Gordon Forbes, who was a long-time football writer and editor for USA Today, Sports Illustrated and the Philadelphia Inquirer, likes to update his 2002 best-seller “Tales From the Philadelphia Eagles Sideline.” He produced the first edition of the book in 2002. Then he came out with updated editions in 2006 and 2011. Now he’s ready to release his “Chip Kelly era” edition.
If you can get your hands on the 2011 edition of the book, you will enjoy the read. It really gives you a solid background in the history of not only the recognizably great Eagles players of the past, but also a lot of the players who are perhaps lesser-known, maybe because their team was often stuck in a clunker year.
I’ve seen the hardcover version of the 2011 edition of this book advertised for as little as $15 in some discount book websites. It should be a reasonably easy get if you look for it on-line.
I can’t wait to see Gordon Forbes’ take on Chip Kelly. Forbes really gets into a lot of the head coaches’ sideline stories in his previous editions. He has an especially revealing look inside the world of Eddie Khayat, who tried to mold the pop-star wanna-be 1971 Eagles into a para-military culture (no facial hair allowed!).
I don’t want to give too much away about the book lest I spoil your first read of the newer versions. But here is just a sample of some things you probably didn’t know about the Eagles which are found in Forbes’ book:
-Jon Brooks, a guard drafted as a 2nd-rounder in 1967, said he dropped the “h” in his first name so he could be even quicker. (Yep, you guessed it, “Jon” was cut in his rookie year…)
-Dave Lloyd, the starting middle linebacker for the Eagles in the mid-’60s, never lifted weights, preferring to boast about his “natural strength”…
-John Carlos, the Olympic sprinter, was a 15th-round draft pick by the Eagles in 1970. But he tore up his knee during an OTA. The Eagles tried to develop him into a kick returner, but it never worked out because of Carlos’ hands of stone.
-Buddy Ryan often changed quarterbacks, sometimes using Ron Jaworksi on the first 2 downs and Randall Cunningham on 3rd down. Jaws told Forbes there were never any bad feelings about that—he said he and Randall just high-fived each other as they traveled to and from the bench, and pretended they were tag-team wrestlers.
There’s so much more material than that kind of thing in the book. It’s only 185 pages in length, but Forbes gets a lot of information into some very concise reporting.
(The publisher is Sports Publishing, based in New York, and the ISBN is 978-1-61321-028-4.)