Philadelphia Eagles history repeats itself, 30 years later

Marion Campbell received his pink slip from the Eagles with a game left in the 1985 season.

George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles fans are a staunch, diehard bunch. They live and fly with their Gang Green.

So, forgive them if they they have seen this script before. You know, the one where a coach is fired before the final game of a season.


Chip Kelly was fired Tuesday. He has company in Eagles history. In 1985, a nice, round 30 years ago, Eagles management decided it had enough of head coach Marion Campbell . . . with one game left in the regular season.

So, with a 6-9 record heading into the season finale with the Minnesota Vikings, Campbell was fired.

Fred Bruney was named interim coach for the season finale and he led the Birds to a 37-35 victory over the Vikings. The offensive output was a season-high for the Eagles.

Now, is where it gets strange. These Eagles also have a 6-9 record. A victory Sunday over the New York Giants would mean Philadelphia matches the 7-9 mark of the 1985 team. The wide receivers coach on that Eagles team was one Tom Coughlin, who will be coaching Big Blue against Philly on Sunday.

Bruney finished his head coaching tenure with a 1-0 mark.

The following season, Buddy Ryan took over as head coach of the Eagles.

If history is truly going to repeat itself, there is at least one Ryan — Rob, Buddy’s son, who is looking for work.

Another son of Buddy, Rex, is currently leading the way in Buffalo. A loss in the Bills’ season finale against the Jets would leave Buffalo with a — you got it — 7-9 record. So, we’re back to that again.