Glen Macnow: Eagles fans, former players and proud Philadelphians deserve to be champions
There are more than a few good reasons why the Philly Sports professor is pulling for the Birds this Sunday.
I used to have a caller to my WIP show named Scoop from Folsom when I worked with Jody McDonald in the mid-90s. A World War II vet. Big Chuck Bednarik fan. Archetype lifelong Eagles backer.
“Just give me one Super Bowl win, boys,” Scoop joked during most of his calls. “Then I can die happy.”
I haven’t heard from Scoop in years now. My hope is that he’s still walking this Earth.
I want the Eagles to win Super Bowl LII for Scoop from Folsom.
I want them to win it for every green-bleeding fan who watched every season since 1960 end in disappointment – and then came back for more. For the folks who filled Franklin Field, and then the Vet and now Lincoln Financial Field, always believing that this year, finally, would be THE year.
Win this one for Brent Celek, the longest-tenured local athlete, of whom owner Jeff Lurie once said, “He’s what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like.” Celek realizes more than any teammate how hard it is to get where the team is now. And he knows he may not get another chance.
Win it for David Graff. He’s my 14-year-old nephew, still at the age where his idealism hasn’t given way to good old Philly cynicism. Every kid deserves that championship season. When I was 12, my favorite team won a world title and I can still recite every player and every jersey number. An Eagles Super Bowl would create memories that will make David smile when he’s 80.
Win it for Jon Dorenbos. “Nobody knows the long snapper,” he once told me. That one, we knew. Dorenbos performed his magic and made friends here for 11 seasons before being traded and then undergoing heart surgery. He deserves a share of our joy.
Win it for Ray Didinger. My friend and radio partner likes to pretend he gave up his fandom when he became a well-respected analyst, but I see through that fib. Ray recently recalled watching the 1960 Eagles title win with his grandfather. At the end, Ray looked up and saw the old man crying for the first time ever. Not sure we’ll ever see the evidence, but it won’t surprise me if a win Sunday causes Ray’s eyes to well up.
Win it for Betty Lou. I need someone in here to represent the 45 percent of football fans who are women. Betty Lou is a lovely older lady at my gym who wears her Eagles necklace year-round. Recently she showed me ticket stubs from the 1980 and 2004 Super Bowls. She can’t travel to this one, but she’ll be screaming from her living room.
Win it for Andre Waters. And Reggie White. And Jerome Brown. And Buddy Ryan, and every other past player and coach who proudly wore the green and white (or silver) and is no longer alive to share our joy. I raise a toast to all of them.
Win it for Merrill. No last name needed here. By my estimate, the voice of the Eagles has lovingly, passionately and sometimes critically called close to 850 games over his career – without getting that payoff moment that play-by-play guys live for. We all remember Gene Hart’s countdown to the Stanley Cup in 1974, and Harry Kalas’, “swing and a miss!” call on Brad Lidge’s final pitch of the 2008 World Series. I want that Merrill moment – for him and us.
Win it for Brian Dawkins. The all-time most popular Eagle’s weekend should start Saturday with an announcement that he has been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and end Sunday night with ecstasy and confetti and Doug Pederson hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
Our great city will never be the same.