Eagles

This weekend in Philadelphia sports reminds us of the power of nostalgia

This weekend in Philadelphia sports reminds us of the power of nostalgia

What a weekend.

We got to honor Dawk and Doc and the 2008 World Champions of baseball. We got to see our favorite athlete ever get immortalized. We got to shed a tear for our favorite workhorse. We got to remember the team that broke the championship curse. And then we got to see the Super Bowl champions back in their nest.

Nostalgia is such a powerful thing in sports, and this weekend was full of it in Philadelphia.

Think about everything that went down:

• Brian Dawkins went into the Hall of Fame and on a day he was honored, made his speech about helping others struggling with depression (see story). Of course he did.

• Roy Halladay and Pat Gillick were inducted into the Phillies’ Wall of Fame. Halladay was honored posthumously and there wasn’t a dry eye at Citizens Bank Park.

• The 2008 Phillies celebrated the 10th anniversary of their World Series win and brought back most of the members from that team. Even Jayson Werth, who fell out of favor with fans after going to the Nationals as a free agent, returned to a deserving hero’s welcome. It was a touching moment from an intelligent fanbase.

And then we saw these first-place Phillies pull off a sweep (see story).

• And the weekend was capped by thousands of Eagles fans showing up for an August practice to see the defending Super Bowl champions at Lincoln Financial Field. It was the first time the Birds were all together at the Linc in uniform since the NFC Championship Game that became a blowout party and sent them to Minnesota.

Sometimes, as sports fans, we get caught up in nostalgia. We remember things from the past fondly and sometimes even neglect the present. But this weekend, it was impossible to not get caught up in the magic. And, man, it was fun.

This weekend reminded me of why we’re all sports fans in the first place. These teams and these players connect us. How many people watched Dawk’s Hall of Fame speech with their dad or brothers or sisters? How many families watched the opening of Saturday’s Phillies game and shed a tear together remembering Doc?

How many folks double dipped on Sunday, getting a chance to see the last World Series champions at Citizens Bank Park and then walked down the street to see the Super Bowl champs at night? That had to be a great day.

A lot of times, we push sports to the back burner in the summer. We go to the beach, we go on vacation, we sit by the pool. But I’m guessing a lot of people this weekend pushed those other things aside and had themselves a great sports weekend.

There will be plenty of new memories to make and heroes to crown. But over the last few days, it was nice to remember the ones who came before.

Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Just a few days ago, it seemed like the Eagles weren’t going to lose Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry because it looked like the Browns were going to hire someone else.

Well, that someone else has dropped out of the race.

Vikings assistant GM George Paton has taken himself out of the running to be the Browns’ next general manager, which means Berry is now the new favorite, according to Cleveland.com

This is certainly an interesting turn of events.

According to Cleveland.com, “Paton was reluctant to accept the initial interview because he assumed the job would go Berry.”

Now it might.

It would have made plenty of sense for the Browns to hire Paton, who has a long-standing relationship with new head coach Kevin Stefanski from their time together in Minnesota. But according to reports over the past few weeks, it seems like Berry has been a favorite of ownership and the front office.

While Berry and Stefanski have never worked together, they did get to know each other during the coaching search in Cleveland a year ago. After that search, the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens and Berry left for Philly. But now, Berry and Stefanski might actually get a chance to work with one another.

The Harvard-educated Berry, 32, was with the Browns from 2016-18 as their Vice President of Player Personnel before he joined the Eagles last season in a role they created for him. Berry initially came up in the Colts franchise, first as a scouting assistant and finally as a pro scouting coordinator. He’s been a quick-riser in the NFL world.

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles reportedly denied a request from the Panthers to interview Berry for a Vice President job. The reasoning from the Eagles was that it wasn’t a general manager position and he wouldn’t have had final say on personnel matters.

Final say is something Berry will likely never have here in Philadelphia. Despite a few missteps in recent years, Howie Roseman has pretty solid job security and he isn’t going anywhere. If Berry is going to become a GM, it’s going to be in another city. And it seems like that day might be coming soon.

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Lane Johnson says one awful Eagles game made him shave his head for good

Lane Johnson says one awful Eagles game made him shave his head for good

Lane Johnson is officially in offseason mode, and he kicked off Pro Bowl week - which he's now officially part of - by showing up on former teammate Chris Long's podcast and shooting the breeze for an hour.

The duo bantered about plenty, from dealing with failure and ego as football players, to Johnson's time as a grave digger. About halfway through, Johnson offered up a seldom-heard explanation for his hairstyle, or lackthereof.

Johnson, of course, famously keeps his hair short (read: nonexistent) on top, and keeps his beard long. He explained to Long that it took some serious self-reflection, and a couple rough games early in his rookie season, to officially start shaving his head:

I was in college, it was my senior year, and my friend goes, 'Bro, are you f***ing losing your hair?' I said, what are you talking about? Then I went to the mirror, and I'd clearly been in denial for some time. I said, 'Bro, this s*** is terrible.' 

So I played with it my senior year, it was bad. I'd comb it over, wear my hats, feather it out in the back, try to look cool. Then I got to the Eagles, and after getting bull-rushed by Dwight Freeney and giving up three sacks to Justin Houston, I just shaved that s*** off. I've been a different man ever since.

The Eagles, you might remember, lost in Week 2 that year to Freeney's Chargers, and then lost in Week 3 to Houston's Chiefs, to fall to 1-3. They went 9-3 the rest of the way, a startling and fun turnaround. I'm not saying it's all thanks to Johnson shaving his head... but maybe?

That's about as good a reason as I can think of to make a hairstyle change. Johnson has been one of the best right tackles in the NFL since he started shaving his head, so maybe he's on to something. He spends very little time focusing on his hair, and plenty of time focusing on his game.

When you go back and look at Johnson with hair, it's... extremely jarring:

Johnson is basically unrecognizable in that video. He looks like a child! Thank goodness for Freeney and Houston shellacking Johnson as a rookie, or he might still be clinging to that brutal hairdo.

Maybe Johnson should've floated this idea to the Eagles' coaching staff years ago. Who knows what a haircut could've done for Nelson Agholor?

You can listen to, and watch, the full conversation between Johnson and Long below:

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