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The Eagles have more wins than the Flyers, and history suggests somebody is getting fired

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This has only happened three other times, and the Flyers fired somebody every other time.

Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Last night, as I was totally watching the Flyers vs. Penguins game instead of the Sixers vs. Cavs game, I promise, I got to thinking about this tweet:

The Eagles are really good this year. 10-1 is the best record in the NFL, and our football team is absolutely in the Super Bowl conversation. That’s pretty cool. The Flyers ... uh, not so much. As of this writing they are 8-9-7, losers of eight straight and holders of the fourth-worst point total in the NHL.

In thinking about this last night over an entire bottle of wine, I quickly realized just how hard it is even for a really good football team to have a better record than an NHL team this late in the season. Just the total number of games played makes it extremely difficult, and if it happens, it’s a sure sign that your hockey team is playing like utter shit.

It also means* they are probably going to miss the playoffs and fire somebody.

I clearly have nothing better to do, so I went back and looked at just how many times this has happened in the collective histories of the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia Eagles. I used Thanksgiving as a nice festive break point, looking at both teams’ records on that date, going back to the Flyers’ first season in 1967.

The results? Aside from 2017, the Eagles have had a better record than the Flyers on Thanksgiving just five times in 51 years -- and three of those (1994, 2004 and 2012) were because the NHL was in a work stoppage. The other two were 2014 and 1969. In 2006, the teams had the same number of wins at Thanksgiving.

Either during or after all three of those seasons, the Flyers underwent some major change in the front office or behind the bench. They also missed the playoffs in all three of those seasons.

2014

The Eagles were 9-3 at Thanksgiving and the Flyers were 8-13-3. The Eagles beat the Cowboys on the holiday that year, 33-10 ... and then lost their next three games, ultimately finishing 10-6 and missing the playoffs.

The Flyers, in their first season with Ron Hextall as general manager and in the first year of six on Andrew MacDonald’s contract, were in the midst of a six-game losing streak at Thanksgiving. By season’s end, their 33-31-18 record earned them a sixth-place finish in the Metropolitan Division.

They fired head coach Craig Berube after the season.

2006

The Flyers and Eagles both sat with five wins at Thanksgiving, the Eagles at 5-5 and the Flyers at ... woof, 5-17-3.

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Eagles fell to 5-6 in their Week 12 game a few days after Thanksgiving, but they rallied to win their final five games to finish 10-6. That gave them the NFC East title, and they beat the Giants in the wild card round before falling on the road to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round.

Meanwhile, across the parking lot, this was the worst season in the history of Philadelphia’s hockey team — the only time they’ve ever finished a season as the worst team in the NHL.

There was a midseason coaching change, with John Stevens taking over for Ken Hitchcock, and midseason general manager change, with Paul Holmgren taking over for Bob Clarke.

(Also, a “fun” fact: if you count the playoff win against the New York Giants on January 7, 2007, the Flyers and Eagles actually had the same number of wins on that date as well — the Eagles at 11-6 and the Flyers at 11-31-4.)

1969

At Thanksgiving 1969, the Eagles, in their 37th season, were 4-5-1. The Flyers, in their third-ever season as a franchise, were 3-8-7.

The Birds went 0-4 after the holiday, finishing 4-9-1 and in last place — behind Dallas, Washington and New Orleans — in the NFL’s Capitol Division.

The Flyers finished their season with just 17 wins, and at 17-35-24, ranked fifth of six teams in the NHL’s West Division. On the bright side, it was Bobby Clarke’s rookie season and it was the first year the team ever played Kate Smith’s God Bless America before a game.

They fired general manager Bud Poile in December.

The Flyers and Eagles, as of Thanksgiving (1967-2017)

