The 1951 Philadelphia Eagles began the season with a new head coach and a new quarterback. Former coach Greasy Neale had been fired during the off-season and veteran QB Tommy Thompson had retired. So Bo McMillin (formerly with the Lions) was hired as head coach for 1951. However, after winning the first two games of the season, McMillin announced that stomach cancer was forcing him to resign and assistant coach Wayne Millner took over prior to the third game. The Eagles promptly lost their next three games in a row and finished only fifth overall with a lackluster 4-8 record for the season. Adrian Burk, of the disbanded Baltimore Colts, replaced Thompson as the Eagles' regular quarterback. If unspectacular, he was durable and steady as well as a good punter, with backup QB Bill MacKrides also used occasionally. Veteran Steve Van Buren's foot ailments limited his playing time thoughout the year, although during the latter stages of the season, you'll see him in action in this film.
This rare film (it's the only copy known to exist) shows highlights of six games throughout the 1951 season (see below). This half-hour B & W film has now been restored and brings back great memories and the feel of Eagle football at old Shibe Park in Philadelphia! Great shots throughout the film also show action from road games at other old ballparks that were the homes for several NFL teams during those early years: Comiskey Park, the Polo Grounds, Forbes Field and Griffith Stadium. Included is a night game at Shibe Park (remember the old white footballs?)
In addition to Burk, MacKrides and Van Buren, you'll see other Eagles of the era, such as halfbacks Bosh Pritchard, Clyde Scott, Frank Ziegler, Dan Sandifer and speedy Jim Parmer. Offensive ends are Bobby Walston, who also kicks PAT's, and Hall Of Famer Pete Pihos. Also shown are linebackers Gerry Cowhig and Elbert Van Buren, plus defensive backs Pat McHugh and Joe Sutton. Dick Steere and Al Wistert are at OG and Bud Grant plays both offensive and defensive end.
Shown battling the Eagles are NFL stars on other teams, such as Frank Tripucka, Billy Cross and Elmer Angsman of the Chicago Cardinals, Joe Perry, Frankie Albert and Y.A. Tittle of the 49'ers, Charlie Conerly, Eddie Price and Emlen Tunnell of the Giants, Lynn Chandnois, Chuck Ortmann and Jerry Shipkey of the Steelers, Otto Graham, Mac Speedie, Dante Lavelli and Lou Groza of the Browns, and Sammy Baugh, Harry Gilmer and "Bullett" Bill Dudley of the Redskins.
The Eagles season schedule and scores of all games are shown below:
1951 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES SCHEDULE
Won 4, Lost 8
|*|| ||Sept 30 Eagles 17, Cardinals 14 at Comiskey Park, Chicago|
|*|| ||Oct. 6 Eagles 21, 49'ers 14 at Shibe Park, Philadelphia (Saturday night game)|
| || ||Oct. 14 Packers 37, Eagles 24 at City Stadium, Green Bay|
|*|| ||Oct. 21 Giants 26, Eagles 24 at The Polo Grounds, New York|
| || ||Oct. 28 Redskins 27, Eagles 23 at Shibe Park|
|*|| ||Nov. 4 Eagles 34, Steelers 13 at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh|
|*|| ||Nov. 11 Browns 20, Eagles 17 at Municipal Stadium, Cleveland|
| || ||Nov. 18 Lions 28, Eagles 10 at Shibe Park|
| || ||Nov. 25 Steelers 17, Eagles 13 at Shibe Park|
|*|| ||Dec. 2 Eagles 35, Redskins 21 at Griffith Stadium, Washington|
| || ||Dec. 9 Giants 23, Eagles 7 at Shibe Park|
| || ||Dec. 16 Browns 24, Eagles 9 at Shibe Park|
| || || |
|*|| ||Only these games are shown on the '51 Eagles highlight film.
Now you can get your own copy of this rare and fascinating film for only $29.95 plus $5 shipping. (Illinois residents must add $2 sales tax).
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