Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eagles to play all league's bird teams for first time in a good while

The National Football League released individual team schedules today including dates and times. The Philadelphia Eagles will play 16 games this year over the course of 17 weeks. They will also play four games that do not count before the season even begins. The schedule also has a few games beginning at 1PM Eastern time.

But what stands out most on the schedule is the fact that the Eagles are playing all of the league's teams whose mascots are also birds.

The Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals are all on the Birds schedule for the first time since the late 90's, early 00's or maybe ever. "It's nuts. Sure it's cool to have some prime time games, but playing all the bird teams is something I have waited a long time for," said Vince Mullen, a fan from South Philadelphia.

The "Bird Teams" of the NFL have always had a special relationship that other teams strive to develop. So strong was the bond that the teams started a club in 1985 called Feather Football to discuss what it was like to have a bird mascot.

"The teams and the coaching staff would gather twice during the season, as they do now, and once during the off-season to develop unity and discuss 'bird topics,'" said Buddy Ryan, Eagles coach from 1986-90.

The Ravens are the newest member of the club joining in 2001, five years after their move from Cleveland. "We made a rule that to join Feather Football a team has to be in the league (or named a after a bird in the Ravens case) for five years," said Feather Football President, Brad Goebel.

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