After 24 seasons, the Eagles are finally going back to the Super Bowl.
1980: That was the last time our Eagles had the chance to truly make this city proud. None of Philadelphia’s four major sports teams have won a championship since Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Moses Malone and the Sixers did it in 1983. How old were you in 1983? I wasn’t even 1 year old, and I’m sure a lot of you weren’t even born yet. We have been missing out.
Our greatest moments as sports fans are losses: 1993 Phillies, 1997 Flyers or maybe the 2001 Sixers, but will we ever get to experience true bliss?
If you are new to Philadelphia, you may have noticed that sports are a major part of this city. This city lives and dies every season of every year with its teams, and I, like most of you, have been there every step of the way.
Growing up, we weren’t allowed to stray. We had parents, or maybe an older brother or cousin to keep us in line. Dare come home with a friend wearing a Cowboys jacket, that older brother would be right there, ready to ridicule that friend. This is the way we were raised – and would you really want it any other way?
We are a four-for-four town, which means we love and follow the Phillies, Eagles, Sixers and even the Flyers when they decide to play. But not once in the past 21 years has this love for our teams paid off in a championship.
A lot of fans in Philadelphia are throwing all their support to the Eagles this year with the notion that we deserve to win the Super Bowl. Nobody told us to invest our time into these teams. We did it on our own.
The sad fact is that we put our full support in Ron Hextall, and later in Eric Lindros – that it was us who said they could do it for the Flyers. We were wrong. We followed the Sixers through the dark years. That was me at the old Spectrum cheering for the likes of Dana Barros, and our star Clarence Weatherspoon.
Finally the Eagles pulled through. The Vet was full every season in my memory. It’s been full through those 3-13 seasons. We loved Buddy Ryan. He managed to always beat the Cowboys or at least give them a great game, and that is what made us proud. Doug Pederson was our quarterback and the stadium was always full.
These are the years when so many Philadelphians felt like maybe they did live in a second-rate city. I want to be able to look my kids right in the eye and tell them I was there; and I remember the night that it all changed – Feb. 6, 2005. Go Eagles!
Joe Baker can be reached at email@example.com.