Year Flyers Record Eagles Record More Wins On Thanksgiving? Flyers Season Finish Eagles Season Finish
Year Flyers Record Eagles Record More Wins On Thanksgiving? Flyers Season Finish Eagles Season Finish
2017 8-14-5 9-1-0 Eagles +1
2016 9-12-3 5-5-0 Flyers +4 Missed Playoffs Missed Playoffs
2015 7-15-5 4-7-0 Flyers +3 Lost First Round Missed Playoffs
2014 8-13-3 9-3-0 Eagles +1 Missed Playoffs Missed Playoffs
2013 10-14-2 6-5-0 Flyers +4 Lost First Round Lost Wild Card
2012 lockout 3-7-0 Eagles +3* Missed Playoffs Missed Playoffs
2011 12-9-3 4-6-0 Flyers +8 Lost Conference Semifinal Missed Playoffs
2010 15-8-2 7-3-0 Flyers +8 Lost Conference Semifinal Lost Wild Card
2009 13-9-1 6-4-0 Flyers +7 Lost Stanley Cup Final Lost Wild Card
2008 11-10-4 6-5-1 Flyers +5 Lost Conference Quarterfinal Lost NFC Championship
2007 12-8-1 5-5-0 Flyers +7 Lost Conference Final Missed Playoffs
2006 5-17-3 5-5-0 Even Missed Playoffs Lost Divisional Round
2005 12-8-3 4-6-0 Flyers +8 Lost Conference Quarterfinal Missed Playoffs
2004 lockout 9-1-0 Eagles +9* gary bettman Lost Super Bowl
2003 12-3-5-1 8-3-0 Flyers +4 Lost Conference Final Lost NFC Championship
2002 10-5-6-0 8-3-0 Flyers +2 Lost Conference Semifinal Lost NFC Championship
2001 10-6-4-0 6-3-0 Flyers +4 Lost Conference Quarterfinal Lost NFC Championship
2000 10-7-4-0 8-4-0 Flyers +2 Lost Conference Quarterfinal Lost Divisional Round
1999 12-8-3 3-8-0 Flyers +9 Lost Conference Final Missed Playoffs
1998 9-7-4 2-9-0 Flyers +7 Lost Conference Quarterfinal Missed Playoffs
1997 14-8-3 5-6-1 Flyers +9 Lost Conference Quarterfinal Missed Playoffs
1996 12-12-1 7-5-0 Flyers +5 Lost Stanley Cup Final Lost Wild Card
1995 13-6-4 7-4-0 Flyers +6 Lost Conference Semifinal Lost Divisional Round
1994 lockout 7-4-0 Eagles +7* Lost Conference Final Missed Playoffs
1993 14-9-1 4-6-0 Flyers +10 Missed Playoffs Missed Playoffs
1992 8-9-4 7-4-0 Flyers +1 Missed Playoffs Lost Divisional Round
1991 8-11-2 7-5-0 Flyers +1 Missed Playoffs Missed Playoffs
1990 13-10-1 6-4-0 Flyers +7 Missed Playoffs Lost Wild Card
1989 9-9-3 8-4-0 Flyers +1 Missed Playoffs Lost Wild Card
1988 9-14-1 7-5-0 Flyers +2 Lost Conference Final Lost Divisional Round
1987 7-13-3 4-6-0 Flyers +3 Lost Division Semifinal Missed Playoffs
1986 15-4-2 3-9-0 Flyers +12 Lost Stanley Cup Final Missed Playoffs
1985 18-4-0 6-6-0 Flyers +12 Lost Division Semifinal Missed Playoffs
1984 12-3-3 5-6-1 Flyers +7 Lost Stanley Cup Final Missed Playoffs
1983 12-8-2 4-8-0 Flyers +8 Lost Division Semifinal Missed Playoffs
1982 12-9-2 1-2-0 Flyers +11 Lost Division Semifinal Missed Playoffs
1981 12-9-1 9-3-0 Flyers +3 Lost Division Semifinal Lost Wild Card
1980 16-5-3 11-1-0 Flyers +4 Lost Quarterfinal Lost Super Bowl
1979 14-1-2 8-4-0 Flyers +8 Lost Stanley Cup Final Lost Divisional Round
1978 9-7-4 7-5-0 Flyers +2 Lost Quarterfinal Lost Wild Card
1977 11-4-3 3-7-0 Flyers +8 Lost Semifinal Missed Playoffs
1976 10-7-4 3-8-0 Flyers +7 Lost Semifinal Missed Playoffs
1975 15-3-5 2-8-0 Flyers +13 Lost Stanley Cup Final Missed Playoffs
1974 14-6-3 4-7-0 Flyers +10 Won Stanley Cup Missed Playoffs
1973 12-6-1 3-6-1 Flyers +9 Won Stanley Cup Missed Playoffs
1972 10-9-2 2-7-1 Flyers +8 Lost Semifinal Missed Playoffs
1971 7-10-4 3-6-1 Flyers +5 Missed Playoffs Missed Playoffs
1970 9-8-2 2-7-1 Flyers +7 Lost Quarterfinal Missed Playoffs
1969 3-8-7 4-5-1 Eagles +1 Missed Playoffs Missed Playoffs
1968 6-12-2 1-11-0 Flyers +5 Lost Quarterfinal Missed Playoffs
1967 8-5-4 5-5-0 Flyers +3 Lost Quarterfinal Missed Playoffs
via Hockey Reference, Pro Football Reference, dropyourgloves.com