Two Philadelphia legends will be remembered on Friday, one for his deep intellect and the other for his passionate voice.
The family of Jim Johnson will hold a private memorial service for the former Eagles defensive coordinator at the West Club of Lincoln Financial Field. The service is expected to draw many former players and colleagues. In honor of Johnson, head coach Andy Reid cancelled all pre-season practices today so that current Eagles’ players can pay respect to their former coach and friend.
During the Johnson era, the Eagles defense ranked second in the NFL in sacks (390), third down success rates (34%) and red zone touchdown percentage (43.9%) and ranked fourth in fewest points allowed per game (17.7).
During his 10 years with the Birds, he helped take the team to seven playoff berths, five trips to the NFC Championship game and one Super Bowl appearance.
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
And in a memorial that is expected to draw up 45,000 people, the long-time voice of the Phillies, as well as the voice of summer, Harry Kalas will be inducted into the Citizens Bank Park Wall of Fame before the game on Friday, David Gurian-Peck of MLB.com writes.
Already inducted into broadcast wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002, Harry will take his rightful place on the wall as a man who was the best at what he did.
Attending the ceremony will be current Wall of Famers Robin Roberts, Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton, Michael Jack Schmidt, Dick Allen, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox, Tony Taylor, Bob Boone, Dallas Green and Juan Samuel.
Harry's 39-year history calling the Phillies' games includes opening and closing Veterans Stadium, opening Citizens Bank Park, six no-hitters, six National League Championship Series and, of course, last year's World Series run (local broadcasters were not allowed to call the World Series’ games when the Phillies won in 1980). He was also the voice of NFL Films.
On Friday, stories will be told, tears will be shed and we will forever miss the two, but take solace in the fact that Harry and Johnson will always be with us, watching.
Because after all, heroes get remembered, but legends never die.