Eagles avoid Curse of Billy Penn after workers place figurine atop new tower

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Eagles avoid Curse of Billy Penn after workers place figurine atop new tower

The Eagles’ 10-1 start has everyone in the city hoping for a trip to Minnesota for Super Bowl LII.

With the team rolling right now, the only thing that could stop the Birds is ... a hex? Well, not if some local workers have anything to do with it.

According to’s Bob Fernandez, ironworkers at the latest Comcast tower — which will be the new tallest building in the city — placed a small William Penn statue on the highest steal beam.

“They did not want to take the chance and wait for the jinx,” Mike Delaney, executive vice president at LF Driscoll, the construction manager for the new Comcast tower, said of the crews' insistence to move up construction to put Penn in place.  

The jinx Delaney was referring to is the "Curse of Billy Penn." After sitting as the overseer of Philly atop City Hall for decades, Penn's statue was replaced as the skyline's highest mark by skyscraper One Liberty Place in 1987. The building was nearly 400 feet higher than the peak of Penn's statue, which apparently broke a silent agreement of how no building should be above the city's founder.

Those were bleak times for Philadelphia sports, with no championships in sight between the four major sports teams. Fans connected the fact that the statue no longer reigned over the city and the curse was born.

Jump ahead two championship-free decades to when the Comcast Center was finished in 2007, and a couple of workers on the building decided to place a small Penn figurine on the top. The following year, the Phillies took down the Rays in the World Series and finally brought a title back to town.

Now with the Eagles possibly in position to capture that ever-elusive first Super Bowl, the crews at the new Comcast building didn't want to leave anything to chance.

Kevin Hart finally gets his Lombardi Trophy

NBC Sports Philadelphia

Kevin Hart finally gets his Lombardi Trophy

Kevin Hart finally has his Lombardi Trophy.

Hart, a comedian and a native of Philadelphia, had a few too many adult beverages during Super Bowl LII and attempted to get to the stage for the presentation of the trophy. He was unsurprisingly denied.

But Hart refused to accept "no" for an answer.

The lesson here is, if you're big enough of a celebrity to get on the field after your hometown team wins the Super Bowl, you probably have enough coin to just buy your own trophy instead of trying to drunkenly crash the trophy presentation.

On his birthday, Embiid delivers present to fans

On his birthday, Embiid delivers present to fans

Most Sixers fans probably could've predicted the 2-0 result of the Sixers' back-to-back swing against the Knicks and the Nets, but the expenditure of energy it'd take to get there was hard to see coming. One night after needing a fourth-quarter comeback to escape from New York, the Sixers went even further down to the wire against Brooklyn at home, needing a huge final-minute three from Robert Covington and some savvy playing of the foul game from T.J. McConnell to squeak out the 120-116 win.

Both one of the biggest reasons the Nets were able to hang around and one of the biggest reasons the Sixers won anyway was the birthday boy himself, Joel Embiid. JoJo turned 24 yesterday, and he matched that with a 24-point performance -- though he needed 23 shots to get there, only hitting a Kobe-like six of them. But The Process was eminently trustworthy elsewhere in the box score: a career-high 19 boards, four assists (with only one turnover), and most importantly, an immaculate 11-11 from the foul line, where he'd been struggling recently (just 63% from the stripe this month previously). It was about as dominant a performance as our big guy could submit while being an absolute mess from the field.

And he was matched along the way by Ben Simmons. The Fresh Prince didn't notch his third consecutive triple-double, sadly, but he came damn close with his 21-8-12 line -- to go with three big steals and just two turnovers -- his highest-scoring night since he hung 32 on the Bulls in February. We've said it before, but having a superstar to carry your team when they're struggling is the ultimate luxury; having two feels downright immodest. (Simmons since All Stars were announced in late January, btw: 16-8-9 on 58% shooting and under three turnovers, with four triple-doubles and double-digit scoring in 25 out of 25 games.)

So the Sixers move to 38-30, two games up on Milwaukee in the seventh seed, half a game behind Washington at five, a full game behind Cleveland at four, and 1.5 behind Indiana at three. While the Sixers have struggled some against top-level teams in the past month -- going 1-5 in their last six games against playoff-bound opponents -- they've kept pace in the East by taking care of business against the sub-.500 teams, winning their last eight against losing squads, dating back to them taking an L against these Nets in Brooklyn at the end of January. Now they get a couple hard-earned days off before two more home games against lottery-bound squads in Charlotte and Memphis. Trust -- and celebrate -- The Process.