Hall of Fame wide receiver Tommy McDonald couldn't believe that his former teammate, Tom Brookshier, lost his battle with cancer on Friday night at the age of 78.
"Put a Tom Brookshier on your team and you're going to have a winner," said an emotional McDonald via phone on Saturday. "Nobody said we were going to beat Green Bay. Well, look at what we did! The 1960 team lost a brother. That 1960 team was family.
"He was the type of person you wanted to have as your brother. He had a strong leadership in him on the defense with him and Chuck Bednarik and everybody. You could always depend on him. He was a leader."
McDonald first met Brookshier as a rookie in 1957. Both grew up in New Mexico and went to rival colleges (Brookshier went to Colorado, McDonald to Oklahoma), but never crossed paths until they were both with the Eagles.
"When I got to Philadelphia, I felt more at home because I knew I had a guy there from Colorado right next to New Mexico. And since his name is Tom and my name is Tom, we felt like we were brothers," McDonald said.
Brookshier's passing is bittersweet for McDonald because this year is the 50th anniversary of the Eagles' upset of the Green Bay Packers for the NFL Championship.
"That's really going to be a bad, bad thing because we're not going to have him with us," McDonald said. "I will miss knowing that I won't be able to see him anymore, but he's on God's team now."
McDonald reasoned that it was the combination of talent and ambition that led the Eagles to that championship.
"We wanted it. God blessed us with talent. He also blessed us with ambition to win. That's why we won," McDonald said. "We had talent and had the ambition to win."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:05 p.m., January 30