PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 12: Head coach Andy Reid, right, of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with head trainer Rick Burkholder during rookie mini-camp at their practice facility on May 12, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
One of the most dedicated and well known Eagles fans of all time, "Eagle Joe" Borden, has passed away at the age of 62.
"Training camp will not be the same without Eagle Joe," said Andy Reid in a statement. "He was a fixture at our practices every summer for many, many years. He knew every player on the roster, their 40 time, their college and their statistics, it seemed. He bled green. And even though he was struggling with various illnesses in recent years, he still managed to travel to Lehigh a few times every camp. He always had a kind word of encouragement to each of our players and coaches. He never asked for anything and never expected anything, he just wanted to be around his Eagles family. We will certainly miss Joe and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends in their time of loss."
Eagle Joe has been at every Eagles training camp since 1975 when Mike McCormack was the Eagles head coach. Years later, Buddy Ryan got wind of Joe's story and started giving him field passes for camp. Since then, every Eagles coach has carried on the tradition of giving him on field passes to see practices. In fact, when Eagle Joe was declared legally blind in 2007 and could no longer drive a car, Andy Reid and Jeff Lurie decided to send a limo to his house in Exton every morning to pick him up.
This is an unassuming guy who worked at Acme that decided to use every vacation he had for the last 32 years going to to see Eagles' training camp. In 2001, he actually became part of the hall of fame when he was chosen as the Eagles representative in the "Visa Hall of Fans."
He exemplifies the kind of special relationship us Eagles fans have with our team. It's a sad day in the Eagles Nation for sure.