Philadelphia is undoubtedly one of the cities in USA with the greatest sporting traditions, with several successful teams in a number of different leagues. Identifying the most successful franchise among all of them is a tricky order, but we’ve managed to narrow it down to just four candidates.
From the Eagles in the NFL to the Flyers in the NHL to the Phillies in MLB to the 76ers in the NBA, sports fans have plenty to occupy their attention in the City of Brotherly Love. But which has won more titles and tasted more glory than all the others? Read on to find out.
4th place: Flyers
As the most recently created franchise out of any of the options on this list, it’s unsurprising that the Philadelphia Flyers come in a respectable fourth position. Having joined the NHL as part of the league’s expansion in 1963, the Flyers play in the Metropolitan Division and have lifted the Stanley Cup on two occasions, in 1974 and 1975.
Indeed, the 70s were something of a golden era for the Flyers, with their back-to-back successes followed up by a third consecutive final appearance in 1976, which they lost comprehensively to the Montreal Canadiens. They also won a glittering exhibition match against the CSKA Moscow in the same year and finished the decade by maintaining the longest unbeaten streak in the history of the league – a record which stands to this day.
3rd place: 76ers
Commonly referred to as the Sixers, Philadelphia’s NBA team have amassed quite an impressive trophy cabinet. Not only have they scooped two NBA championships (in 1967 and 1983), but they have also win five division titles and nine conference trophies.
Indeed, the team has enjoyed such success on the court that they have amassed the third most wins of any team in NBA history, with almost 3,000 victories in just over 70 years under their belt. Some of the more hallowed names from 76ers lore include Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving and Charles Barkley, while more recently, they have boasted stars like Dikembe Mutombo, who made it onto the top 10 shot blockers in NBA history by TwinSpires.
2nd place: Phillies
First founded in 1883, the Philadelphia Phillies are the longest running, single-name, single-city franchise in all of American sports history. Unsurprisingly, they have clocked up their fair share of sweeter moments in that time, winning two World Series (in 1980 and 2008) and appearing in five more as bested runners-up. They also have seven National League pennants and 11 NL East Division trophies to their name.
Unfortunately, they have also suffered long periods of obscurity, when the wins just wouldn’t seem to come. In fact, the Phillies are only just now emerging from one such trough, having so far recorded a win percentage of above .500 for the first time in 2021 for in 10 years – though there is a long, long way to go in the rest of the current season.
1st place: Eagles
For a town which eats, sleeps and breathes football, there was only going to be one winner on this list. The Philadelphia Eagles have claimed three NFL titles (in 1948, 1949 and 1980), as well as winning one Super Bowl (in 2018) and losing two others (in 1981 and 2005). Their Super Bowl LII success makes them the most recent victor of a major trophy of any Philadelphia franchise.
Additionally, they have also racked up four conference championships and 13 division championships, meaning they are among the most successful teams in both formats. It’s no surprise, then, that football – and the Eagles – are the beating heart of sports enthusiasm in Philadelphia.