For the avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, John Maxymuk’s Eagles by the Numbers fills a huge void. Using the device of jersey numbers to compile the first comprehensive history of the team, the author tracks down over 1400 players who have worn 1 to 99 throughout the seventy-plus years Philadelphia has been in the NFL. Each chapter focuses on a single number, featuring one player strongly identified with it, as well as naming all others who have worn it, and then takes off into broader Eagles or football lore. Interspersed throughout are decade reviews of the team, covering win–loss records, best and worst draft, and Hall of Famers playing at the time, among other highlights. Capping it off is an Eagles All-Time Roster, listing all the numbers worn by each player.
From number to number, Maxymuk maintains a balance between the celebrated and the comparatively unknown, between the past and the present. Most everyone knows 5 belongs to Donovan McNabb and 12 to Randall Cunningham, but for 72 Maxymuk reaches back to Jess Richardson, who was the Eagles’ MVP in 1955 and the last lineman in the league to play without a facemask. Taking a thematic rather than strictly chronological approach to the team’s cultural heritage, Maxymuk spotlights players who best illustrate the stories that need to be told.
Distilled from four decades of research on the Birds, Eagles by the Numbers will be a satisfying resource for a long time to come. Whether you’re looking for just the bare facts or juicy anecdotes about key rivalries, end-zone celebrations and shady characters, you will find them all here.
About the Author
John Maxymuk has written several books, among them a history of the Green Bay Packers and a book on the NFL. He has been a reference librarian for the past twenty years, the last fourteen at Rutgers University, and lives with his wife and family in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is also the author of Eagles Facts and Trivia.