Penn back on his perch

June 20, 2007 at 11:43 pm (Philly, Sports)

Beginning in 1901, a large bronze satue of William Penn was the pinnacle of the Philadelphia skyline, 548 feet above street level. This was the tallest building in the city until 1987, when One Liberty Place, at 945 feet, broke a “gentlemen’s agreement” and cast a huge shadow on the Father of the Commomwealth. (for scale, Portlanders, the Wells Fargo building is 546 feet, Big Pink is 536 feet)

So ensued the Curse of Billy Penn, which legend has it will prevent all Philadelphia sports teams from winning a championship as long as this injustice remains. The last time a major team won a title in Philly was Dr. J’s 76ers in 1983.

On Monday, June 17, 2007, the Comcast Center surpassed Liberty 1 at 975 feet. As a lifelong hostage of Philly sports fandom, I was absolutely giddy to learn that during Monday’s topping off ceremony, a small statue of Mr. Penn was placed atop Comcast Center, with the explicit purpose of ending the curse. Watch the video, the last 15 seconds are worth the boring prelude.

This kind of rabid civic pride exemplifies why I miss that place. My prediction: Donovan McNabb comes back with a motherfucking vengeance, and the Iggles kill that demon once and for all!

Wikipedia makes blogging far too easy.

P.S. Happy West Virginia Day.  The only state to secede from the Confederacy.


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