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Ringing the Bell: Sports traditions in Philadelphia.

“Fly, eagles fly, on the road to victory…” If you’re from Philadelphia, you definitely know these words. In Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, traditions run deep. It is a city with so much American history, and tradition is ingrained in the Philadelphian way. This is no different than in the sports teams that represent the city and its people.

Traditions, superstitions, and good luck charms are staples in sports all over the world. Many athletes of all ages and play levels have good luck charms; some have lucky socks, others may grow out their hair in hopes of bringing home a win. Pregame rituals, such as putting on a uniform in a specific order, are not uncommon either.

In Philadelphia, however, many of the major professional sports teams have traditions that run deep and have been embraced by the community. The 76ers, Philadelphia’s home basketball team, has exemplified this in their somewhat new tradition of “ringing the bell”. In 2013, the 76ers purchased a bell that looked very similar to Philadelphia’s iconic Liberty Bell. Philadelphian celebrities, cancer kids, and other Philadelphia athletes are now invited to ring the bell before each home game as a way to bring a positive outcome to the game.

As mentioned before, the Eagles have their iconic fight song that is sung by fans before each home game and frequently throughout the game. Technically called the “Eagles Fight Song”; the tune was created in the 1950s but reached a peak in popularity in the late 1990s. The song was echoed throughout the area during the 2018 postseason, when the Eagles secured a spot in the playoffs, and eventually, their first Super Bowl win.

While not an official fight song, Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes” has become a staple at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Phillies. Harry Kalas, longtime announcer and fan of the Phillies, called the song his personal anthem. After Kalas’ death in 2009, the song became a favorite among fans and is now played after every home win.

While there are many different sports traditions around the world, few hold the meaning and significance of those in Philadelphia. After all, we are the city of brotherly love.

Sources: Sports Illustrated, Philadelphia Eagles

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