Banner Moments - VIP
VIP Media Celtics Banner Moments
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Shared by Joe Amorosino, Sports Director, 7NEWS
It was Friday night April 19th, 1968. Game 7 in Philadelphia. The Celtics were out for revenge against the 76ers, who had beaten them in the Eastern Conference Finals the previous year, 4-1, breaking the Celtics streak of eight straight NBA Championships. This game was before my time but as you’ll hear, I know it well by way of a family legend.
It was school vacation week for my parents, who were teachers and not yet married. They had tickets for Game 7 and were going to stay with friends who lived in Philly. Earlier in the week, they went to visit my Mom’s parents in Indiana, PA. On that night, my Dad asked my Mom’s father for his blessing to marry his daughter. He said "Yes".
While at my Mom’s parents' house, they got the idea to make a banner for Game 7. My Mom took a large piece of green cloth and cut out letters from a white sheet and sewed the letters on. The banner read “CELTICS RULE ONCE AGAIN”.
On the afternoon of the game, they went over to the Celtics hotel, where a few of the players were lounging around in the hotel lobby. My Dad showed them the banner and told them he was going to bring the banner onto the floor near the end of game when the Celtics won. Wayne Embry, a Celtics' forward, said, “Don’t do it, the Philly fans will take the banner and kill you”. The other players goaded my Dad, saying “You won’t do it”. My Dad said, “You will see it happen”.
My Mom and Dad were sitting at mid-court in the Loge seats. With about two minutes to go and the Celtics just taking the lead, my Dad jumped over the railing and headed for the floor. As he began to unfurl the banner, the Philly fans immediately started yelling and cursing at him.
As he was making his way down to the floor, a guy jumped out and grabbed the banner, trying to pull it away. At that moment, a Philly police officer got in between them and said to my Dad, “If you got the guts to come down here with that banner, I will hold the other end for you”. With 46 seconds to go, they proceeded to the floor and stopped at the corner of the court, near the Celtics bench. They had everybody’s attention in the building and the Celtic players couldn’t believe it. After the game, My Dad was ushered into the Celtics locker room with the banner for the celebration.
The Celtics won the game 100-96 and continued onto the NBA finals, where they beat the Lakers in six games.
“CELTICS RULE ONCE AGAIN”.
The banner still hangs in my basement.