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Friday, December 26, 2008

On This Day In History: December 26

Twas the day after Christmas, 48 years ago in 1960. 

Monday, December 26, 1960.

This was the season Eagles center/linebacker Chuck Bednarik put that nasty hit on Giants Frank Gifford.

People were filing in to the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field.
They were looking to see their overachieving Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Eagles (10-2) defeat Vince Lombardi and the Western Conference Champion Green Bay Packers (8-4) in the 1960 NFL Championship game.

The boys in green and white were coached by Buck Shaw.

The game began at noon due to the lack of lighting in the old-fashioned stadium.

The Birds had clawed and scrapped all season to get to this particular point and on this frigid day in Philadelphia, their season long story stood true to form.

The Eagles offense, led by legendary quarterback Norm "Dutch" Van Brocklin, got completely out played statistically and non-statistically wise despite having great players to compliment him–Tommy McDonald, Pete Retzlaff and Ted Dean.

But, as the Eagles did all season, they came back in the fourth quarter. Van Brocklin put the team a head 17-13 and it looked like they could close the remainder of the game out easily.
However, a young Bart Starr drove the Packers back down the field with very little time remaining in the game. 

As the seconds ticked down, he completed a pass to Jim Taylor, who marched his way into the Eagles red zone. It looked like he might score, but Bednarik, who was 35 at that point, added one more moment to his legendary list and tackled him to seal up the title.

And then he once again screamed, "This FUCKING game is over!"

It was Lombardi's only post-season loss and of course as we know, the last pro-football championship the Eagles have ever won.

The 1960 Eagles will forever be loved in this town. If only today's team could reach the heights they did. Sure, it was not the Super Bowl back then because the Super Bowl did not exist yet. But, it was the big one and we won it.


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