The Eagles have experienced some epic highs and lows during their 80-plus years, rousing a loyal Philadelphia fanbase and stacking up impressive victories along the way. They boast 25 playoff appearances and 3 pre-Super Bowl NFL championships, and in 2017 they added the Super Bowl LII trophy to their case. Philly’s NFL games have been selling out since the ’90s, so snatch up your Iggles tickets early, join super-fans at their Lincoln Financial Field roost, and watch the Birds swoop down on their rivals like the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Established in 1933 to replace the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jacket NFL franchise, Philly’s fledgling team initially struggled to win games and to find a suitable football stadium. The team adapted, playing in baseball stadiums like MLB team Philadelphia Phillies’ Shibe Park and adding temporary fan seating during the football months. The Eagles again showed their creative adaptability in 1943, when WWII and the draft left the team without sufficient players to field a team and they were forced to temporarily merge with their interstate-rivals, the Steelers, to form the Phil-Pitt Eagles or Steagles. To the relief of both Eagles and Steelers fans, by the 1944 season the draft had ended and the Steagles dissolved after just one season, reforming their original teams and renewing their bitter rivalry.
The late 1940s saw a streak of glory for the Eagles that consisted of 2 consecutive NFL championships, the only NFL back-to-back championships won by shutouts. In 1948, they prevailed 7-0 against the driving snow and the Chicago Cardinals, and in 1949 they beat the Los Angeles Rams 14-0. Throughout the ‘50s, the Eagles struggled to post winning or neutral records, but in 1960 Norm Van Brocklin and Chuck Bernadik led the Eagles to achieve football glory again, beating Vince Lombardi and his Green Bay Packers en route to their third NFL championship. From 1962 to 1975, the Eagles managed to stay aloft despite only one winning season. Head coach Dick Vermeil and quarterback Ron Jaworski turned this around, leading the team to 4 postseason appearances and the 1980 NFC East title. In 1999, for the first time in franchise history, the Eagles headed to the Super Bowl, but they lost to the Oakland Raiders in a depressing 27-10 game, marking the first wild card Super Bowl victory in history.
The ‘80s and ‘90s were a time of high expectations, moderate success, and chronic frustration for the Iggles as coaches like Buddy Ryan and Ray Rhodes frequently led the team to the playoffs but couldn’t convert this into a Super Bowl appearance. Beginning in 1999, Andy Reid’s Eagles dominated, with a stunning 9 postseason and one Super Bowl appearance, ultimately a heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots. Philly saw its chance for vindication against the Pats in 2017 when coach Doug Pederson led them to the Super Bowl. Injuries kept their first-string quarterback Carson Wentz from playing, but backup quarterback Nick Foles, running back Jay Ajayi, and the rest of the Birds successfully routed the Pats 41 -33 in a contentious game, bringing the Eagles’ their first Super Bowl win.
Until their satisfying 2017 season, much of the Eagles’ long history was a saga of dashed dreams, the Super Bowl a tantalizing prize. This year the NFC East leader is on the hunt for a follow-up victory to Super Bowl LII, and with coach Doug Pederson at the helm and QB Carson Wentz back in the pocket, their chances look good. Eagles tickets sell out fast, so get them while you can. After you watch the Birds score some touchdowns against a slew of rivals like the New York Giants, get some grub and throw your own after-party at one of Philadelphia’s premium local restaurants.Back to top