The Frankford area’s Frankford Athletic Association and the Frankford Yellow Jackets
The Frankford Athletic Association may have gotten together to play football in 1899, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that they started playing games from inside Frankford Stadium, then joined the National Football League in 1924. If you wanted to buy in, a share cost $10. This is what probably led to them going bankrupt and closing shop in the middle of a season in 1931, despite having won the NFL championship in 1926. Jeff Lurie wouldn’t have let them stop. He would have made them get real jobs.
The arrival of Bert Bell
At the top of the Great Depression, Bell – the commissioner of the NFL, and this doesn’t sound too conflict of interest-y – bought out the debt of the Yellow Jackets organization, gleaned inspiration from the New Deal’s Blue Eagle insignia of the National Recovery Administration, and renamed their new expansion team the Philadelphia Eagles. With all new players, and coached by Lud Wray, the Eagles commenced regular games at the Baker Bowl (where the Phillies played) as opposed to Shibe Park, the home of the Philadelphia Athletics club. Ironically in regard to last Saturday’s results, the Eagles lost their first ever game on October 15, 1933, against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. 56–0. So Saturday’s romp was payback 90 years in the making.
Art Rooney WTF?
Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney acquired half of Bert Bell’s interest in the Eagles, and in an incident unfortunately known as the Pennsylvania Polka ( I played accordion, so trust me( Rooney and Bell exchanged their entire Eagles roster and their territorial rights in Philadelphia for the entire Steelers roster and his rights in Pittsburgh. Bell became the Steelers’ head coach and Rooney became general manager. Alexis Thompson took over the Eagles, hired a head coach named “Greasy” Neale who kept the losing-est Eagles team until World War II when manpower loss made it so Philadelphia’s team had to merged with the Steelers forming the “Phil-Pitt Eagles”, the Steagles. The only thing to come out of this time was Honduran-American running back Steve Van Buren, with whom the Eagles had their first winning season in team history – 1944.
Leonard Tose Part One
Before the 1949 season, the Eagles got sold to a syndicate of 100 buyers, known as the “Happy Hundred”, each of whom paid $3,000 for a share of the team. Philadelphia businessman James P. Clark was in charge of the team, but, one investor was Leonard Tose, who probably won his share in a card game. Then again, maybe Tose brought the Eagles luck as they won the NFL Championship that year.
Franklin Field and Astro Turf and The Dutchman
Not only did the Eagles acquire QB Norm Van Brocklin, The Dutchman, at the tail end of the 1950s, the team moved to Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania – which all but doubled the size of the Connie Mack Stadium where they played the decade previous AND Franklin Field’s grass was replaced by artificial AstroTurf in 1969, making it the first NFL stadium to use faze turf.
“Fly Eagles Fly”
Leonard Tose Part Two (1969–1984)
“The Miracle at the Meadowlands”
Every team has at least one legendary play you can watch over and over on play reels and the one where the Eagles Herman Edwards returned a fumble by Giants’ quarterback Joe Pisarcik – again with the Giants – for a touchdown with 20 seconds left in the game, resulting in a 19–17 Eagles victory, was ours, Montgomery became the first Eagle since Steve Van Buren to exceed 1,000 yards in a season, too. There’s the Body Bag Game of 1990, between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins at Veterans Stadium where Eagles coach Buddy Ryan told reporters they’d inflict a beating on Washington so bad “they’ll have to be carted off in body bags”. Nice. That’s because the Eagles had the “Gang Green” defense, of Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner, Wes Hopkins, Mike Golic, Byron Evans, Eric Allen, Andre Waters and Mark McMillian. Killers.
Jeff Lurie Likes Green