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The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker. They are members of the East Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Eagles have won three NFL titles and made two Super Bowl appearances, losing both (in 1980 to the Oakland Raiders and in 2004 to the New England Patriots).

The club was established in 1933 as a replacement for the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets after a syndicate led by future NFL commissioner Bert Bell purchased the rights to a Philadelphia franchise from the league. The Eagles were named after the Blue Eagle, a symbol used for the New Deal stimulus programs initiated during the Great Depression.

Eagles players who have been inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker include Chuck Bednarik, Bob Brown, Reggie White, Steve Van Buren, Tommy McDonald, Earle "Greasy" Neale, Pete Pihos, Sonny Jurgensen and Norm Van Brocklin. Bell was also inducted as a contributor.

Franchise history


Half-way through the 1931 season, in the NFL, the Frankford Yellow Jackets went bankrupt and ceased operations. After more than a year of searching for a suitable replacement, the NFL awarded the dormant franchise to a syndicate headed by Bert Bell and Lud Wray, in exchange for an entry fee of $2,500. Drawing inspiration from the Blue Eagle insignia of the National Recovery Act — the centerpiece of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal — Bell and Wray named the new franchise the Philadelphia Eagles. (Neither the Eagles nor the NFL officially regard the two franchises as the same, citing the afore-mentioned period of dormancy. Furthermore, almost no Yellow Jackets players were on the Eagles' first roster). The Eagles, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the defunct Cincinnati Reds, joined the NFL as expansion teams.

In 1940, the Eagles moved to Shibe Parkmarker and played their home games at the stadium through 1957, except for the 1941 season, which was played at Municipal Stadiummarker, where they had played from 1936 to 1939. (Shibe Park was re-named Connie Mack Stadiummarker in 1953.)

To accommodate football at Shibe Park during the winter, management set up stands in right field, parallel to Twentieth Street.
Some twenty feet high, these "east stands" had twenty-two rows of seats.
The goalposts stood along the first base line and in left field.
The uncovered east stands enlarged capacity of Shibe Park to over thirty-nine thousand, but the Eagles rarely drew more than twenty-five to thirty thousand.

The Eagles struggled over the course of their first decade, enduring repeated losing seasons. In 1943, when manpower shortages stemming from World War II made it impossible to fill the roster, the team merged with the Pittsburgh Steelers forming the "Phil-Pitt Eagles" and were known as the "Steagles." (The merger, never intended as a permanent arrangement, was dissolved at the end of the 1943 season.) By the late 1940s, head coach Earle "Greasy" Neale and running back Steve Van Buren led the team to three consecutive NFL Championship Games, winning two of them in 1948 and 1949. Those two championships mark the Eagles as the only NFL team ever to win back-to-back championships by shutouts, defeating the Chicago Cardinals, 7–0, in 1948 — in a blizzard — and the Los Angeles Rams, 14–0, in 1949.

After the 1957 season, the Eagles moved from Connie Mack Stadium to Franklin Fieldmarker at the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin Field would seat over 60,000 for the Eagles, whereas Connie Mack had a capacity of 39,000. The stadium switched from grass to AstroTurf in 1969. It was the first NFL stadium to use artificial turf.

In 1960, the Eagles won their third NFL championship, under the leadership of future Pro Football Hall of Famersmarker Norm Van Brocklin and Chuck Bednarik; the head coach was Buck Shaw. The 1960 Eagles, by a score of 17–13, became the only team to defeat Vince Lombardi and his Packers in the playoffs.


The Eagles had a good 1961 season and then fell on hard times in 1962. Jerry Wolman bought the franchise in 1963.

In 1969, Leonard Tose bought the Philadelphia Eagles from Wolman for $16,155,000, then a record for a professional sports franchise. Tose's first official act was to fire Coach Joe Kuharich after a disappointing 24-41-1 record during his five year reign. He followed this by naming former Eagles receiving great Pete Retzlaff as General Manager and Jerry Williams as coach.

With the merger of the NFL and AFL in 1970, the Eagles were placed in the NFC East Division with their archrivals the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys. In 1976, Dick Vermeil was hired from UCLA to coach the Eagles, who had only one winning season from 1962–75. Starting in 1978, head coach Dick Vermeil and quarterback Ron Jaworski led the team to four consecutive playoff appearances.

