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Showing No Love "The Second City" Heading Into Back-To-Back Games

Philadelphia Union take on Chicago Fire in one semi-final of the US Open Cup. This is just year six for Union, but these two cities have a long sporting history from which to draw the ire for the opponent, and an interesting twist of fate has these two teams scheduled to play in Chester twice in four days.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago has several nicknames, one of which is "The Second City."  Philadelphia was the first capital city of the United States of America. Take that!  Also, they named the team after a disaster that destroyed a significant part of the city back in 1871. How ridiculous is that?!?! That's like naming a team in California after an earthq... nevermind.  I guess it isn't that rare. Anyway, there is a rich sporting history between these two large, American cities. They competed for sports championships before World War II, but let's focus on the newer chapters in this inter-city rivalry.  There are also many irksome entertainers to come from "Chicagoland," and other folks from "The Windy City" who I think, well, blow.

Most recently, there was the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, where the Blackhawks stole game 6 with an utter fluke of a goal.  Patrick Kane snuck the puck underneath Michael Leighton's pad to break the hearts of the Orange-and-Black faithful. That Flyer team seemed to be that year's "Team of Destiny" after being down three games to none against Boston, and three goals to none in Game 7. Adding onto that, they hosted the conference final as the 7-seed, because 8-seed Montreal advanced to face them. My stomach still drops when I see a replay of that extreme-angle shot, and then seeing Kane, and Flyer draftee Patrick Sharp (just to rub more salt in the wound) celebrating their victory.

In 1993, the Chicago Bulls won their 3rd consecutive championship.  No, the 76ers did not make the playoffs that year (in fact, that was the year they ended up with the #2 overall draft pick and selected Shawn Bradley, blech).  Michael and the Jordanaires defeated the Phoenix Suns in the final, and in doing so defeated an all-time Philadelphia favorite, "Sir" Charles Barkley.  That season turned out to be the closest "The Round Mound of Rebound" would come to a championship ring. He battled injuries every year of his career until he retired in 2000, never making it back again to the Finals.

The 1988 NFC Divisional Playoffs was Buddy Ryan's best chance to win with "The Ultimate Weapon," Randall Cunningham. The Eagles' quarterback was a unique talent in the NFL, and we'll never know if his team could have gone all the way, because fog rolled in off of Lake Michigan and rendered Cunningham unable to find the end zone with his rocket arm.  Of course, as soon as the game was over, the fog lifted.

On to the world of entertainment. If I never hear another Smashing Pumpkins song again, I'll be happy. Billy Corgan's singing voice causes radio station changes, song skips on Pandora, or whatever measures necessary to not listen.  While it's actually ESPN's fault, the Fall Out Boy song "Centuries" was played unrelentingly during the college football bowl season. I muted the television during the commercials to not here for the thousandth time "remember MEEEEEEE for cen-tur-IIEEEEEEES". And Kanye West is from Chicago. That gas bag is more than welcome to move to Paris, and take his whole in-law family with him. R. Kelly used to be cool, then his relationship life became public knowledge, and well, at least it spawned a funny Chapelle's Show skit. That dude is bad news for young ladies.

That ought to be enough to instill some distaste for the opponent to get you fired up for the big game Wednesday evening.  If not, just reminisce about the musical or the band who took that city's name.