Happy Birthday, Reggie

Posted: December 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 31 Comments »

Dr. J was the first athlete I ever loved. He had a cool nickname. He was a great player. He did things that other guys just couldn’t. Doc holds a special place in my heart to this day.

Reggie White is the football version of Dr. J for me. I’ve loved Reggie since the 1980s. He’s one of the key reasons that I became an Eagles fan.

Today would have been his 52nd birthday.

Reggie gave me a lifetime of memories, even though I only watched him as an Eagle for a few years. 1992 was the first year I got to watch Reggie play almost every Sunday. He “only” had 14 sacks that year. That statement really puts him into perspective, doesn’t it? White got a safety in the playoff win over the Saints and his celebration of that is my favorite all-time Eagles moment. There is such joy, both in his huge smile and in the bounce in his step. That was just a Wild Card win, but it felt like the Super Bowl to a team that hadn’t won in the postseason in more than a decade. I was absolutely desperate for Gang Green to win big in the postseason.

I hated the fact White left via free agency, but I understood. Norman Braman wasn’t interested in keeping him and paying big bucks. I am thankful that Reggie went to a team that I could support. I never even thought of becoming a Packers fan mind you, but I cheered for them when they weren’t playing the Eagles. Reggie did talk to the Boys and Skins about going to those teams. I would have been crushed if he did that. Honestly, I’m not sure how I’d have handled it.

It was great to see him win the Super Bowl in 1996. My dream was for him to win as an Eagle, but it was still great to see him hoist the Lombardi in Packers green.

Gone, but never, ever forgotten.

Happy Birthday to my favorite Eagle and football player ever.

_


  • Jamie Parker

    One of my favorite Reggie plays was in the 1987 opener against the Redskins. We were down a TD in the 3rd quarter when Reggie basically just took the ball out of Doug Williams hand and then raced about 70 yards for the tying score. We still eventually lost that game, but that play has stuck with me ever since.

    • ICDogg
      • Mike Roman

        I’ll always remember the shot of him sucking oxygen on the sideline after that play. What a fantastic game. Reggie provided us with so many memories.

      • david Heiserman

        awesome thank you!
        reminds me of 2 things because yes Reggie got me back into the Eagles again, along w Dawk. Duante Culpepper was in his prime / VIkes with the ball on the 1 and Eagles in a goal line stand .. at the time Culpepper was the biggest fastest strongest playing in the NFL I believed; and as he turned the corner for the sure TD, here comes DAWK and ABSOLUTELY CRUSHES him! not only preventing the TD bUT CAUSING A FUMBLE! I have always felt that in that very hit, that very instance, Culpeper went from big hero to retiree !!
        also>>
        Fat Andy approached his teams & players the ssame way that Reggie’s career played out .. who is the Greatest Eagle that Fat Andy ever kept ?? eery great Eagle of his tenure HE LET GO because of money!! and I don’t consider a 1 day fake re-hire a real moe at all. ALL THE WHIEL FAT AND PAID HIMSLEF 4.5/5 MIl!! one more reason I hate fat andy. ok, Trotter you say? nope, if andy had paid him 500K he’d have never gone to skins and I l bet we’d have had the D to win a superbowl.
        DH

  • Cafone

    So the Miracle at the New Meadowlands was on Reggie White’s birthday? http://eaglesblog.net/2013/12/happy-anniversary … I didn’t know that.

    • TommyLawlor

      You’re a good man.

      • Cafone

        thanks ;) I removed the link in my post so it didn’t embed and crash anyone’s browser.

  • Andy124

    The Minister of Defense. Favorite player of all time. No competition.

    • pkeagle

      Agreed – also my favourite player

    • Cafone

      I was always more of a Jerome Brown guy.

  • Mike Roman

    Reggie trivia (although I’m sure this will be easy for all of us Eagles nuts):

    #92 wasn’t always Reggie’s number. Which number did he have when he first joined the Eagles?

    • ACViking

      91 . . . And it never looked right

      • Mike Roman

        Strangely, Keith Byars first wore #42. I think he switched to #41 the same year that Reggie went to #92.

        • tag1555

          Earnest Jackson had #41 and had 1,000 yds rushing in ’85, but Buddy never liked him and the writing on the wall for his departure was the drafting of Byars and Anthony Toney 1-2 in Ryan’s first draft here. However, since Jackson was on the roster come opening day, Byars had to settle for #42.

          I recall Reggie came in after the start of ’85 – I think there were some legal details to work out before the ex-USFL guys acquired via that supplemental draft could play – so #92 was probably already taken. Since Reggie was technically a rookie despite playing in the USFL, he wouldn’t have had any pull to ask for a number until he’d proven himself.