Vermeil's 1980 team won their first NFC East title but lost to Oakland in the Super Bowl. In January 1983, Tose announced that his daughter, Susan Fletcher, the Eagles' vice president and legal counsel, would eventually succeed him as primary owner of the Eagles.


In 1985, Tose was forced to sell the Eagles to Norman Braman and Ed Leibowitz, highly successful automobile dealers from Floridamarker, for a reported $65 million to pay off his more than $25 million in gambling debts at Atlantic Citymarker casinos.

Philadelphia football struggled through the Marion Campbell years of the mid-1980s and was marked by a malaise in fan participation. In 1986, the arrival of head coach Buddy Ryan and his fiery attitude rejuvenated team performance and ignited the fan base, but the Eagles failed to win a playoff game during Ryan's tenure. Ryan was fired on January 7, 1991 after an upset home playoff loss to the Redskins. Offensive coordinator Rich Kotite was promoted to head coach three days later. Though Kotite did lead the Eagles to one playoff victory against the New Orleans Saints during the 1992 season, his contract was not renewed after a disastrous 1994 season in which the Eagles went 7-9, losing their last seven games after starting the season 7-2. From 1988 to 1996, the Eagles qualified for the playoffs during 6 out of those 9 seasons, but they won the NFC East only once, in 1988. Among the team's offensive stars during that period were quarterback Randall Cunningham, tight end Keith Jackson, and running back Herschel Walker. But the "Gang Green" defense is what defined the team, led by Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner, Wes Hopkins, Mike Golic, Byron Evans, Eric Allen, and Andre Waters.

Lurie era (1994–present)

Jeffrey Lurie bought the Eagles on May 6, 1994 from then owner Norman Braman for an estimated $185 million. The club is now estimated to be the 5th most valuable NFL franchise, worth $1.024 billion, as valuated in 2006 by Forbes. In 1999, the Eagles hired head coach Andy Reid and drafted quarterback Donovan McNabb. From that time on the team continually improved, returning to the playoffs in 2000, then succeeding in winning the NFC East and playing in four consecutive conference championship games between 2001 and 2004. After losing the conference championship in 2001 to the St. Louis Rams, in 2002 to the eventual Super Bowl Champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in 2003 to the Carolina Panthers, the Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl in 2004, Super Bowl XXXIX, where they lost to the New England Patriots, 24–21. In 2006, the team earned its fifth NFC East title under Coach Reid and in 2008, the team won their 500th game. On January 11, 2009 the team defeated the defending Super Bowl Champions and the 2008 NFC East champion New York Giants 23–11 en route to their 5th NFC Championship Game in 8 years and 5th in the 10 years the Eagles have been coached by Andy Reid. In the 2008 NFC Championship Game, the Eagles lost to the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 32–25.On August 13, 2009 the Eagles signed QB Michael Vick.

Season-by-season records

Logo and uniforms

Philadelphia Eagles uniform: 1985-1996
Philadelphia Eagles 75th anniversary uniform: 2007
Image:Philly Eagles.PNG|1973–1995Image:Philadelphia Eagles primary logo.svg|
Primary Logo

Image:Philadelphia Eagles logo primary.svg|Alternate logo

For several decades, the Eagles' colors were Kelly green, silver, and white. Since the 1950s, the club's helmets have featured eagle wings, originally silver on a Kelly green helmet. In 1969, the team wore two helmet versions: Kelly green with white wings in road games, and white with Kelly green wings at home. From 1970 to 1973, they wore the white helmets with Kelly green wings exclusively before switching back to Kelly green helmets with silver wings. By 1974 the silver wings took on a white outline, and this style on a Kelly green helmet became standard for over two decades. In 1969, the team introduced a stylized logo featuring an eagle carrying a football in its claws. This logo was redrawn several years later to be made more realistic.

