Maybe every home game should be Alumni Day? With scores of former players looking on, the Eagles scored early and often during their 38-3 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 7.
Prior to the game, the retired players were treated to a hearty brunch before taking the field in their brand new personalized team jerseys for a sideline view of the pre-game festivities.
Moments before kick-off, the alumni members were introduced to the crowd one by one, culminating with the introduction of former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil. The thunderous applause Vermeil received was a clear indication of the retired coach's enduring popularity in this city. More than 25 years after his last victory as an Eagles head coach (a victory at Texas Stadium against the Cowboys, no less), Vermeil remains a beloved figure in Philadelphia.
Not only do the fans adore Vermeil, but the men who played for him still hold him in high regard. Many of those players traveled from near and far for an opportunity to reunite with Vermeil, making this one of the most heavily attended alumni days in recent memory.
One of the former players that traveled the farthest was Jerry Sisemore, who said this about the experience: "Having coach there was wonderful and it was sweet to gather together as a brotherhood ... 30 years later and we're still hanging out. It's always good to come back to the City of Brotherly Love.
"I laughed as much as I've laughed in 10 years. We kept asking each other, 'can you believe this is happening?' We were old men acting like boys again and it was awesome!"
After being introduced to the crowd, the alumni members joined the military in holding the enormous flag that eclipsed the playing field as Lauren Hart sang the National Anthem. Moments after she finished, four fighter jets soared overhead signaling the beginning of the 2008 season. It was time for the old to give way to the new, so the retired players retreated to their cushioned seats in the club section of Lincoln Financial Field while the current crop of players got the new season off to a terrific start.