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Eagles alums Hollis Thomas, Garry Cobb ready to tackle ‘Celebrity Football’ in Delco – Delco Times

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RIDLEY PARK — From his high school days in Missouri to his collegiate career at Northern Illinois, through his experiences with the Eagles and the NFL, during his time as Souls’ indoor coach and every day since, Hollis PARK Thomas faces an enduring reality.

“Everyone,” he said, “wanted to play football.”

want to? OK

can? Not always.

But that’s why Thomas, a former Morton resident, was at Dolan’s Bar last week with a bit of a game face, 13 years after his last NFL game. There he started hyping things he was sure he would need someday. Egged on by promoter Damon Feldman, who used Delaware County as an incubator for a successful H-Class celebrity boxing match, Thomas was ready to tackle… celebrity football.

Of course he is.

“It’s like extreme 7-on-7,” said the former Eagles defensive lineman. “But you’re going to see everyone being very competitive, planning and running around. It’s going to be fine.”

Thomas and Feldman are like-minded people, one a former pro football player, the other a former pro heavyweight, a couple of people willing to take some bruises, smile and come back for more. They first met nearly 20 years ago when Thomas hosted a Feldman-made celebrity boxing match in Woodlyn. Thomas was too strong then and too mature now to accept the ever-open fighting chance, but when the idea of ​​celebrity football popped up, he couldn’t resist.

A short version of the concept, which will be more formally outlined at a press event at Marty Magee’s in Prospect Park on Aug. 4, is that regional athletes will sign up for a best-of-three flag-ball tournament, but not by celebrities or before then. Professional player coaching and preparation, including Thomas and Garry Cobb. Both bowlers and boxers, Feldman arranged for a boxing stare from the two former Eagles.

just because of.

“Competition always brings out the best in you when you’re doing things with other people,” said former NFL linebacker Cobb. “You want to stand out. And I especially don’t want to lose to defensive linemen. We tell them what to do. They’re not as smart as us.

“Hollis has a mouth. So you’ll hear it forever. I can’t lose to Hollis. Nope.”

That’s the interesting side of the concept. Norm Nelson, who will help set the schedule and rules of the game, sees it in a different way. Offensive linebacker and nose tackle went to Cheney in the 1994 Hero Bowl postseason at Springfield High School, and later played with the semi-pro Delco Broncos before tearing his hamstring and career at the same time. Nelson doesn’t think he’s alone, viewing the Masters as a backdoor for some talented players who may be injured or overlooked in order to take another shot in front of the crowd.

“There are a lot of players who have gone through or endured some kind of tragedy in their lives, whether they can’t afford to go to college, they don’t have scholarships, maybe they’re injured, maybe they have responsibilities to their families, or there’s a disruption,” Nelson said. “It gives them a chance to be noticed. Maybe they get a chance to break through. You never know.”

Both Cobb and Thomas plan to provide participants with serious coaching and football skills. There must be a fantasy camp-level story.

“I love celebrity boxing,” Feldman said. “Through that, I’ve had a great life. But my son Landon is going to be a sophomore at Springfield and he loves football. So that inspired me to try this. You’re going to see a lot of people coaching, Including the fathers of a lot of kids, so they have a chance to play.”

The first game is tentatively scheduled for November 12, but the venue has not yet been selected. Feldman insists, however, that it will be in Delaware County. “This is my hometown,” he said. “I hope it’s here. We’re going to have fun. We’re going to hype it up like boxing.”

It sounds a bit like a late round, take your chance, swing the punch. But Thomas knows what happens when ambitious athletes once again pursue football achievements.

“I was involved in one of those in Las Vegas,” he said. “It’s competitive. It’s very competitive.”

Then, a charity flag ball was recently held at the NovaCare Complex.

“That was really fun,” Thomas said. “Except for Jason Avant’s team that seems to have found some different rules. I blame him for Tom Brady.”

Thomas played for the Eagles in the 2005 Super Bowl, but lost to Brady and the infamous Spygate Patriots and Deflategate. Avant became his teammate in 2006.

“Jason and I were at odds,” Thomas said. “I wonder why he’s standing behind the quarterback, telling him when to throw and when to run. If you’re a coach, you should be on the sidelines. I yelled that day. But it’s good for the blood.”

Feldman has yet to finalize his coaching roster, but he said Shaquille O’Neal, his longtime friend, texted him for more information. He also mentioned rappers Flava Flav and Peter Gunz. who knows? The man did take Octomom to Delco for a pillow fight and once sold out for the Vai Sikahema-Jose Canseco main event at a small course in Atlantic City.

In October, Feldman will present at AC the most serious fight fans and historians have long demanded – Lamar Odom vs. Drake alike – which will be his last week on the radio with Iris Attempting a grudge match between radio personalities Jon Marks and Joe De Kamara.

So if celebrity boxing works, maybe football can work too.

“We’re going to give them some good coaching,” promised Thomas, who has also done sports broadcasting with Cobb. “It may not be professional level coaches, but they can keep their competitiveness flowing and try to win titles. That’s a good thing.”

And, unlike contact sports, no one can suffer a concussion while playing flag football.

“You never know,” said Nelson, 46, “even if I might put the cleats back on.”

It’s something everyone wants to do, as Hollis Thomas discovered.



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