Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Sports Fans

City of Winners

Philadelphia Phillies fans hold a banner that reads

Fans at a Philadelphia Phillies game brandish a banner reading “City of Winners,” adorned with the logos of the Phillies baseball team, the Eagles football team, and the Flyers hockey team. (Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries)

Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

By 2016, Philadelphia sports fans had seen their professional sports teams win a total of six major championships. The Philadelphia 76ers basketball team won three championships, winning the NBA finals in 1967 and 1983. The Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team had won two World Series Championships, in 1980 and 2008. In Hockey, the Philadelphia Flyers won back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships in the 1974 and 1975.

The Philadelphia Eagles football team had yet to capture a Super Bowl, the most coveted prize in the National Football League, although the Eagles did win the 1960 NFL title before the Super Bowl existed. In any case, the passionate Eagles fan base remained loyal and hopeful that the elusive Super Bowl trophy would someday be claimed.

The standard celebration for championship victories in Philadelphia is a parade through Center City to the Sports Complex in South Philly, where Philadelphia’s major league stadiums are located. Crowds of fans greet the winning athletes, who show off the championship trophy to their supporters. Philadelphia-based colleges have also participated in championship parades, as when Villanova University’s men’s basketball team won the NCAA champion in 2016.

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