The history of the Philadelphia Eagles dates all the way back to 1933 and two en named Lud Wray and Bert Bell. Some might not know that the Eagles were not the first professional football team in the city. In 1931, the NFL had a franchise in Philadelphia called the Frankford Yellow Jackets. The franchise actually won the title in 1926. But, Frankford quickly went bankrupt and the city was on the hunt for a new team to take its place.
Enter Wray and Bell, who were granted an expansion franchise to a syndicate that the pair headed. In exchange for $2,500, the Bell-Wray group was able to secure the assets left by the Yello Jackets and named the new franchise the Eagles. The story goes that the pair took inspiration from the insignia of the centerpiece of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. The new Philly team played its first game on October 15, 1933, in a 56-0 loss to the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.
Before the 1935 season, Bell proposed the idea of holding an annual draft for college students. This was designed to make the talent pool equal across the league as the Giants, Packers, and Bears dominated the league at the time. The first NFL Draft was held in 1936 and the model is still used to this day across all North American sports.
In 1943, due to a shortage of players because of Worl War II, there were not enough pro players to go around in Pennsylvania. It was decided that the Eagles and Steelers would merge for the season for a team unofficially known as “The Steagles”. The team did not complete the season before it was dissolved.
The team would make periodic trips to the playoffs over the next 40 years, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that things began to take flight. Between 1988 and 1996, the Eagles made the playoffs six times. But, the team rarely made it out of the first round and ownership continually moved in and out coaches. That was until 1999 when they hired Andy Reid. Reid went on to draft Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick in the 1999 draft and the pair would bring this franchise a ton of wins. The Eagles went on to make the playoffs four straight years between 2000 and 2004 and ended up with eight tips in a 10-year span.
But, wins aren’t everything, and the Eagles were unable to secure a Super Bowl win during that time. In fact, the Eagles had yet to win a Super Bowl at all during the last 80+ years as a team.
That all changed in 2017 when the Eagles, in their third trip to the Super Bowl, won it all in a wild game against the New England Patriots. The game set several records including the most yards gained in an NFL game by both teams combined and the fewest punts in a Super Bowl.
Now, in 2022, the Eagles are back in a rebuilding stage with Nick Sirianni as head coach. They have a strong core with DeVonta Smith in the backfield and Jalen Hurts under center.
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