Arguably one of Philadelphia’s greatest moments in its professional sports history, “The Philly Special” pass play, known affectionately as “Philly Philly” has now been memorialized outside of Lincoln Financial Field thanks, in part, to a Riverton monument company.
The Philly Special was called by back-up Quarterback Nick Foles with 38 seconds left in the first half against the New England Patriots with the Eagles leading 15-12. Philadelphia had a fourth and goal at the Patriots’ two-yard line when a time-out was called. Foles went to the sidelines and suggested the special play to Coach Doug Pederson, who agreed. The team had been practicing the special play in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
When play resumed, there was a direct snap to Corey Clement who rolled to his left and then pitched the ball to Trey Burton running right. Burton then tossed a pass to Foles, who had slipped out of the backfield and was all alone in the end zone for the touchdown. That special play gave the Eagles a 10 point lead at half-time and the momentum in the game. The Eagles went on to win its first Super Bowl 41-33. That play was the highlight of Super Bowl LII.
Shortly after the big win, the Eagles front office decided a monument to memorialize the pass play was in order. They wanted it in placed outside of the stadium before last Thursday’s season opener. They sought out a sculptor, but they could not come to terms with the artist after several months of negotiations. With time running out, in came nationally known sculptor Raymond Gibby of Utah. He agreed to do the monument, but knew it would be a close call to get the work done on time. Gibby, who had worked with Bott Monument owner Drew Bott before and knew of his company’s national reputation, called and the Riverton company joined the effort.
Known for its unique monument designs, Bott went to the Eagles website for inspiration. He found it in one of the team’s logos. “I used the logo outline for the base design,” he said. Once that was decided, Bott said he went to a Pennsylvania quarry to find the stone. “I found Gen Mist granite in the French Creek area.” Once the granite was located, and cut to the desired shape and engraved, it was ready to be installed.
“We hustled like mad to get it in place. We drove 2,169.5 miles one way, passing hundreds of other monument companies, and began the installation on Monday the 17th,” he said. The bronze was hoisted and placed on Bott’s base by a crane. The installation was finished on Tuesday afternoon and the finished product was unveiled on Wednesday for the Thursday game. “The heat index when we were installing the piece was 103°F. I was totally soaked,” Bott said.
The monument was funded by the team’s beverage provider, Bud Light. “Right after the unveiling, Gibby and I were invited out for a beer, but we’re both LDS and don’t drink. They were very amazed,” Bott said.
Bott said it was a thrill to do the work. “It was a neat project to be involved in.” Dilly Dilly!
Bott noted that most people in Fremont County “don’t even know we exist, but we’re quite well known nationally for the quality and design of our monuments,” he said. Bott’s office walls are filled with national awards and honors for their many installations.
Parked in the businesses’ shop on this past Tuesday was the Bott Monument truck with its distinctive wrap that made the trek to Philadelphia, which Bott said was headed to Montana for another installation. Another completed monument sat in the shop waiting for a local installation.
Bott said one other big project now in the works would be placed at the Wyoming State Capitol when the restoration of the capitol building is finished.
With the Philadelphia installation, Bott Monument now becomes the second Fremont County business with a major installation at an NFL Stadium. A pair of Panthers cast in Lander at Eagle Bronze were placed at Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Carolina Panthers.