So says former mayor and governor Ed Rendell in the Daily News:

Like most of you, I tuned in for the first night of the NFL draft on Thursday live from Dallas, or to be accurate, live from Arlington, Texas.

The first thought that struck me was what a mistake the NFL made by deciding not to do a second year in Philadelphia and moving it to “Jerry World.”

Despite a huge crowd, the atmosphere was 1/10th as electric as it was here last year. Instead of taking place in front of the world-famous stunningly beautiful Art Museum, the event seemed like it was taking place in a sterile airplane hangar.

Though the Dallas fans tried to emulate Philly by booing commissioner Roger Goodell, the sound was so tepid that it was reminiscent of the murmur of an old air-conditioning unit. Goodell seemed almost ecstatic at the comparative quiet that greeted his arrival, compared to what happened here.

Last year’s draft certainly boosted Philadelphia’s civic pride and earned overwhelming plaudits from the national media. I can’t help but think it also contributed to the incredible momentum the city has gained of late, as evidenced by the many national publications that have recently named Philadelphia the best city to visit for its food, arts and culture, and other tourist attractions.

If you believe in karma — or for that matter, magic — it could be argued that the feel-good fairy dust left behind by the successful 2017 draft lingered over our city and ushered in what has been arguably the greatest sports year in our town’s history. Atop that list was, undeniably, the Eagles delivering that elusive first Super Bowl title. The fact that they did it with a backup turned MVP quarterback in Nick Foles guiding an offense orchestrated by a riverfront gambler in coach Doug Pederson made the victory sweet. But it was the way the game played out with the traditional Philly underdogs gaining a measure of revenge against the despised New England Patriots in what was likely the most breathtaking start-to-finish title game in NFL history, that made it even sweeter. Then all of our dreams were further realized with an awesome championship parade that went up Broad Street and then across the Parkway, culminating with the team raising the Lombardi Trophy before hundreds of thousands of adoring fans. The fact that the speeches were made on our world-famous Rocky Steps (including Jason Kelce’s one for the ages) made it all seem too good to be true.


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