Tuesday, February 8, 2005

THE CURSE OF WILLIAM PENN

Sorry Philadelphia.  Another sports season goes by...another season without a title.

Call it the Curse Of William Penn.

In Philly, there is a statue of William Penn, the founder and namer of the city of Philadelphia, atop City Hall.  Tradition stated that no building would rise about Penn's statue.  However, in 1987, a skyscraper called One Libery Place that was built a few blocks away far exceeded the statue.   Since then...there has been no sports titles.

While New Englanders pined on about a "curse of the Bambino" since the Red Sox couldn't close the deal on a title....cities like Cleveland and Philadelphia are just waiting for a title....any title...of their own.  Right now, New England has the Pats, Red Sox and Huskies as defending champions.  Cleveland and Philly have nothing.

Since the Indians and Browns aren't much to talk about and we don't need another love-story about LeBron James.....let's focus on Philadelphia.  This is the 21st straight season that Philly has gone title-less.

It wasn't always like this.  In 1980, Philly had a team in all four of the major sports championships.  The Flyers, Eagles, Phillies and Sixers were all in the title matches.  Only the Phillies came out on top.

Since then....the only thing that has gone right is dumping the Vet for the Linc and Citizens Bank Park. 

         

The last Philly team to win a title was the 1982-1983 Sixers.  What a team that was.  Moses Malone, Dr. J, Bobby Jones, Mo Cheeks.  They lost only one postseason game and completely took apart a Laker team that just beaten them in the Finals a year earlier.  In fact, that was their fourth Finals since 1977.  In that 7 year period...the Sixers were in the Eastern Conference Finals six times.  

Since then, the Sixers have had Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson....two of the best talents the NBA has ever seen....but only one Finals appearance.  That was in 2001, when the A.I. led Sixers lost to the Lakers in 5 games.   

                      

The Phillies have been around about as long as baseball has.  Yet, in their entire 122 year history....they have just ONE World Series victory to speak of.  ONE.       

Mike SchmidtThat team featured Steve Carlton, Pete Rose, Tug McGraw, Sparky Lyle, Bob Boone, Larry Bowa and Mike Schmidt.  They won a NL pennant a few years later...but lost to the Orioles in the World Series.

Then came 1993.  The Phillies team full of pudgy players and mullets, actually won the NL East and the NL pennant over the Braves.  Game 6 of the World Series, Toronto was up 3 games to 2....and the Phills were up in the 9th inning.  A few more outs...and on to Game 7.

Joe Carter knocked one out of the park....and the Blue Jays were champs.               

The Eagles finally broke through to their first Super Bowl since 1980.  It took them four tries in the NFC title game to get there...but they finally did it.  They ended up losing to the New England Patriots....which extends their NFL championship drought to 44 years. 

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The Flyers won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975.  They've been to 5 finals since then....but all ended in defeat.  Two of those were sweeps. 

Philly has seen some bright spots in the last 21 years.  The Philly Stars won the USFL championship in 1984.  Villanova won the NCAA Tournament in 1985. 

Since the Sixers 1983 title....Anaheim, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, East Rutherford, Edmonton, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Montreal, New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto and Washington have all had titles in one, or more, of the major four sports.  Philadelphia, with teams in all of those sports leagues...has had none. 

2 comments:

monponsett said...

I love the Dr. J "flying carpenter" dunk. I was very young when I saw it, and I may have wet myself.

Thank you for not mentioning Andrew Toney. Talk of "The Boston Strangler" is not well heard in these parts....he sort of fell off the planet in 2 seasons...did he hang around with Gervin's pharmacist?

I was a child with courtside seats during a huge Celtics/76ers brawl(s) in a pre-season game. At least 4 fights...Maxwell/Malone...Bird/Iavaroni....Threatt/Henderson...Bird/Cunningham (Larry tore Billy's sports coat off him)...

During the Bird/Iavaroni fight, Red Auerbach came out of the stands to restore order. No security, cop or player dared make a move to stop him. While my Yiddish is weak, I did hear him call Moses a "big schvatzer." Moses- who had just thrown 6'8" Cedric Maxwell four rows into the stands- just looked at him, and went back to the bench.

Joe Carter was asked what his favorite park to hit in was. He said it was Fenway..."I like the big 'See It Go" sign behind the Monster." No one knew what he meant, until someone got phonic with the "CITGO" sign.

eeyore083 said...

You need to add a paragraph about smart jones loss at Belmont.