However, both the logo and uniforms were radically altered in 1996. The primary Kelly green color was changed to a darker shade, officially described as "midnight green"; silver was practically abandoned, as uniform pants moved to either white or the aforementioned midnight green; and the traditional helmet wings were changed to a primarily white color, with silver and black accents. The team's logo combination—the stylized eagle and club name lettering—also changed in 1996, with the eagle itself limited to a white (bald eagle) head, drawn in a less realistic, more cartoon-based style, and the lettering changing from calligraphic to block letters.

Since the 1996 alterations, the team has made only minor alterations, mostly relating to jersey/pant combinations worn during specific games. For example, in 1997, against the San Francisco 49ers, the team wore midnight green jerseys and pants for the first of only 2 occasions in team history. The second occasion was the final regular season game at Veterans Stadium, a win over the division-rival Washington Redskins. And in the first two games of the 2003 season (both home losses to Tampa Bay and New England), the Eagles wore white jerseys with white pants. The white jerseys along with white pants are worn during preseason games, since 2003. However, in every regular season game since the New England loss, when the team has worn the white jersey they have paired it with green pants. The Eagles though did wear the white jerseys with white pants in one regular season game on the road against the Green Bay Packers on September 9, 2007. That is the last time the Eagles wore the white jerseys and white pants together in the regular season.

The 2003 season also saw the first (though only subtle) change to the 1996-style uniform. On both white and green jerseys, black shadows and silver trim were added to both the green and white numbering. The stripe on the pants changed from black-green-black to black-silver-green on the white pants, and from a solid black stripe to one stripe of black, another of silver, with one small white stripe in between for the midnight green pants. The 2003 season also saw the team debut black alternate jerseys, with a green (instead of black) shadow on white numbers, and silver trim. These black jerseys have been worn for two selected home games each season (usually the first home game after BYE week and season finale). In the 2003 and 2004 regular-season home finales, the team wore the green road pants with the black alternate jerseys, but lost each game. Since then, the Eagles have only worn the black jerseys with the white pants. However, the Eagles did not wear the alternate black jersey during the 2007 season, but the black jerseys with white pants re-appeared for the 2008 Thanksgiving night game against the Arizona Cardinals. The black jerseys were most recently used in a November 29, 2009 game against the Washington Redskins. The team also started wearing black shoes exclusively in 2004.

To celebrate the team's 75th anniversary, the 2007 uniforms featured a 75th-season logo patch on the left shoulder. In addition, the team wore "throwback" jerseys in a 2007 game against the Detroit Lions. The yellow and blue jerseys, the same colors found on Philadelphia's city flag, are based on those worn by the Philadelphia Eagles in the team's inaugural season, and were the same colors used by the former Frankford Yellowjackets franchise prior to their suspension of operations in 1931. The Eagles beat Detroit, 56-21.

The Philadelphia Eagles wear their white jerseys at home for preseason games and daytime games in the first half of the regular season from September to mid October when the temperature is warmer. In night contests in the first half of the regular season, the Eagles do not need to wear white at home since the temperature is cooler. However, there have been exceptions, such as the home opener against the Washington Redskins in 2007 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003 that were played at night. Since moving to Lincoln Financial Field in 2003, the Eagles have worn white at home for at least their home opener. In late October the Eagles start to wear their colors at home. Although they may do it sooner even in early-season games in the daytime, such as when they wore yellow-and-blue throwback jerseys against the Detroit Lions in 2007 or alternate black jerseys against the Oakland Raiders in 2005, with both of those instances being in September. On one occasion the Eagles wore their white jerseys at home after October. They wore white at home against the Dallas Cowboys on November 4, 2007, to make the Cowboys wear their (rarely worn) road blue jerseys.

Fight song

Fly, Eagles Fly, on The Road to Victory!

Fight, Eagles, Fight, Score a Touchdown 1-2-3!

Hit 'em low, hit 'em high,

And watch our Eagles fly!

Fly, Eagles fly, On The Road to Victory!

E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

The Eagles fight song is heard after every Eagles touchdown at home and before the team is introduced prior to kickoff.

Eagles fans

Although the methodology may vary, studies that attempt to rank the 32 fan bases in the NFL consistently place Eagles fans among the best in the league, noting their "unmatched fervor."

