Who is the face of Philadelphia sports right now?
Is it 76ers’ superstar Joel Embiid? Embiid is one of the most popular athletes in this city and the fans love him. Is it the new man in town, Bryce Harper? The guy is just as popular as any athlete right now in the city. The tickets sales, after he announced that he was signing here, went though the roof. As soon as his jersey was available, fans were buying it like crazy. It’s nuts that his new # 3 jersey, in the first 24 hours of launch, became the No. 1 selling jersey of all-time in any sport for any player.
Philly is known as a "football city," so is Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz the face of Philly sports? He is very popular among the Philly sports fanbase, at the least.
Then you have the longest-tenured athlete in this city and the current captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux, or better known as "G.” While he is the longest-tenured athlete in this city, he arguably isn't as popular as the other three. Additionally, he may not even be the most popular Flyer right now, due to Carter Hart’s recent emergence.
I believe right now it's close between Embiid and Harper but I'm going with Harper. Just the amount of hype around him right now is unbelievable; there hasn't been this much hype for an athlete in the city since Allen Iverson or Terrell Owens, in my opinion.
Harper is both the answer and the Phillies’ offensive savior.
The MLB The Show 19 cover athlete, former No. 1 overall pick (2010), gracing numerous Sports Illustrated covers, a star outfielder in the prime of his career, oh and did I forget to mention one with a record-breaking contract? After super-agent Scott Boras secured his top client, Harper, a pro sports record 13-year, $330 million dollar offer sheet this past offseason, the latter became a Phillie.
The Harper negotiations weren’t completed instantly, however, upon arrival, he instantly became a fan-favorite in Philadelphia. Embracing the Philly culture, attempting to lure star athletes from multiple sports to come here, as well as his admiration and respect for the late, great Roy Halladay earned the fans’ respect. Harper even chose to switch jersey numbers, from No. 34 to No. 3, out of respect for Halladay.
Claude Giroux and Carson Wentz are both productive, lovable gingers, while Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are both easygoing guys and hardworking athletes. But it’s a 162-game season, a warm-weather sport and a player epitomizing a coveted athlete from the sport of summer; Harper.
While Harper is a West Coast guy, living in Vegas, enjoying the warm weather and the Hollywood lifestyle, he is now a Philly guy — the total antithesis of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Like A.I., Harper is the answer — the same jersey number, too, and hopefully as equally successful here.
By Eric Jacinto & Kyle Lutz