Broad Street Birdy dreams of Eagles-green Clydesdales

Posted: January 05, 2014

BROAD STREET Birdy dreams of green Budweiser Clydesdales (vegetable dyes, harmless to horses) with Boy Wonder Foles at the reins while Coach Kelly scans the parade route and shouts, "No huddle! City Hall to the Linc in two minutes!"

FLY, DIE-HARD, FLY: While Birdy wings it to tonight's wildcard playoff vs. the New Orleans Saints, Jim Reeves and his daughter Joanne will root the Birds on in Largo, Fla., where he recreated his former Philadelphia cheesesteak joint as Big Jim's Famous, a mecca for jersey-clad Eagles die-hards who jam his sports bar on game days.

Joanne, 26, has been friends with Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper since their Seminole High School days in Florida.

"Riley has always been pretty much known for his one-handed catches," Joanne told Birdy. "He's finally had a chance to show that with the Eagles."

She credits basketball-tall quarterback Nick Foles' ability to see Cooper open and give him a chance to make those one-handed grabs.

Joanne, who was a flag-football quarterback at Seminole High, admitted she's no Foles. "I was more like Michael Vick," she said. "I'd keep it myself and run."

Weather-related airport snarls are preventing father and daughter from making their customary Eagles trip here, but not from celebrating Riley's Redemption.

"Before Riley's breakout game in Tampa Bay," said Reeves, 54, "all my buddies from Philly were saying, 'He can't play. He can't get open.' "

Reeves' pals flew down to Florida and he took them to the Tampa Bay game, in which Cooper caught four Nick Foles passes for 120 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown and a 44-yard reception to set up a DeSean Jackson TD.

"Those guys who were saying Riley can't get open?" Reeves said, laughing. "Now, they want to adopt him."

Reeves is forever grateful to the Eagles for giving him a great relationship with Joanne.

"Before, she just did things with her friends," Reeves said. "Now, she's on the phone saying, 'Hey, Dad, are we going to the Eagles game?' The Eagles have brought me and my daughter closer together. That's a Super Bowl win for me."

EAGLES PREZ BLOWN AWAY: Broad Street Birdy was not shocked that while other playoff teams struggled to sell out their stadiums, the Eagles sold out the Linc on Tuesday within minutes of offering tickets online.

Eagles president Don Smolenski told Birdy yesterday that he is deeply grateful.

"We were in Tampa during the 2012 season, which wasn't a great season," Smolenski said, "and you're at a restaurant, and the first thing Eagles fans come up and tell you is how long they've been coming to games.

"Might be since 1992 or 1982 or, in one case, 1958," he said. "It's the pride with which fans tell you that when you're meeting them for the first time. That's when you take in what Eagles football means in Philadelphia.

"You can see it in their eyes," Smolenski said. "You can feel it in their handshakes. The level of passion they have blows you away."

BENNO'S MAGIC HAT: Early this season, Birdy hung out at Alfio Rossillo's "Green Magic" RV, under the memorial flag for Benno Bloch, whose smoked meat, Rossillo said, was "the heartbeat of the tailgate" until he died from pancreatic cancer.

Block's former sous chef, Hamburger Dave Johnson, will man the grills tonight, wearing Benno's smoke-cured Eagles hat.

"Every time Hamburger Dave wears Benno's hat, the Eagles win," Rossillo said. "So, believe me, he'll be wearing Benno's hat."

On Twitter: @DanGeringer

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