The Curse of William Penn may not be the most famous curse in sports history, but between 1987 and 2008 it certainly felt like it to Philadelphia’s passionate sports fans.
The superstition goes like this:
For more than a century the City of Philadelphia had imposed a height restriction for new structures — they could not exceed the height of the statue of William Penn atop the famous clock tower at Philadelphia City Hall. But in 1987, the city relaxed its restrictions and skyscrapers began to dot the skyline. Sadly, our professional sports teams, including storied franchises like the Philadelphia Phillies, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Eagles, did not win a single professional sports championship from that time on. Hence, the Curse of William Penn.
Comcast has long been headquartered in Philadelphia — and many of us are very passionate about our local sports teams — including Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen — who made an interesting suggestion in 2007 when we were building our new corporate headquarters, what would be the tallest building in Philadelphia. "Let’s once again restore Billy Penn to his rightful place and the highest location in Philadelphia," said Cohen. And a small statue of William Penn was placed on the highest beam of the Comcast Center.
One year later the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series.
So did Comcast help break the Curse of William Penn? You be the judge.