Father and son relish times at Franklin Field

Bob Cohen pointed to the horseshoe-shaped brick stadium on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

And then pointed at his son.

“I took him, 50 years ago, here, for his first game,” Cohen said.

His son, Scott David Cohen, 51, has been going to Eagles games with his father for 46 years.

“It’s funny,” Bob Cohen said, “You have memories of coming to Franklin Field. I remember, and he remembers, walking along rail road tracks coming up here.”

“And I was 5 years old,” Scott Cohen said. “Holding his hand. Walking along the side of the rail road tracks coming into the stadium. I remember that.”

“That’s how you came back then,” Bob Cohen said.

At last count 28,000 fans drove and took public transportation to Franklin Field Sunday afternoon to revel in the nostalgia and see the Philadelphia Eagles once again inhabit the stadium where the team played for 12 years (1958 to 1970).

For the first time in 44 years the Eagles took the field, if only for a training camp practice, where the franchise won its last world championship — in 1960.

Bob Cohen, who has been a season ticket holder since 1962, didn’t attend the 1960 Championship game at the stadium, “I saw it on television.”

“But,” Scott Cohen added, “He was at the first Monday Night Football game here.”

“We had four tickets on the 50-yard-line. And it was freezing!,” Bob Cohen said. “It was below 10 degrees.”

And in that horseshoe-shaped stadium, the wind “was whipping around.”

“My wife, and a very dear friend of mine, his wife, couldn’t take it anymore,” he said. “At halftime they left.”

Franklin Field, which was built in 1895 and rebuilt in 1922, is home to the first ever football radio broadcast, the first telecast and, of course, the home to the only loss on legendary  Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi’s playoff record.

And it was also known for its wooden benches.

“When we came it had wooden seats,” Bob Cohen said.

“It’s aluminum, now,” Scott added.

A sly smile crept across Bob’s face. “Well, they were wooden,” he said. “And you got splinters.”


Franklin Field is considered by the NCAA the oldest football stadium still in use.

When it was built in 1895 it included the nation’s first scoreboard.

It was also home to the country’s first two-tiered stadium.

It was built in 1895 for a cost of $100,000.

F0llow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan


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