The American City Business Journals, which conducts a regular study to determine the most loyal fans in the NFL, evaluates fans based primarily on attendance-related factors, and ranked Eagles fans third in both 1999 and 2006. The 2006 study called the fans "incredibly loyal," noting that they filled 99.8 percent of the seats in the stadium over the previous decade. Forbes placed the Eagles fans first in its 2008 survey, which was based on the correlation between team performance and fan attendance. placed Eagles fans fourth in the league in its 2008 survey, citing the connection between the team's performance and the mood of the city.

The studies note that — win or lose — Eagles fans can be counted on to pack their stadium. As of August 2008, the team had sold out 71 consecutive games, and 70,000 were on the team's waiting list for season tickets. Despite finishing with a 6-10 record in the 2005-2006 season, the Eagles ranked second in the NFL in merchandise sales, and single-game tickets for the next season were sold out minutes after phone and Internet lines opened.

While praising their loyalty, the Forbes study, also calls the team's fans "famously cruel," noting their proclivity for picking fights and harassing fans of visiting teams. Some local media have criticized portions of the fan base, calling them "aggressive, drunken louts with a penchant for harassing women."

Some Eagles fans have been involved in a series of high-profile incidents of rowdy behavior, including:

  • Bounty Bowl II, where a barrage of snowballs and batteries from the stands forced police to escort Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, off the field;
  • "all-out debauchery" at the November 10, 1997, game against the San Francisco 49ers, featuring a fan with a flare gun, a large brawl on an upper level, and an Eagles fan being mauled because his friend was wearing a New York Giants jacket; all leading to six arrests and 269 ejections from the stadium, as well as a ban on beer sales for the remainder of the season and the introduction of the famous "Eagles Court" in the stadium's basement;
  • booing the Easter Bunny;
  • pelting Santa Claus with snowballs; and
  • cheering after watching Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin suffer a career-ending injury that required him to be removed from the field in an ambulance.

Police say that rowdy behavior has decreased since the Eagles moved to Lincoln Financial Fieldmarker in 2003. Increased costs have priced out some of the problem fans and increased security measures have given stadium staff the ability to address unruliness more quickly, though ESPN still advises fans of opposing teams to "tread lightly" when visiting Lincoln Financial Field.

Charitable activity

Eagles Fly for Leukemia, Ronald McDonald Houses

In 1971, Kim Hill, the daughter of Eagles tight end Fred Hill, was diagnosed with leukemia. As Hill and his family dealt with this devastating blow, his teammates and owner Leonard Tose pledged their emotional support.

As Fred continued to research Kim's leukemia, the support of Leonard Tose and the Eagles continued to inspire him. The Eagles held fund-raising dinners, the team made individual contributions, and Fred and Kim continued to bravely battle this disease.

After Kim's successful treatment, Fred realized how powerful the spirit of solidarity that his teammates displayed truly was. Fred became committed to helping other families battle pediatric cancers. From helping them identify resources, to assisting financially, Fred and his teammates continued their fight against childhood cancers. In 1972, Philadelphia Eagles owner Leonard Tose officially recognized Eagles Fly for Leukemia as the official philanthropy of the Philadelphia Eagles Football Club.

The spirit of the Eagles and Leonard Tose led to the establishment of the first Ronald McDonald House, a place for families to find shelter when their children are sick. Now, over 200 Ronald McDonald houses shelter thousands of families around the world.

The spirit continued, and over the last 30 years Eagles Fly for Leukemia has raised over $10 million towards pediatric cancer research and family support.

In 1991, Eagles Fly for Leukemia soared higher and became established as a free-standing non-profit organization, outside of the Eagles Football Club. However, the spirit remains, with the Eagles continuing to support and encourage Eagles Fly for Leukemia initiatives.

Eagles Youth Partnership

In 1995, in an effort to better give back to the community, Eagles Youth Partnership (EYP) was formed as a 501 public charity in the emerging field of sports philanthropy.

Eagles Youth Partnership (EYP) serves over 50,000 low income children in the Greater Philadelphia region every year via two mobile units, the Eagles Eye Mobile, which gives eye examinations, and the Eagles Book Mobile, a literacy program. EYP is also known for annual playground builds in underserved neighborhoods, an annual chess tournament, and a variety of other programs and events.

