Meek Mill's 'Dreams and Nightmares' is now officially the greatest Philly sports anthem ever

Meek Mill's 'Dreams and Nightmares' is now officially the greatest Philly sports anthem ever

A city's best sports anthems come about organically but quickly feel destined. They seem timely but not ephemeral. They feel deeply rooted in a team's geography and identity while remaining highly accessible to outsiders. They're stirring, exciting and maybe even a little bit intimidating. And when things are truly meant to be, they end up soundtracking championship celebrations. 

Before last night, Meek Mill's "Dreams and Nightmares" qualified for all but the last part of that description. And now, its resume is complete: The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles both came out at Super Bowl LII to the song's iconic beat switch, and spent the post-game locker room celebration after their 41-33 win over the New England Patriots rapping along with the entire song. And now, it almost has to be considered the greatest anthem that Philly sports has ever known. 

Not that it doesn't have decently stiff competition. McFadden and Whitehead's disco classic "Ain't No Stoppin Us Now" soundtracked the indomitable 1980 Phillies' World Series run, breaking a title drought decades longer than even these Eagles. A decade later, Tag Team's "Whoomp! There It Is" propelled the sh*t-stirring '93 Phils to the Series with appropriate sha-ka-la-ka swagger. Fresh Aire's "Here Come the Sixers" is as deliciously funky and timestamped a '70s jam as the eventual title-contending 76ers teams of the late decade could've asked for. And of course, Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now" will exist throughout sports culture for as long as their late-game timeouts in high-pressure situations. 

But none of them have ever felt quite so important to Philly culture as this. It helps, of course, that Meek Mill is not only a native and proud Philadelphian, but that he's become a local cause as a result of his recent imprisonment, which ranks somewhere on the scale between "unfortunate," "wrongful" and "cartoonish." And while McFadden and Whitehead were local products who played a key part in the city's epochal '70s soul scene, Meek is the only performer of the bunch who's become downright synonymous with Philly on a national scale -- the guy filmed one of his first music videos at Lou Williams' house, damn it. 

And even more important than Meek's cultural significance to Philadelphia, the song quickly become inextricable with this Eagles team because it seemed to fit their story so well. The song's not a linear narrative by any means, but it's an obvious underdog anthem in both lyrical and musical theme, almost a before-and-after of the Eagles turning from wide-eyed aspirants into devil-eyed agents of destruction. When the bass drops and everyone shouts along to the "HOLD UP WAIT A MINUTE/ Y'ALL THOUGHT I WAS FINISHED?!?!?" section, it's pretty clear why the team written off by so many going into these playoffs adopted it as their theme song. 

Even though the song has already been a huge part of Philly and hip-hop culture for a half-decade, its association with this team permanently ensures its local immortality, even for those who don't keep Power 99 on their radio presets -- and means we'll rarely think of one without the other for some time to come. The 2017 Eagles did it without an album. The 2017 Eagles did shit with Mariah. They gon' remember the 2017 Eagles. 

The Process is ready for primetime

The Process is ready for primetime

Basically, you saw everything you'd want to see from Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid during the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday night, as they kept doing what they've basically done all February: winning. 

Ben Simmons was electric all over the court, ending with 11 points (5-5 FG, mostly dunks), six boards, a game-high 13 assists and a team-high four steals. A still-locked-in Dario Saric was the beneficiary of a handful of those dimes, ending with 18 points (7-11 FG, 4-7 3PT), three boards and five assists. 

Joel Embiid had an underwhelming stat line in his thankfully clipped playing time (just eight minutes after sitting out Wednesday's game -- we'll see him more on Sunday), ending with just five points and two boards, and not exactly displaying the defensive dominance we're accustomed to from our big man. But the five points came on back-to-back possessions in the third, where JoJo nailed a top-of-the-break three and then scored on a dunk following a Fultzian spin move to the basket, showing the range of his skills in an appropriately breathtaking (and Internet-slaying) manner. 

And of course, the Sixers -- I mean, Team World -- won handily, outscoring Team USA in every quarter and ultimately triumphing 155-124. Even though Sacramento's Bogdan Bogdanovic took home MVP honors on the night for his white-hot shooting night (26 points on 9-16 FG, including a handful of Steph Curry-esque extended pull-up triples), I thought Simmons was the best all-around player on the floor, another thumb in the eye of the All-Star committee that snubbed him (four times!) for the proper game on Sunday night. 

Perhaps more importantly, the Sixers' presence just dominated the game altogether. Hell, they made up 3/5 of Team World's starting lineup -- no other team had more than two representatives, across both squads, though the Lakers would have were Lonzo Ball available -- and in the broadcast booth, the TNT guys couldn't stop talking about Embiid all night, comparing him to Hakeem and debating whether they'd ever seen a big man of his versatility before. 

And to think, this year they'll actually be represented on Saturday and Sunday, too. Hopefully Ben and Dario get a nice, relaxing All-Star break from here -- they've certainly earned it -- and now, it's Embiid's spotlight. The Process is ready for Primetime, baby, and longtime Trusters should make sure to enjoy this moment as much as JoJo himself undoubtedly will. 

Chris Long defends LeBron James after attack from Fox News host

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Chris Long defends LeBron James after attack from Fox News host

Chris Long is beloved by Philadelphians for much more than rocking a full-lenghth faux fur during the Eagles' Super Bowl championship parade. Most in Philly respect Long because he is one to speak his mind on whatever topic he sees fit. He's also a man of action, not just talk.

So when Fox News host Laura Ingraham attacked LeBron James and Kevin Durant for expressing their views on Donald Trump, Long stood up for his fellow athletes.

"Keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, 'shut up and dribble,'" Ingraham said.

As someone who hears "stick to sports" on a regular basis, this commentary hit close to home for the Eagles defensive end.

Long took exception and wanted to point out some of the people Ingraham's own network has on for their own political commentary. He launched into a Twitter thread pointing out some of the political experts.