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Changing of the Guard


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Changing of the Guard

Posted: June 20th, 2021 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 78 Comments

Part of being a sports fan is loving sports coverage. When I was a kid, you wanted Dick Stockton and Tommy Heinsohn calling your NBA game. They were a terrific duo. Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola were the stars of baseball coverage. The greatest broadcasting duo was Pat Summerall and John Madden, the kings of NFL coverage. They were truly special and a key part of why I became such a big NFL fan.

Those guys no longer call games. Some of them have passed away. They will always be special to me.

I mention all of this because of the news we got on Saturday.


Les Bowen is retiring.

Even Les isn’t old enough to be part of my childhood, but he’s been a regular part of my Eagles fandom for almost two decades.

I wasn’t very happy when Les started writing about the Eagles in 2002. Why are they forcing the hockey guy on us? How is a guy who has covered Eric Lindros going to suddenly do a good job with Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles quest for a Super Bowl? Ugh.

Clearly I was wrong. Good writers are good writers. You could have Les go cover the Lumberjack World Championship and he would find a way to make it interesting. That’s what good writers do.

Les has been a terrific Eagles beat writer. One of the reasons I enjoy his work so much is that Les is more interested in telling stories than breaking stories. Some writers obsess on trying to be the first to report a deal. In trying to do that, those guys end up reporting some rumors that don’t pan out and they speculate more than they report.

When Les breaks a story, you can trust it. He is careful about what he writes. A writer’s reputation is part of their credibility.

He’s also an old school writer that is looking to do more than just report the score and key highlights. Sports are played by people. They are coached by people. What is the human angle? What story is there to be told? The best writers can find that angle and turn a game recap into a real story.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with Les down at the Senior Bowl. The first year we met he playfully chided me for not wearing a hat, which led to a sun-burned bald spot. I’ve worn a hat ever since.

Les is a genuinely good guy. He can tell a story and will listen to yours. He has a fantastic sense of humor. I will miss swapping stories as we watched practice or enjoyed a barbecue lunch together.

Make sure you go read Les’s farewell piece.

Eagles fans are lucky that losing a writer the quality of Les Bowen doesn’t significantly lower the coverage of the team. You still have Jeff McLane, Domo, Jimmy Bama, Sheil Kapadia, Zach Berman, Bo Wulf, Dave Zangaro, Roob, Brandon Lee Gowton, Geoff Mosher and plenty of others. It really is amazing that one team has so much good coverage. I don’t know if the average Eagles fan knows how lucky they are. Also, several of those guys are young and will be covering the Eagles for a while.

Les says will stay active on Twitter. He will write occasional pieces. We’re not completely getting rid of him.


Les and I are from the same neighborhood in Charlotte, NC. We grew up about 2 blocks apart. He’s got a few years on me, but it still seems crazy that a couple of Charlotte boys would become so focused on Philly sports. He did it for a job, I did it by choice (I’m a glutton for punishment).

It will be interesting to see if the coaching change has an impact on Cox. He’s not getting any younger. You would think he’d be desperate to get back to winning. Hopefully he will be all in on what the new guys are selling.

When he’s healthy, Fletcher Cox is still one of the best DTs in the league.


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