Oct 8, 2013, 2:29 PM EDT
I find running to be maybe the most boring activity in the world. Why would I run somewhere, when I can walk there at a leisurely place? Really soak it in, you know? But I’m inching closer and closer to 30 now – still hoping for one more big, multi-year blogging contract – so I’ll drag myself to a treadmill once every three to five business days or so.
But I never have fun on the treadmill. My Blink 182 Pandora station has lost its luster. Sugar Ray keeps sneaking in there like an unwanted party guest, and I’ve already blown through the majority of King of the Ring PPVs. Still can’t believe all those cameramen were allowed so close to ringside during the Hulk Hogan/Yokozuna title match.
But then, when I was researching William Thomas, I stumbled upon old NFL Primetime clips – back when Primetime was cool, and Chris Berman was enjoyable, and Robin Roberts covered all the crappy games, and everyone knew every player who had gone to Louisville.
“Ernest Givins … from …”
It’s an exercise game changer. I could run to Harrisburg, as long Eagles/Redskins highlights from ’87 played softly in the background.
Name: Chris T. Jones
College: Miami (FL)
Eagles Tenure: 1995-1997
Drafted: 3rd Round, 1995
Semi-Believable WIP Call from 1996:
“Let’s go to Ed on the mobile.”
Hey, Steve, Mike. First time, long time. Had a quick comment about Chris T. Jones. I was at the game last week against Detroit – have had seasons since ’84 -
“Ed? Ed? I think we lost Ed. Let’s go to Frank in Port Richmond.”
There are some Eagles players who are cemented in Philly folklore through name alone. You have former CFL star, Henry “Gizmo” Williams, who back flipped his way into our hearts. Now, my mom wouldn’t let me get a dog growing up; so my Gizmo Pro Set rookie card slept at the foot of my bed until I was 16. And then you have Na Brown and N.D. Kalu and Tecmo Legend, Roger Ruzek, who could make any field goal inside the 50 yard line because the virtual wind was seemingly always at his virtual back.
And then there’s Chris T. Jones, whose name is as identifiable as it is generic. I don’t think I, or you for that matter, are capable of calling him, “Chris” or “Jones.” Even the Microsoft Word Paper Clip keeps saying, “Yo, you’re forgetting the ‘T’, dude.” Chris T. Jones just rolls off the tongue. The “T” is engrained in our heads like the ’93 Phillies roster (Where you at, Ben Rivera) or the lyrics to “Baby Got Back.”
Chris T. Jones wasn’t a bust in the Freddie Mitchell sense. He was a former 3rd round pick, a guy who, for a one season, seemed like a solid complement to Irving Fryar. Before Fryar “retired,” got a Harley from the Eagles front office, and rode off to Washington, anyway. After a quiet rookie year, Jones hauled in 70 grabs for over 850 yards. The Ty Detmer/T. Jones combo was more lethal than La Femme Nikita, which can be seen next, after Monday Night Raw … only on USA. It was an impressive sophomore campaign for the No. 2 receiver, as Chris T. played the Calvin Williams to Fryar’s Fred Barnett. (The Birds had a nice regular season, but sputtered at San Francisco in the playoffs).
So expectations were high for Jones entering the 1997 season*.
*Perhaps no one was higher on Jones than this friend of a friend. A buddy of mine, and this story has been passed on from generation to generation, was in a fantasy football league with a guy who took Chris T. Jones No. 7 overall in the summer of 1996 – before Jones collected 800+ receiving yards. Mind you, Chris T. Jones had caught just five balls in ‘95. It was like drafting Tyler Cloyd in the 1st round, because he had shut down the Marlins in late September.
“Watched Tyler’s start in Florida last year. Did a great job keeping the ball down. I’m expecting big things.”
The draft room went completely silent. In order to protect the innocent, let’s call this guy, “Rick.” Rick was a Penn State grad and Eagles fan, and without the benefit of a magazine or common sense in 1997, drafted only Eagles, former Eagles, and PSU players.
Man, as they say, cannot survive on Chris T. Jones and O.J. McDuffie alone. Rick went 1-13. (His only win came in Week 1, thanks to a Herculean effort from former Birds TE, Keith Jackson).
But Jones could never match his 1996 success. The injury bug bit Chris T. the following year, and he had arthroscopic surgery to clear up some loose bodies in his knee. Those pesky, loose bodies then later found their way into Scott Eyre’s elbow. Vindictive little buggers. Another typical anti-Philly bias, I’m sure. Chris T. Jones was never the same post surgery. He played just four games for the Birds that year, and quietly retired from the NFL after a failed comeback with the Raiders in 1999.
So today, we remember Chris T. Jones. There have been better Eagles receivers, but few as recognizable.
The “T” stands for timeless.
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