GOODNIGHT BROOKIE: Number 40 Goes To Eagles Heaven

brookshier.jpgNEW YORK TIMES: Tom Brookshier, a star defensive back who helped lead the Philadelphia Eagles to the 1960 National Football League championship and later teamed with Pat Summerall as CBS’s No. 1 professional football broadcasting duo, died Friday at a hospital in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood, Pa. Brookshier, who lived in West Conshohocken, Pa., was 78. The cause was cancer, said his wife, Barbara. When Brookshier, a native of Roswell, N.M., joined the Eagles in 1953 out of the University of Colorado, he was a 10th-round draft pick. Figuring he was likely to be cut, he decided to make an impression on the Eagles’ coach, Joe Trimble, at training camp in Hershey, Pa. As he once related it on the Eagles’ Web site: “Our No. 1 draft choice came downfield on a pass pattern, and I knocked him out. Our coach jumped and yelled, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to get cut!’ But he ran out and said, ‘I like that!’ ” Brookshier intercepted eight passes that season and went on to become a key figure in the Eagles’ defense. His former teammate Chuck Bednarik, a Hall of Fame linebacker, said the 6-foot, 196-pound Brookshier “might have been the toughest defensive back of our era; he was a hitter.” MORE

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