Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eagles Golden Anniversary Missed Golden Opportunity

Honoring the 1960 Eagles during halftime of the season opener against the Green Bay Packers—the very franchise it defeated a half-century ago for the NFL championship—was a classy tribute to the last Philadelphia squad to win an NFL title. For many older Eagles fans, saluting the surviving members of the only team to vanquish Vince Lombardi’s juggernaut of the 1960s likely eased the frustration of fifty years that have seen more agony than ecstasy. And to cheer such storied legends as Tommy McDonald, Pete Retzlaff, Norm van Brocklin, and Chuck Bednarik afforded an awed thrill for those too young to have enjoyed an Eagles championship first-hand. Yet although the fiftieth-anniversary celebration oozed style right down to the 1960 old-timers’ kelly-green blazers, it was missing something: Like the Philadelphia Phillies had the late Tug McGraw and Mike Schmidt re-play their victorious leap of 1980, why didn’t Eagles management bring out Chuck Bednarik and ex–New York Giant Frank Gifford to midfield at halftime and reenact the infamous hit that became the iconic image of that championship season? That moment encapsulated the toughness and mettle of the 1960 Birds, and Bednarik fist-pumping over a concussed Gifford is what everyone remembers. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie couldn’t cough up some wallet-sized kelly green to coax Frank Gifford down the New Jersey Turnpike and take one more clothesline from an 85-year-old Concrete Charlie? What better way to recall the glory of 1960?

(Photo of current Eagles at midfield copyright Philadelphia Eagles.)

No comments: