Philadelphia Eagles Best Thanksgiving in Detriot

Philadelphia Eagles Best Thanksgiving in Detriot

Postby LeonardRachiele » Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:27 pm

Following and even intensifying a trend, the Eagles had a losing steak at the start of 1968- 11 games. A discouraged team came into muddy Tiger Stadium for the Thanksgiving Day national telecast. The Detroit Lions were 4-6-2 and a ten point favorite. Rain starting the day before made for a wet, muddy, and sloppy game. Nevertheless, the Eagles played well and recorded their first victory, a shutout.

The Eagles did not try to pass and mostly relied on the running of Tom Woodeshick and Israel Lang. Woodeshick gained 78 yards. The Eagles kicked a field goal in each quarter to account for all of the scoring. Sam Baker, also the punter, was the placekicker. He became in this game the second leading scorer in NFL history. Joe Scarpati did a good job holding the ball on the muddy field. By contrast, the Lions tried to pass, ran some, but did not move the ball all day. Turnovers are always big and this game was no exception. The Eagles intercepted three passes and yielded none. The Lions had only eight first downs. The Eagles Floyd Peters and David Lloyd stood out stopping the run. Final Eagles 12 Lions 0.

After the game, the Eagles locker room was relieved and jubilant. Coach Joe Kuharich said this team had the talent to be winners, not exactly a brilliant comment. Kuharich also said he would substitute a Coke for Champagne. I felt as though the Philadelphia Eagles had won the Super Bowl. In a season like 1968, fans had to make the most of this victory. In addition, remember the Philadelphia Eagles never recorded a shutout in the Reid Era. The last one was versus the Giants at Veterans Stadium , 24 to 0 in 1996.
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Re: Philadelphia Eagles Best Thanksgiving in Detriot

Postby RichardBak » Fri Nov 25, 2022 5:39 am

LeonardRachiele wrote:Following and even intensifying a trend, the Eagles had a losing steak at the start of 1968- 11 games. A discouraged team came into muddy Tiger Stadium for the Thanksgiving Day national telecast. The Detroit Lions were 4-6-2 and a ten point favorite. Rain starting the day before made for a wet, muddy, and sloppy game. Nevertheless, the Eagles played well and recorded their first victory, a shutout.

The Eagles did not try to pass and mostly relied on the running of Tom Woodeshick and Israel Lang. Woodeshick gained 78 yards. The Eagles kicked a field goal in each quarter to account for all of the scoring. Sam Baker, also the punter, was the placekicker. He became in this game the second leading scorer in NFL history. Joe Scarpati did a good job holding the ball on the muddy field. By contrast, the Lions tried to pass, ran some, but did not move the ball all day. Turnovers are always big and this game was no exception. The Eagles intercepted three passes and yielded none. The Lions had only eight first downs. The Eagles Floyd Peters and David Lloyd stood out stopping the run. Final Eagles 12 Lions 0.

After the game, the Eagles locker room was relieved and jubilant. Coach Joe Kuharich said this team had the talent to be winners, not exactly a brilliant comment. Kuharich also said he would substitute a Coke for Champagne. I felt as though the Philadelphia Eagles had won the Super Bowl. In a season like 1968, fans had to make the most of this victory. In addition, remember the Philadelphia Eagles never recorded a shutout in the Reid Era. The last one was versus the Giants at Veterans Stadium , 24 to 0 in 1996.


Wow, Izzy Lang and old Sam Baker---I can't believe anybody remembers this snoozer of a game. I sure do. For one thing, that was our last Thanksgiving in our beloved old house in Detroit. The neighborhood was going to hell and we moved to another corner of the city the following year. I remember it was a shit Turkey Day, pouring rain and un-holidayish, my kid brother and I in the basement listening to Van Patrick and Bob Reynolds describe the "action" (zzzzz) on the radio while upstairs Uncle Frank and Aunt Martha and my grandparents were in the living room talking about "the hippies" or Lawrence Welk or some damn thing. Maybe astronauts (who were our real national heroes back then) and the upcoming Apollo 8 mission. That was the crew that circled the moon, a live broadcast on Christmas Eve, when the crew recited passages from the Book of Genesis. So exciting and moving! The biggest TV audience in history watched. Maybe you did, too. The actual moon walk (Apollo 11) was the following July.

Anyway, speaking of TV....the NFL still had the local blackout rule back then, so it was radio for us every Turkey Day while the rest of the country got a free show. (IIRC there was an AFL game on NBC every Thanksgiving. Didn't the Cowboys start playing that day, too, about this time?) We were still basking a bit in the afterglow of the Tigers' World Series win a month earlier, but otherwise that crappy day pretty much matched the mood of the city then, just a year off the riot.

I've always mentally filed the '68 Thanksgiving Day game with the Lions' preseason loss to Denver a year or two earlier---the first-ever loss by an NFL team to the AFL---and the Lions' season opener in '69, when they lost at Pittsburgh, the Steelers' only win that year.

It always struck me as somewhat odd that HC Joe Schmidt's teams generally could go toe-to-toe with most of the good teams, yet still got shut out at home by the 0-11 Eagles and lost to the 1-13 Steelers. Joe, BTW, is still doing well---approaching 90 and living in Fla. I'm sure he's tried to erase those two games from his memory bank.
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Re: Philadelphia Eagles Best Thanksgiving in Detriot

Postby LeonardRachiele » Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:12 pm

That game was not a snoozer.
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Re: Philadelphia Eagles Best Thanksgiving in Detriot

Postby LeonardRachiele » Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:14 pm

That game was not a snoozer.
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Re: Philadelphia Eagles Best Thanksgiving in Detriot

Postby RichardBak » Wed Dec 07, 2022 3:31 pm

LeonardRachiele wrote:That game was not a snoozer.


Yeah, actually it was. Then again, you saw it on TV. I was in the basement, listening to it on the radio while Grandpa and Uncle Frank were passed out on the living room sofa in a food coma. So, literally a snoozefest.
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