Philadelphia’s most prized possession, the Philadelphia Eagles franchise, can find its roots on Penn’s campus.
Since the National Football League had its first Super Bowl in 1967, the Eagles, along with 13 other NFL franchises, have never won. But, in their 52nd attempt, the team finds itself having a very good shot this coming Sunday.
“People have lived and died, generations have come and gone without seeing the Eagles win the Superbowl,” college freshman Jake Singer, who attended last week's NFC championship game, said. “My father is 50 years old and has never seen the Eagles win a Super Bowl.”
Even though the Eagles have no Super Bowl rings, they have been crowned league champions three separate times, the last time being in 1960 at Penn’s very own Franklin Field.
On December 26, 1960, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers, 17-13, in a hard-fought battle, dethroning legendary coach Vince Lombardi.
Notably, this was the Eagles' second and last NFL championship game played in the city of Philadelphia. The other, in 1948, was hosted at Shibe Park, which was the home of the Philadelphia Phillies at the time.
Altogether, the Eagles won NFL Championships in 1948, 1949, and 1960, though the team hasn't done it since.
“[I] walk by [Franklin Field] almost every day. To think of the rich history and defining moments of sports that have occurred there is unbelievable,” college freshman Gideon Abramowitz said.
The Eagles continued to call Franklin Field their home until 1970, when they moved to Veterans Stadium.
“It’s crazy, it’s been that long that they played at a college's stadium. That was the last time they won a championship,” Singer said.
Since the Eagles' last championship at Franklin Field, the NFL, and the world, has changed dramatically.
For Eagles fans at Penn, the most notable change since this last championship game is the cost of attendance. To attend the 1960 game, one would on average pay ten dollars for a ticket. Additionally, Penn students could walk to the game and stay in their own dorms.
This season, a ticket to the Super Bowl costs, on average, $3900. That figure neither includes the added expenses of traveling to Minnesota instead of walking to Franklin Field nor the cost of lodging near the stadium. Needless to say, there will be far fewer Penn students at the game on Sunday than at the game in 1960.
Although so much has changed in the 57 years since the Eagles' last championship, much has also stayed the same.
Penn still maintains an integrated relationship with the Eagles even though the Eagles no longer play at Franklin Field. Additionally, Eagles fans, just as they were back in 1960, are still widely considered one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL.
Only time will tell whether the Eagles can break their drought dating all the way back to their days at Franklin Field.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Eagles' 1948 championship game was played at Franklin Field, as opposed to Shibe Park. The Daily Pennsylvanian apologizes for this error.