While You Were on Vacation, the Pennsylvania Ballet Got a Sick Burn on the Eagles

Photo: Pennsylvania Ballet Facebook page.

Photo: Pennsylvania Ballet Facebook page.

Memo from the Pennsylvania Ballet to the Philadelphia Eagles: Man up.

The Eagles’ season of turmoil ended — thankfully — on Sunday afternoon with a win over the Giants, but not before Coach Chip Kelly was fired, and also not before taking a really sick burn from the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Here’s the message the ballet — which is under new artistic direction by famed dancer Angel Correa this season — sent out on Facebook on Wednesday: Read more »

Report: Eagles Could Pursue Saints’ Sean Payton

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

According to a report from Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Eagles will pursue New Orleans head coach Sean Payton if he and the Saints part ways in the coming days.

Payton has racked up an 87-57 record in nine seasons with the Saints, including a win in Super Bowl XLIV in 2009.

He was quarterbacks coach for the Eagles from 1997-1998.

The Saints finished the season 7-9 for the second straight season this year.

Adam Gase, the Bears’ offensive coordinator, is reportedly set to interview with the Eagles in the next few days.

NFC East Roundup: Traffic Jam At The Top

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

With four games to go, the NFC East’s collection of porous football teams is a scrunched-up mess with a combined record of 19-29. But the division will still send someone to the postseason, which means each team is still striving for a possible seventeenth game.

We’ve collected the latest headlines from around the division for your reading pleasure, and compiled each team’s remaining strength of schedule for reference.

Someone has to win this division.

Read more »

Eagles Cut Miles Austin

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The Eagles have released wide receiver Miles Austin. Howard Eskin was the first to report the move on Twitter. Birds 24/7’s Tim McManus confirmed that report.

Austin was inactive in the Eagles’ 35-28 win over the Patriots after being active and used in the team’s first 11 games of the season.

Read more »

How Ron Jaworski Helped Change the Way We Watch Football

Jaws goes over the X’s and O’s in his office at NFL Films. Photograph by Jared Castaldi

Jaws goes over the X’s and O’s in his office at NFL Films. Photograph by Jared Castaldi

Outside of Canton, there may be no greater shrine to the legacy of professional football than the headquarters of NFL Films, hidden away on a nearly invisible road in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. The entrance to the house that Ed and Steve Sabol built is lined with archival photographs, game-worn helmets and, in the lobby alone, 71 gleaming Emmy statues, with scores more scattered throughout the winding halls. It’s a Tuesday during the season, and as usual, Ron Jaworski sits at his desk on the second floor. In sharp contrast to the glitz elsewhere, the walls of Jaworski’s lair are adorned with only a few relics from his playing days — snapshots, a locker nameplate, a couple pigskins on a shelf. There are five other guys in here, most hunched over computer screens, logging game film or unearthing obscure stats. It feels sort of like a locker room, with furniture from IKEA. For Jaworski — the first quarterback to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl, 35 years ago — that’s just fine. He’s a married father of three who settled in South Jersey when he joined the Birds and never left. But this is his natural habitat. Read more »

Rapoport: ‘Don’t Rule Out’ Chip Kelly To Titans

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

In the days since the Eagles’ humiliating loss to the Lions on Thanksgiving, speculation and rumors have swirled about the future of Chip Kelly as the Eagles’ head coach and de facto general manager.

His name was linked to the coaching vacancy at the University of Southern California, among a number of college football coaching positions, and his job security with the Eagles was brought into question.

In the face of reports of Kelly meeting with USC officials on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which have since been shot down by Kelly himself, and reporters who are unable to confirm the meeting happened, the Trojans hired interim coach Clay Helton to be the team’s full-time coach for the next five years.

On Monday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who reported that USC had contact with Kelly but did not, in fact, meet with him, spoke with 97.5 The Fan’s Mike Missanelli about the situation, and what he expects the Eagles — and Kelly — to do going forward.

Read more »

One of Us: Merrill Reese, Eagles Broadcaster


Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Merrill Alan Reese. I’m named after my mother’s brother.

I grew up in … West Philadelphia and then Overbrook Park, near 76th and Woodbine. I went to Overbrook High. The great basketball player Wali Jones was there at the time.

I am … an incredibly devoted golfer. You never quite conquer it.

I drive … a white BMW M235i convertible. Stick.

The best Eagle who ever lived … was Chuck Bednarik. Here is a guy that’s both a linebacker and a center and played for two championship teams.

My worst class at Temple was … modern world history. It was like things from the 1600s. It was just dreadfully boring.

Chip Kelly is … extremely bright.

The most famous person I have ever met is … Tiger Woods, when my wife and I went to the Battle at the Bridges near San Diego. And Gerald Ford when he was the House Minority Leader. I was on Navy Reserve duty at the Pentagon and Gerald Ford happened to pass by. He sat down with us, and we talked football.

I wanted to grow up to be … an NFL quarterback. But at five-foot-eight and 140 pounds, I realized that wasn’t going to happen. I lack size, speed and talent.

The most overrated Eagles player ever was … Jevon Kearse. We thought we were getting a great player, but he really didn’t contribute much to this team.

On Friday night, you’ll probably find me … at Phil’s Tavern in Blue Bell, which has great burgers and salads. I also love Chickie’s and Pete’s. That shrimp pizza.

The first concert I ever went to was … the Lettermen, back in college. My last was Billy Joel. At the Spectrum. That’s how long it’s been.

The most memorable game I ever called … was on December 19, 2010. The Eagles came from way behind to beat the Giants at the Meadowlands. They overcame a huge deficit and won it with a DeSean Jackson walk-off punt return.

When I want to relax … I play golf. I’m a member of the Blue Bell Country Club and Radnor Country Club. I have an index, which is at the moment a 10.4, which would really be a 12 handicap where I play. My broadcast partner, Mike Quick, is a terrific golfer, too.

People would be surprised to know that I … was in many TV commercials as a child. And I was an extra in The Greatest Show on Earth, part of which was filmed here. My mother picked me up from the set one day and saw me playing catch with a guy, and she says to me, “Do you know who that is? That’s Jimmy Stewart.”

The best football movie ever … was Everybody’s All-American, with Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange and John Goodman.

The hardest part of my job is … flying home after a night game on the West Coast.

My secret talent is … playing the drums. I have a set in my recreation room, and I took lessons when I was a kid. The best drummer of all time was Buddy Rich.

My second favorite Philly sports team is … the Phillies. They have some bright young players in the organization. They can only get better.

For Thanksgiving this year, I’ll be … in Detroit for the Eagles, of course.

If I could change one thing about Philadelphia, I would change … nothing. The warmth, the passion. It’s got a small-town feel. I love it.

Published in the November 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

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