Philly fans are some of the most passionate in any city. What better way to celebrate Philadelphia pride than by remembering the most iconic moments from Philadelphia sports history? We’ve compiled this list of 15 of the most exciting, heart-pounding, and victory-snatching moments in the history of Philadelphia sports. The legacies of these triumphant moments demonstrate why Philadelphia fans love their local teams so much, and looking back on these moments is sure to bring pride to anyone who calls themselves a Philly fan.
1. Eagles 1960 Triumph Over Vince Lombardi
The year was 1960. Back then, the name “Super Bowl” was yet to be adopted, but it was the Philadelphia Eagles fighting against the Green Bay Packers in the championship game. They played at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, giving the Eagles the home-field advantage. Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Packers, had never lost a championship until that day. The Eagles came out on top with a 17-13 victory. This game was the first time Lombardi had ever lost in a playoff game.
2. Brett Myers Pitches the Phillies Into the Playoffs
After a 14-year cold streak, the Phillies finally seemed to break the curse that held them back from the playoffs. It was the last game of their first season at Citizens Bank Park. One pitch from victory, Brett Myers stepped up to the pitcher’s mound. This would be the pitch that decided whether they would win their division and advance to the playoffs or go another year before getting their shot. It was Wily Mo Pena up to bat, and Myers gave it his all, striking out Pena, causing the stadium to erupt in cheers.
3. Simon Gagne Makes Flyers History
This one was the comeback story of all comeback stories in Flyers hockey history. They were down 3-0 in the series when Game 7 rolled around. Things were looking bleak, with the Bruins ahead by three. But then Simon Gagne turned the game around, scoring a goal that would launch the team to victory. The Flyers ultimately won on a goal by Gagne and went on to win the series. This made them only the third team in NHL history to come back from a 0-3 streak. For that reason, Gagne’s performance will go down in Philadelphia history.
4. Jimmy Rollins’ Walk-off Comeback
In 2009, Jimmy Rollins led the Phillies to win over the LA Dodgers in a historic walk-off. The score was 4-3, with the Dodgers in the lead and Rollins up to bat. They were one out away from losing and Jonathan Broxton was on the pitcher’s mound. When Rollins made contact with the ball, he hit it all the way to the fence. It resulted in two runs, putting the Phillies ahead and winning them the game 5-4.
5. Matt Stairs’ 2008 Home Run
In 2008, Matt Stairs hit a home run that became a turning point for the Phillies in the NLCS. It was starting to look like a Phillies loss, and time was running out to turn things around. Shane Victorino had tied the game, and then Matt Stairs took to the plate, lofted his bat over his shoulder, and “rips one into the night,” as Joe Buck put it. The home run scored the Phillies a win over the Dodgers in that game, making this one of the most iconic moments in Philadelphia sports history.
6. Nick Foles’ Fourth-down Super Bowl Touchdown
It can’t be overstated just how impressive Nick Foles’ Super Bowl run was. Unknown to many at the time, Foles was dealing with an elbow injury, causing him significant pain during the game. Even so, he played through it like a champ, completing some seriously impressive downfield throws. In fact, he completed 77 of his 106 passes that game, playing as a backup quarterback with a team mostly composed of backups. But the cherry on top of was his fourth-down touchdown that won the Eagles the game, now dubbed the Philly Special.
7. Rick MacLeish Scores the Cup-winning Goal
The 1974 Stanley Cup Final is one to remember. It was Game 6, neither team had scored, and time was running out in the first period. Rick MacLeish ultimately scored the lone goal of the game. His success secured victory for the Flyers and sent the city into a frenzy. The championship parade that followed set the standard for all sports parades in Philadelphia, proving that Philly fans are among the best when it comes to honoring the legendary athletes of their city.
8. Andre Blake Dominates the Eastern Conference Semifinals
In the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Philadelphia Union and Nashville FC were battling it out for victory. The game came down to penalty kicks, and the pressure was on for Union goalkeeper Andre Blake. He’d been a beast all game, making seemingly impossible saves to keep the Union afloat. His dominating performance carried over into the penalty round. He made the first two saves of the round, forcing Nashville to miss their subsequent attempts. This advanced Union to the Eastern Conference Finals. Blake’s team hoisted him onto their shoulders and carried him off the field for his heroic efforts.
9. Brian Boucher Leads the Flyers Into the 2010 Playoffs
The Flyers and Rangers faced off in the last game of the 2010 season. Only one team would progress into the playoffs, and this game would decide who would make it through. It all came down to a nail-biting shootout. Brian Boucher dominated in the net and ultimately kept the Rangers from victory. His success ensured the Flyers won, putting them through to the playoffs and earning him a place in Philadelphia sports history.
10. Claude Giroux’s 2019 Comeback Breakaway Shot
Another classic moment in the Flyers’ history was their 2019 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It happened during the Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field. During the third period, the Flyers managed a wild comeback and forced the game into overtime. Team captain Claude Giroux juked one past a Penguin and snapped the puck past goalkeeper Matt Murray. The puck found the back of the net, sealed the Flyers’ victory, and completed their comeback arc. This thrilling moment is a piece of modern history for both the team and the city.
11. Roy Halladay’s 2010 Playoff No-Hitter
Oct. 6, 2010, was a special day for Roy Halladay. It was his first playoff start against the Cincinnati Reds. On that day, Halladay pitched a no-hitter in his first-ever playoff game. He dominated on the pitch and, at the end of the day, proved his capabilities and made his city proud.
12. Tug McGraw Pitches the Phillies to World Series Victory
Tug McGraw scored the Phillies’ first-ever World Series win after 96 years. On Oct. 21, 1980, McGraw threw the final pitch and immediately leaped into the air to express his joy over the win. He struck out Willie Wilson and sent the entire city into a state of celebration. It was the only championship game ever won at Veterans Stadium, and it was one to remember as an iconic moment in Philadelphia sports history.
13. Meadowlands Miracle Comeback
Dubbed the Miracle at the Meadowlands, the Eagles came back from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter of their game against the New York Giants. With only seven minutes and 28 seconds left on the clock, the Eagles scored 21 points to tie the game. Then, DeSean Jackson bobbled a short line drive kick from Matt Dodge. This resulted in a 65-yard return that turned the tides and won the game for the Eagles, a last-second victory that Eagles fans will hold in their hearts forever.
14. Iverson Steps Over Lue
In Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals, regulation ended with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers tied at 94 points. The game went into overtime and Allen Iverson stepped up to make two of his three shots. This put the 76ers ahead by two points, with only a minute and 20 seconds left on the clock. Iverson extended his team’s lead by crossing over Tyronn Lue and nailing a two-pointer. Lue fell to the ground and Iverson casually stepped over him while the 76ers took the game in a 107-101 victory.
15. Freddie Mitchell’s Career-defining Play
With one minute and 12 seconds left on the clock and the ball in their possession, the Eagles needed a score to tie the game. The pressure was on, and it was up to Freddie Mitchell to make the play of his career. He claimed a piece of Eagles history by making a leaping 28-yard catch. When Donovan McNabb threw the ball over the middle of the field, Mitchell caught it and led David Akers to make the field goal that would drive the game into overtime. The Eagles would go on to win the game.
These are just 15 of the most iconic moments from Philadelphia sports history. Philadelphia fans are sure to remember these and more. If you’re a Philly fan looking to show your pride in your city’s sports legacy, check out our wide range of officially licensed sports apparel, collectibles, and memorabilia.