The calls light up the board. Fans are angry, disgruntled.
“When the heck is Andy Reid going to realize you can’t just pass, pass, pass? They’ve got to run the ball,” shouts a perturbed caller.
“Look, cuz, that’s just not his philosophy. What you see is what you get, and it’s not going to change,” the host fires back.
Welcome to a day in the life of Anthony Gargano, sports broadcaster for the popular 610 WIP radio station in Philadelphia.
Gargano, a South Philadelphia native, Temple alumnus and former writer for the New York Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer, is celebrating the release of his second book, A Sunday Pilgrimage: Six Days, Several Prayers and the Super Bowl.
In the book, Gargano takes readers on a six day journey to the “Promised Land”-Jacksonville, Fla., home of the 2005 Super Bowl.
During the journey readers meet the heart and soul of the fans, players, coaches and Gargano himself as they come together for the game of all games, a game no Philadelphia team has ever won. A Sunday Pilgrimage is a must-read for all sports fans, Philadelphians in particular.
The journey begins at the legendary Tony Luke’s sports bar in South Philly, where Gargano, his co-host and their close friends begin their trip to the Sunshine State.
Each has his own story of undying love for the team in green on Pattison Avenue. Along the ride, Gargano takes the reader behind the scenes to meet with some of the integral components of the Eagles magical run, including linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, head coach Andy Reid and wide receiver Terrell Owens.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Gargano represents the truly passionate fan. He connects with them and brings their stories to life. When reading, the reader can’t help but feel as if they are on the trip, making it seem as if Jacksonville has turned into “Phillyville.”
“What I witnessed in A Sunday Pilgrimage was the collective delectation of a city and its surrounding environs, a spiritual togetherness that momentarily combated the hardships and adversity of everyday life,” Gargano said in A Sunday Pilgrimage. “I regaled in the individual stories of the people in and around the Philadelphia Eagles and how this affected and impacted their path. And I long to revisit this place of Elysium on earth again, perhaps in a place like Detroit [site of the 2006 Super Bowl].”
Gargano doesn’t believe that he has reached the pinnacle of his writing career, shaking off the notion off with proof of his future plans.
His next project is a screenplay with his childhood friend about the 1971 Immaculata University women’s basketball team, a small school that ended up winning the AIAW Championship.
“A women’s version of Hoosiers,” Gargano said.
Michael Mudrick can be reached at email@example.com.