Thursday, May 22, 2014

The single greatest moment in Philadelphia sports history

Here's a little trip down memory lane to ease the troubled souls of Philly fans still aching from the sight of the Phils being bludgeoned by the Marlins, 14-5, and then insult being added to injury with news that former Flyer Jeff Carter netted a hat trick last night to lead the L.A. Kings back to a 1-1 tie with the Blackhawks.

I know, it's not easy.

But did you notice this little item tucked away in the sports vault earlier this week?

The Eagles are no longer going to be giving their season ticket holders actual paper tickets.

Which got me to wondering if we are not about to lose one of the great mementos in sports: The ticket stub.

I know that somewhere stashed away in a trunk somewhere I have a ticket stub that remains to this day one of my most prized sports possessions.

It is a ticket stub from the Eagles 1980 NFC championship game at the Vet, a 20-7 win that propelled our beleaguered Birds to their first-ever appearance in the Super Bowl.

The day is memorable for several reasons.

First and foremost, it remains the coldest I have ever been in my life. With temperatures hovering around zero, not even the freezer suit I borrowed from my future father-in-law - used by workers in the coolers at Pepperidge Farms - could ward off the cold.

And I could not have been happier about it.

That day, Jan. 11, 1981, in one man's humble opinion also marks the single greatest moment in Philadelphia sports. Yes, I am well aware that the Phillies and Sixers both have won world championships in the interim, and I will be forever grateful. I was at the Phillies parade in 1980, but it still does not match the sheer exhiliration of one single moment in time.

I can tell you what it was in just four words, and I am sure any green-blooded Eagles fan will know exactly to what I refer:

Wilbert off right tackle.

Maybe it was because I was there. Maybe it was because we were all so damned cold. Maybe it was because it was Dallas. Maybe it was because we had sat through so many lousy years - and teams.

But at that moment we rejoiced in the fact that Dick Vermeil's team was in fact going to be the hated Cowboys. We hugged each other as Vermeil hugged veteran Claude Humphrey and exclaimed, "Do you know where you're going? You're going to the Super Bowl!" And we were all going with him.

That moment when Wilbert burst through the line and saw only frozen green plastic in front of him remains - in my humble opinion - the single greatest moment in Philadelphia sports history.

Now here's the kicker.

About that ticket stub.

Anyone care to guess what the face value of that ducat was?

20 bucks.

Yeah, times have changed. I am no longer an Eagles season ticket holder, but no less a fan. And I will hold that memory forever.

If you happen to disagree, by all means post a comment and we can discuss it.

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