  • Tom33

    I heard Jackie Slater this week on an interview. They asked him who was the toughest guy to block that he faced over his 20 year career. He said it wasn’t even close – Reggie White.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      That is saying something. Slater was a tough dude who played OL in his forties

  • Weapon Y

    I’m too young to have seen Reggie as an Eagle, but I’ve heard all of my older relatives or friends who are Eagles fans gush about how great he was. It seems impossible to imagine that the Eagles could get a player half as dominant as he was, but Id be thrilled if they could just so I could experience what it was like. The closest thing I experienced was watching Brian Dawkins play for the Eagles. He might not have been as good as Reggie, but he was the best Eagles player I’ve ever seen in person. Since Dawkins left, we haven’t seen anyone be close to that caliber of a player. I’d love it if a young guy currently on the team like Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, or Brandon Graham became that stud, but I just see those guys as solid players at best. For Chip to get us to the promised land, we need another big time defensive stud who has at least half the potential of Reggie White.

  • Tumtum

    My mom threw away my Reggie and Randall jerseys when I was 12 (97′), “because they were old and raggedy”. I wore them nearly every day playing back yard football after school much to the chagrin of the neighborhood Skins fans (no one liked the Ravens yet, where I am from in MD is more Skins territory anyway).

    Almost needless to say; I shed some tears. Real tough Tumtum.

    This post just reminded me of that and I thought I would share how much of a wuss I am/was.

  • ICDogg

    OT, but in cased you missed it, Giroux had an incredible goal last night

    http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/828513269.gif

  • BobSmith77

    Sadly my most vivid memory is of Reggie on the sidelines at Dallas in ’92 in the 4th quarter sitting on the bench. Reggie looked so despondent & like he was elsewhere mentally after the ‘Boys just physically beat down Gang Green that afternoon.

    There was no doubt after that game that the Cowboys were the dominant team in the NFC East and the Eagles window which started in ’88 might be shut.

    You also knew as an Eagles’ fan too it was White’s last game likely in kelly green too because there was no way Braman was going to resign White that offseason either.

    The game was one of the only times I watched an Eagles’ game and I was utterly dejected after watching it. Only other game that exceeded it since was the ’02 NFC Championship game loss at the Vet at a bar in Boston.

  • BobSmith77

    My favorite player from Gang Green was Wes Hopkins. Never was the same after he blew out his knee but he played & hit hard, was a very smart and instinctive player, and was articulate off the field.

  • sew737

    Reggie White held the sack record of 21 sacks.This I beleive it was the strike shortened season of 12 games. An * should be by the sack record.

    • Jamie Parker

      The record at the time was Mark Gastineau at 22. I was at the Bills game that ended that ’87 season and the whole stadium was Chanting “Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!” hoping he’d get the record. He has Jim Kelly in his arms for the record sack, but Kelly threw the ball away before he hit the ground and refs did not call in the grasp. And yes, it was in 12 games. Unlike Michael Strahan, Reggie didn’t have Bret Favre to lie down for him to get the record.

    • Jamie Parker

      Could you imagine if he had crossed the picket line like some other players did? He probably would’ve had 30 sacks that season.

  • P_P_K

    Alright, just to be a jerk, I’m going to spout off about why I don’t like Reggie. When he was an Eagle, I thought the guy was the greatest thing in green since a stunning girl in a tight leprachaun suit served me nickle beers at a forgotten bar in West Philly on St Patty’s Day. When he left Philly, (Reggie, not St Pat), I hated his pose.

    He shopped himself all around and, if I remember, that included the Cowboys and Redskins. Can you imagine? He may well have ended up in the NFC East if God hadn’t told him to play in Green Bay, which was his claim. If he had manned up and said he wanted big bucks and a legit shot at a Super Bowl ring, I would have respected his honesty. But to jump to the highest bidder and then claim divine intervention, well, spare me.

    I think I’ve gone on this rant before on this Blog. I know my buddys around here are tired of hearing it. But I just can’t, um, repent my ways.

  • tag1555

    What eats at me a little about Reggie’s passing was something I’d read that he had started teaching himself Aramaic so he could read as original a translation of the Bible as he could, and was transforming himself in a number of ways. Preaching was always at the core of how Reggie lived, but it sounded like he was about to start down a different path in life, however that may have turned out. We’ll never know.

    I’m now the same age Reggie was when he died. I can say, 43 is very old for an athlete, but in overall life terms its just starting middle-age. I don’t know if there’s every a “good” time to die, but what made Reggie’s death so out-of-the-blue is how young he was, relatively speaking, and that he always seemed larger than life in everything he did.