Philadelphia Eagles News

This Wide Receiver Gives Birthday Wishes

DeSean Jackson had heard all the stories, but it wasn't until he saw it for himself that he actually believed what he was told.

In Philadelphia, football is more than just a game.

"The fans here in Philadelphia are just way more passionate," Jackson said while taking time out of his busy schedule to hand out gifts for the holidays at the Stapeley Continuing Care Retirement Community in Germantown on Tuesday.

"Every time we're on the field and every time we get off the field, they're projecting the best image. They definitely evaluate you and check you out. I try to approach everybody in a well-mannered way and have a good time with everybody."

Eagles fans may not always be able to say the same thing, but one thing is for certain: their loyalty never wavers.

For example, a few days after Thanksgiving, Mary Salva-Reans was sitting at her desk when she got an exciting phone call. Photo Gallery : Fan Appreciation Week: WR Jackson At Stapeley Nursing Home

As a die-hard Eagles fan, Salva-Reans, who works as the director of marketing and sales at Stapeley, was shocked to hear Jackson's mother Gayle on the other end of the line.

Jackson said her son wanted to come do something for the elderly in the area and since DeSean's Great Aunt Cassie was a resident at Stapeley, it only made sense that was where Jackson wanted to visit.

"I'm a rabid Eagles fan. I'm going 'DeSean Jackson? He's the new shining star of the Eagles!' I was so excited," Salva-Reans said. "She told me the story how they were eating Thanksgiving dinner and he said the Eagles always give to the children and that's because children are important, but he'd like do something and he was thinking of the senior population. And that's when his other aunt, Aunt Gloria, said you have to go to Stapeley."

Stapeley was throwing a party for residents whose birthday fell in December and since Aunt Cassie was one of those people, it was a perfect time to stop by and say hello.

Jackson came to Stapeley and delivered Christmas gifts to Eagles fans that have been rooting for the team long before Jackson was born.

"My mom is a very good person and we wanted to do something to give back to the community," Jackson said. "I kind of felt that everybody was giving back to the kids, but there really wasn't anything for the elderly people. We kind of talked about that. I told my mom that would be something that I'd be willing to do. Since my Great Auntie is here, it only made sense for me to come here and give back."

According to Jackson, his Great Aunt has lived in Philadelphia almost her entire life, so having family already in the area made Jackson's transition to Philadelphia a bit easier.

Being drafted by the Eagles was like a dream come true for Jackson.

"It's an honor and this is a great situation for me to be here, just be a part of everything that's going on," Jackson said. "I just have to keep working hard, handling my business the way I need to."

In his short time as an Eagle, Jackson has witnessed first-hand just how passionate Eagles fans can be. He just can't let himself get caught up in it.

"It definitely gets to a point like that," Jackson said. "As an athlete, you can never let it get to you like that because this is your job. You have to understand what you are here for and what your job is. Like I said, as a professional, we understand our position so we just have to handle our business. People are going to critique us and say things about us but we have to keep going out there, just be a good person and handle yourself the right way."

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