The Philadelphia Eagles Football Club is the EYP's largest funder. The Eagles also donate free office space, staff support and other resources in support of the organization. Corporate, foundation and individual donors join to support Eagles Youth Partnership's efforts.

Training camp

The Eagles hold their pre-season training camp from the end of July through mid-August each year at Lehigh Universitymarker in Bethlehem, Pennsylvaniamarker in the Lehigh Valley. Their pre-season practices, usually held twice daily, typically draw thousands of spectators.

Players of note

Current roster

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Retired numbers

Despite the numbers not being retired, no one has ever worn Randall Cunningham's 12, Brian Dawkins's 20, Jon Runyan's 69 or Tra Thomas's 72 since those players have left the Eagles .

Eagles Honor Roll

In 1987, the Eagles Honor Roll was established. Each Eagle player who had by then been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker was among the inaugural induction class.

Current Eagles Honor Roll members include:

Bednarik, Bell, Pihos, Van Buren, McDonald, White and broadcaster Bill Campbell have all been inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

75th anniversary team

Coaches of note

Current staff

Radio and television

Beginning with the 2008 season, Eagles games will now be broadcasted on both 94.1 WYSP-FM and Sports Radio 610 WIP-AM, as both stations are owned and operated by CBS Radio. Merrill Reese, who joined the Eagles in the mid-1970s, is the play-by-play announcer, and former Eagles wide receiver Mike Quick is the color analyst. Former Eagles linebacker Bill Bergey is among several Eagles post-game commentators on WYSP.

Most preseason games are televised on WPVImarker, the local ABC owned and operated station. Television announcers for these preseason games are Kevin Reilly, Hugh Douglas, and Herm Edwards.

Eagles radio announcers

Years Flagship station Play-by-Play Color Commentator
1939 WCAUmarker Taylor Grant Bob Hall and Harry McTique
1940-41 WCAUmarker Byrum Saam Bob Hall
1942-44 WCAUmarker Byrum Saam Chuck Thompson
1945 WCAUmarker Byrum Saam Claude Haring
1946-49 WIBGmarker Byrum Saam Claude Haring
1950 WPEN Franny Murray Del Parks and Jules Rind
1951 WCAUmarker William Sears
1952-54 WCAUmarker Byrum Saam Claude Haring
1955 WCAUmarker Byrum Saam Claude Haring and Bill Bransome
1956 WCAUmarker Bill Campbell Bill Bransome
1957 WCAUmarker Bill Campbell Bill Bransome and Ed Romance
1958-59 WCAUmarker Bill Campbell Bill Bransome
1960 WCAUmarker Bill Campbell Ed Harvey and Russ Hall
1961 WCAUmarker Bill Campbell Ed Harvey, Russ Hall, Jack Buck, or Tommy Roberts
1962 WCAUmarker Bill Campbell Bobby Thomason and Tom Brookshier
1963 WCAUmarker Bill Campbell Tom Brookshier
1964 WCAUmarker Bill Campbell Byrum Saam and Tom Brookshier
1965 WCAUmarker Andy Musser Charlie Gauer and Stan Hochman
1966-67 WCAUmarker Andy Musser Charlie Gauer and Ed Harvey
1968 WCAUmarker Andy Musser Charlie Gauer
1969 WIP Charlie Swift Clarence Parks and Thatcher Longstreth
1970 WIP Charlie Swift Al Pollard, Clarence Parks, or Thatcher Longstreth
1971-76 WIP Charlie Swift Al Pollard
1971-76 WIP Charlie Swift Merrill Reese and Herb Adderley
1978-81 WIP Merrill Reese Jim Barniak
1982 WIP Merrill Reese Jim Barniak and Bill Bergey
1983 WIP Merrill Reese Bill Bergey
1984-91 WIP Merrill Reese Stan Walters
1992-97 WYSP Merrill Reese Stan Walters
1998-2007 WYSP Merrill Reese Mike Quick
2008-Present WIP and WYSP Merrill Reese Mike Quick

See also

Notes and references

  2. Eagles Unveil 75th Anniversary Plans - Philadelphia Eagles
  3. "Training Camp,"

External links

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