgh Pirates].
- “I can’t say that I’ve watched a baseball game in a long time in the sense of just sat there and watched a baseball game because that team that I liked, they don’t have many successful postseason attempts.
- “It’s fun … That Saturday night game was fun [when the Phillies overcame a 4-0 first-inning deficit against the Padres and won, 10-6].
- “I didn’t watch any college football that night. That’s what I watched, the Phillies game.”
Sirianni knows about fun teams as his fun-bunch Eagles resume their schedule with the Steelers on Sunday afternoon at the Linc.
LEARNING FROM THE PHILS
Sirianni said he learned a lesson or two from watching the Phillies.
- “Man, I just look at that team and I think about the way they connect with each other, because you want to emulate good teams and you want to see what makes good teams, good teams,” Sirianni said.
- “They connect with each other. They’re always celebrating together. It’s fun to watch. All those different things, they went through adversity throughout the year and came out better because of it.
- “My hat’s off to their coaches and to their players for having the dawg mentality to go and control what you can control.”
Sirianni says he will continue on the Phillies bandwagon this weekend with Games 1 and 2 at Houston on Friday and Saturday nights.
- “We’re busy this week to get ready for our stuff, but Friday and Saturday, we’ll have a little time to watch it,” Sirianni said.
- “Next week, we won’t have as much time to watch anything, just being on a short week [Eagles play at the Houston Texans on Thursday night], but I look forward to watching the games I can watch and continuing to root them on.
- “I’m glad to say now I’m a Phillies fan.”