The word “hapless” means unfortunate. You use it when your object is has no “hap” or good fortune. We no longer use the word “hap” for goof fortune, but we do use the word hapless, and it is useful in describing most of the history of the Philadelphia Eagles. If you are from the Philadelphia area, it is pronounced the “Iggles”.
And btw, we also use the word “happy”, which is not a word most Eagle fans understand.
The Eagles did win the NFL Championship in 1960 by defeating the Green Bay Packers 17 – 13. That year, Chuck Bednarik went both ways and was the most fearsome player in the game. Here is good old Chuck celebrating
The great Norm Van Brocklin was the quarterback and led the comeback in the 4th quarter to win the game.
That was the only time that the Packers legendary coach, Vince Lombardy, was defeated in playoff action! What a great year!
But before that, the Eagles had not even been in the playoffs since 1949 – the year that Bednarik was drafted. They went 11 years without a post-season appearance!
A few years after their win in 1960, I started to get interested in the team. A major mistake! They were dreadful! Not just bad, but one of the worst teams in the league! Norm Snead was the quarterback for most of those years. Norm had a good arm, but his knees were so bad, one wondered if he would make it to the huddle. The coach in the late 60’s, Joe Kuharich was so unpopular, fans were throwing snowballs at him from the stands. Here is one of Kuharich’s wise statements
“Trading for a good quarterback is quite rare but not unusual,”
The Eagles finally made it back to the playoffs in 1978 — 18 years after their 1960 triumph — but lost to the Falcons. In 1979, they made it to the division finals and lost to the Buccaneers. In 1980, the made it to the Super Bowl and lost to the Raiders. You begin to understand the psychological profile of the typical Eagles fan — preparing to lose.
The 1980’s were also frustrating. The Eagles made it to the playoffs in 1981, 1988 and 1989, and lost to the Giants, Bears and Rams. The 1990’s were similar. They made it to the playoffs in 1990, 1992, 1995, and 1996, and lost to the Redskins, Cowboys and then again to the Cowboys, and to the 49’ers. BTW, for an Eagles fan, there is one thing worse than losing a game. That is losing to the Cowboys. That team is hated in Philly!
The first decade of this century did not treat the team much better. The Eagles made it to the playoffs in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008. 2009, and 2010, and lost to the Buccaneers, Panthers, Patriots, Saints, Cardinals, Cowboys and Packers. Again, the defeat to the Cowboys was the most painful!
In 2013, the Eagles made it to the playoffs again, and lost to the Saints again.
By now, you get the idea.
So this year is special. Not only did the Eagles have a great season — despite losing their starting quarterback to injury — they actually WON the super bowl. And they won it against a team that many consider to be the best in the league. And they played a great game! If you know any Eagles fans who look somewhat perplexed today, pat them on the back. They are still likely in shock that their team won the big one … the first time since 1960! A time well before the Super Bowl was invented!