Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Heroes, ruffians and blips

These colorful characters all played one season or less in an Eagles uniform.

Alabama Pitts (1935): Signed out of Sing Sing prison, he was not a breakout star.

Irv Kupcinet (1935): After his two-game NFL career ended, "Kup" was one of Chicago's media hotshots

for six decades.

Frank Tripucka (1949): A first-round draft choice and the father of future NBA star Kelly Tripucka, he failed to win Greasy Neale's confidence and was quickly traded to the Lions.

Leo Skladany (1949): In his fourth and final game as an Eagle, he blocked a punt and landed on it for a touchdown in the NFL championship game.

John Madden (1958): A knee injury ended his only training camp as a player, making his stay even shorter than fellow coaching greats Bud Grant (1951-52) and Bill Cowher (1983-84).

Frank Budd (1962) and

John Carlos (1970): These Olympic sprint stars came and went fast. Budd caught one TD pass, while Carlos (known for his black-gloved salute at the 1968 Olympics) never made it into a game.

John Mellekas (1963): The guard's brief tenure was marred by a vicious fight with teammate Ben Scotti following a tense team meeting one day after John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Frank Molden (1968): When the defensive tackle arrived via trade, the team didn't have a scale big enough for him. They weighed him at the airport.

Bob Kuechenberg (1969): This all-pro guard had a chance to be perfect with the 1972 Dolphins only because the Eagles waived him as a rookie.

Happy Feller (1971): His given name was James,

he beat out Mark Moseley for the kicking job, and his chronic inaccuracy (he missed 14 of 20 field goals) made Birds fans unhappy.

Kevin Allen (1985) and Bernard Williams (1994): Both were first-rounders who started at offensive tackle as rookies. Then the authorities caught up with them - Allen for rape, Williams for drugs.

Guido A. Merkens (1987): This 32-year-old quarterback was one of the sad-sack strikebreakers who went

0-3 for a dismissive Buddy Ryan.

Tim Harris (1993): He was supposed to replace Reggie White and his 124 Eagles sacks, but fell 124 sacks short.

Brian Finneran (1999): Like Vince Papale, the undrafted receiver from Villanova was a local feel-good story. Then he started dropping passes.

Blaine Bishop (2002):

In the memories of many Eagles fans, this safety is still frantically chasing the Bucs' Joe Jurevicius in the NFC title game.

Jeff Garcia (2006): Not bad for a backup quarterback.

David Cohen For The Inquirer
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