December 28, 2017
Philadelphia basketball fans have been blessed with a giant, very talented new Ben: Ben Simmons.
While Simmons is an Aussie and has no roots in the city, it's safe to say we've essentially adopted the redshirt rookie sensation. I mean, just take a look at this photo.
If that doesn't make you want to run through Independence Mall dressed in Revolutionary War garb screaming "TRUST THE PROCESS," I don't know what will. But while we're all very enamored with Simmons, where does he rank among Philadelphia's other famous Bens?
As you can probably guess by that set-up question, I have ranked Philly's top five Bens. They are, in ascending order:
A member of the wealthy Guggenheim family, he was born in Philly and died upon the Titanic when it infamously hit an iceberg and sank into the Atlantic Ocean. A steward who survived later told his family that when she asked why Guggenheim and his secretary were wearing evening dress and not life preservers, he replied, "We've dressed up in our best, and are prepared to go down like gentlemen." The tidbit was included in a deleted scene from "Titanic."
For his grace in the face of death, he comes in fifth.
The high-profile jazz saxophonist has played with greats like Dizzy Gillespie and recorded more than 30 albums under his own name. He learned his craft while at a high school named after another Ben on this list: Benjamin Franklin High School in North Philly. His music brings people happiness, and for that, he comes in at fourth.
No matter your political opinion, becoming the prime minister of Israel is impressive enough to land Netanyahu third on this list. Born in Israel, his family moved to the Philly suburbs when he was a teenager. He attended Cheltenham High School, where he played soccer and reportedly didn't even show up to get his diploma because he had left to join the Israeli Defense Forces.
His Wikipedia page claims he speaks English with a "noticeable Philadelphia accent." You can be the judge of that:
Ben Simmons can do this:
No other Ben on this list are physically capable of that. Therefore, he is second-best Ben.
A no-brainer. Despite what I stated on Twitter in a futile attempt at humor, Franklin will likely always be Philadelphia's best Ben, and is most certainly in contention for the world's best Ben. It would take an entire article to detail Franklin's accomplishments, which include being a founding father of the United States, helping to draft the Declaration of Independence, creating society-altering inventions, serving various political offices for a young nation and all those quotes you see posted by your friend's mom on Facebook.
Originally from Boston, he first arrived in Philadelphia in 1723, where he would eventually establish not only himself but many of the city's institutions. For all that, he is clearly our best Ben.