October 2, 2002 |
When the caller ID flashed "Charlie Bednarik," Bethlehem Catholic quarterback Adam Bednarik knew he was hearing from both a boyhood idol and a distant relative. Adam Bednarik grew up in Bethlehem, about a one-hour shot up the turnpike from Philadelphia, entranced by his father's stories about former Philadelphia Eagles center and linebacker Chuck Bednarik. His bone-rattling hits, bulldozing blocks, and blue-collar work ethic landed him in the Hall of Fame and in Adam's highest regard.
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.
January 18, 2002 |
For Jeremiah Trotter, it will be like stepping through his TV screen and into an old NFL Films highlight show. The Eagles will play the Chicago Bears tomorrow afternoon at Soldier Field, where Butkus and Singletary hunted running backs and snarled in the face masks of hapless quarterbacks. Where Trotter's breath will billow in clouds as he leans over and prepares for the snap of the ball. Where collisions are made all the more brutal by the frozen air and the rock-hard ground. "To me," the Eagles' middle linebacker said, "that's football weather.
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.