November 22, 1999 |
The Eagles did at least two things right yesterday: 1.) They honored members of their 1948 and 1949 NFL championship teams, and 2.) They did it at halftime, thereby reducing the chance of frustrated and hostile fans rushing the field. The appearance of 22 members from those two teams produced the loudest ovation of the day and diffused temporarily the building angst - even from some of the honorees - over the 44-17 pounding the current edition of the team received from the newly respectable Indianapolis Colts.
August 6, 1999 |
When a presence like Chuck Bednarik speaks, you just listen. Yesterday, the Hall of Famer who spent 14 years with the Eagles playing linebacker and center visited an Eagles training camp for the first time since Dick Vermeil finished coaching in 1982. Concrete Charlie is a native of Bethlehem and now lives 10 minutes away from Lehigh University, where the Eagles have trained since 1996. But Bednarik had not felt welcome. He traveled the world, listening to polka music and playing his harmonica, seething at his perceived exclusion from the Eagles family.
August 6, 1999 |
It takes Chuck Bednarik just a few minutes to drive from his home to the Eagles' practice fields at Lehigh University. Yesterday, he made that drive for the first time. It turns out the legendary Hall of Famer and Bethlehem native felt deeply estranged from the Eagles organization. "I've had feelings of real bitterness," Bednarik said. "I used to sit at home and root for them to lose every game. " He was wildly successful last year, as the Eagles went 3-13. The debacle resulted in the firing of Ray Rhodes and the hiring of Andy Reid.
December 26, 1997 |
There's no truth to the rumor that Jim Taylor is buried under the artificial turf at Franklin Field. It just seems that way. It's been 37 years now since Taylor, a Hall of Fame fullback for the Green Bay Packers, got up. But, like Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals in his final, futile swing in the 1980 World Series, Taylor will always be down for the count in Philadelphia - frozen under Chuck Bednarik as the last seconds of a season disappear...
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 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.
December 14, 1994 |
Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, calls it "the greatest tackle in pro football history": Chuck Bednarik's knockout shot on Frank Gifford. The hit took place 34 years ago - Nov. 20, 1960 - yet it still echoes from New York, where it occurred, to Philadelphia, where it is legend, to Canton, Ohio, where both players are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I'm still asked about it, at least once a week," Bednarik said. "If I play in a golf tournament or go to a banquet, somebody asks about the time I got Gifford.
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.
September 14, 1994 |
Chuck Bednarik and his wife Emma visited the former Soviet Union last month. One day, they boarded a bus in Kiev, and before they could take a seat a woman called out, "Chuck Bednarik. " Think about that for a moment . . . Bednarik retired from pro football 32 years ago. Here he was, boarding a bus in Kiev, which is about as far from Franklin Field as you can get, and still someone recognized him. That's fame. The woman was a tourist from the Philadelphia area. She was stunned to see this Eagles great, the last of the 60-minute men, on her bus. No doubt it was one of the first things she talked about when she came home.