THE FOG BOWL
December 31, 1988
ON NEW YEAR'S EVE THE NFC East-champion Eagles travel to Chicago for a showdown between BUDDY RYAN and his former boss, Mike Ditka of the Bears. The game is complicated by an unusual fog that rolls in off Lake Michigan with two minutes left in the half and completely obscures the field for the rest of the game. RANDALL CUNNINGHAM still passes for 407 yards, and LUIS ZENDEJAS kicks four field goals despite not knowing where the goalposts are, but Chicago prevails 20-12 in what will become known as the Fog Bowl.
THE EAGLES HATCH
October 15, 1933
BERT BELL (above, right after signing 1938 Heisman winner Davey O'Brien) and LUD WRAY head a group that buys the NFL's defunct Frankford Yellowjackets for $2,500. The club is christened the " Eagles" in honor of the symbol of the New Deal's National Recovery Act. Philly flops in its October debut, losing 56-0 to the Giants. Wray coaches the Eagles through the '35 season, and Bell becomes NFL commissioner in '46.
February 8, 1936
AFTER the Eagles struggle to a 9-21-1 record in their first three seasons, Bell suggests having an annual college draft to help equalize talent in the league. The proposal is adopted, and the Eagles draft, but fail to sign, the first winner of the Heisman, University of Chicago halfback JAY BERWANGER (above) with the No. 1 pick.
October 22, 1939
THE EAGLES lose 23-14 to the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first televised football game, at Ebbets Field. The game is broadcast by ALLAN (SKIP) WALZ of NBC to the approximately 1,000 television sets believed to be in use in Brooklyn.
December 18, 1940
GREASY NEALE (left) is hired as coach, bringing a defensive system that will become the 4-3 scheme in use today. Neale, who leads Philly to two NFL titles, also pours energy into finding the most talented college players to draft. He is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969.
NAUGHTY, NOT NICE
December, 15, 1968
MIRED at 2-11, the Eagles attempt to infuse holiday cheer into a game against the Vikings by inviting Santa Claus, (19-year-old FRANK OLIVO, above) to take the field at halftime. Fans, angry with the team's performance, boo mercilessly and pelt Olivo with snowballs.
May 1, 1969
IN 1969 LEONARD TOSE (left) buys the Eagles from the bankrupt Jerry Wolman for $16.1 million, then a record for a pro sports franchise. Known for his lavish lifestyle, Tose will forced to sell the team in '85.
September 26, 1971
The Eagles open VETERANS STADIUM with a 42-7 loss to the Cowboys before 65,358 fans. One of many multipurpose concrete stadiums of the era, the Vet's troublesome turf (right) will become part of NFL lore, as will the rowdy fans, particularly those who sit in the infamous 700-level section.
May 26, 1958
The Eagles acquire veteran QB NORM VAN BROCKLIN (above) from the Los Angeles Rams. Attendance nearly doubles as the Dutchman helps turn Philly's fortunes around, leading the team to the '60 NFL title.
March 9, 1977
DICK VERMEIL trades tight end Charle Young to the Rams for RON JAWORSKI (right). The QB injects some much-needed enthusiasm into what had been a sorry team. In '80 Jaws completes 257 passes for 3,529 yards and 27 TDs as he leads Philly to Super Bowl XV. In 10 years as an Eagle, Jaworski has 26,963 yards and 175 touchdowns.