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Camp opens

Oh yes, it's real. Our long national nightmare is over and football is back. The Eagles make their annual pilgrimage to Lehigh University today to settle in and camp officially kicks off tomorrow.

Since 1996, the Eagles have called Lehigh University their training-camp home, and neither side figures that situation will change for a long time. Although the contracts are only done one year at a time, the renewals are all but automatic. For instance, the Eagles already are signed for next year.

The team keeps coming back because of the location, convenience and clockwork operation. The university mostly digs the free advertising and exposure, which goes a long way so long as the thousands of fans visiting each day don't encounter any negativity.

Although Lehigh adds anywhere from 30 to 60 extra people per day to its work force during camp, the Eagles pick up the tab. Same goes for all the modifications to the athletic and housing facilities and all the food services.

The extra staff mostly handles security, crowd control and facilities maintenance, and consists of college students, teachers and seniors or retirees.

On the camp note, it looks as if all of us Eagles fans in the blogosphere will be organizing a trip up to Lehigh next week. Veterans report on Tuesday, so the trip will probably be between Wednesday and Friday along with a weekend day. Stay tuned for full details very soon.

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