August 12, 2007
It was the dimming of an era for the Philadelphia Eagles, although few would have guessed it on that mild December afternoon in Franklin Field, and a final throwback moment for the NFL, a league edging toward the cusp of the modern age. If one player on that day symbolized the passage soon to take place, it was Chuck Bednarik of the Eagles, a square brute from the hard hills of the Lehigh Valley who played both center and linebacker, every play, as...
December 5, 1997 |
A few years back, Frank Gifford wrote in his book, "The Whole Ten Yards," that his new wife, Kathie Lee, should get used to hearing the name Bednarik. "Is that a kind of pasta?" she asked. Chuck Bednarik - the all-time Eagle who put the all-time hit on the Giants' gridiron golden boy 37 years ago - was not amused. "She called me a bleeping pasta," Bednarik recounted the other day, still miffed for being mistaken for macaroni. So when a reporter in South Bend, Ind., cornered him last summer after a college hall of fame dinner and asked - for the umpteenth time - to hear the story about "The Tackle," Concrete Charlie couldn't resist.
November 7, 1988 |
Two generations of Philadelphia Eagles - the NFL champions and the wanna- be's - passed in the tunnel leading to the Veterans Stadium field yesterday. Thirty-three members of the 1948 and 1949 Eagles' title teams were leaving the field after being introduced to the crowd at halftime. The current Eagles were on their way from the locker room to resume the game with the Los Angeles Rams. The score was tied, 10-10. As the two groups passed, Alex Wojciechowicz, center and linebacker on the 1948 and '49 teams, snapped at Buddy Ryan and company: "Let's go, fellas.
September 24, 2002 |
Pinch us: Is this the Eagles - the Philadelphia Eagles - on offense? A defense that holds the opposition to zero offensive touchdowns in consecutive weeks is nothing unusual around here. Whether it's been Hugh Douglas or Seth Joyner or Reggie White or Bill Bergey or Chuck Bednarik, over the years, you could always count on the Bird's D to show off, even in losing seasons. But offense? We're more accustomed to 3 yards and a cloud of dust - not 59-yard bombs into the end zone.
September 23, 1994 |
The letters and faxes poured in after my all-time Eagles team was published last month. Some readers agreed with my choices, others disagreed. Here is a sampling, along with my comments: Dear Sir: I can't believe Ray Didinger picked Ron Jaworski over Dutch Van Brocklin at quarterback. While Van Brocklin played only three seasons in Philadelphia, the 1960 team won it all. More importantly, that team is considered by many to be the weakest team ever to win the NFL championship.
August 12, 2007 |
1 Steve Van Buren. The best ever. How do you judge? How do you cross eras and compare? Just what is universal, what is the tipping point, what is the criteria for such an honor as being named the best ever for a franchise that has existed for more than seven decades? Championships. When it comes down to it, the game of football is about winning championships, and no one was more instrumental in bringing not one, but two championships to the city of Philadelphia than Steve Van Buren.
May 4, 2010 |
It's a good start and a nice gesture, but it's not enough. The Eagles should do more. On Monday, at a news conference appropriately held at Franklin Field, site of the title game, the Eagles announced they'll honor the 1960 NFL championship team by wearing throwback kelly green uniforms - complete with the classic, white block numbers on the jerseys and helmets with gray wings and facemasks - for the first game of the 2010 season. On Sept. 15, the Birds will play the Green Bay Packers, the team the Eagles defeated 50 years ago, 17-13, to win the franchise's last title of any significance.
November 24, 1995 |
My favorite part of "Philadelphia's Fabulous Sports Memories" is Chuck Bednarik reflecting on two of his greatest tackles with Eagles. On the show, which airs tomorrow on Channel 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., viewers see Bednarik's famous knockout tackle on the Giants' Frank Gifford during the 1960 championship season. It was a clean hit, but Bednarik says Giants quarterback Charlie Conerly hurled a "cheap shot" accusation at him from the sideline. "I told him, 'I'll get you next week,' " Bednarik recalls.
December 21, 1994 |
On this first day of what figures to be a winter of discontent for Eagles' fans, some words by Dante might best express the feelings of those elders who still remember the glory of former times. No, not Dante Pastorini, the shopworn quarterback who played out the string here after a decent career with the Houston Oilers, but Dante Alighieri, who composed masterpieces in the world's most musical language. You don't have to know any Italian to appreciate the sheer euphony of the Fifth Canto from Dante's "Divine Comedy.
February 9, 2010 |
The first time Pat Summerall met Tom Brookshier, at Franklin Field, it was a violent greeting. "He just about split my face mask away from my helmet," Summerall said yesterday, eulogizing his friend and longtime broadcast partner at a memorial service at the Ardmore Presbyterian Church. Brookshier, 78, died Jan. 29 after a battle with cancer. At a memorial service filled with local and national sports luminaries, eulogies were given for the former Eagles star defensive back by his friends Summerall, Dick Vermeil, Jack Whitaker, and Billy Cunningham, as well as Brookshier's daughter Betsy.