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This article says it all...........................................................


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W.C. Fields, as it turns out, was not the only one who'd rather be in Philadelphia. After 10 seasons in Atlanta, where he earned All-NFL or All-Pro recognition eight times and was selected to play in six Pro Bowls, defensive end Claude Humphrey wanted to leave the Falcons.

"I kind of got in there and pushed for the trade. I had been stuck in Atlanta for a long time and I didn't feel like my career was going anywhere there," said Humphrey, who was dealt to the Eagles in 1979 for two fourth-round draft choices. "I just needed to get away, get a change of scenery, and play with somebody else.

"Philadelphia was the specific place that I wanted to go due to the fact that coach **** Vermeil was there (along with defensive coordinator) Marion Campbell, who had been my head coach and my defensive coordinator. I just wanted to reunite with Marion and see if he couldn't help boost my career at that time."

DE Claude Humphrey

He could. Even though Humphrey had retired from the Falcons with 12 games left on the '78 schedule, in his first season with the Eagles, he finished second in sacks and led the team with 31 quarterback hurries. In 1980, he had a team-leading 14.5 sacks.

And now, Humphrey's 13-year NFL career may get another boost. For the third time in the last four years, he is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"I'm trying not to get too excited. That first year, I made it all the way to the finals and I couldn't sleep. I was laying up there saying, 'I've got a chance to be in the Hall of Fame. Man! That'd be the pinnacle of my career.' I told my wife that I won't get so excited about it again," Humphrey laughed. "I'll just wait. If I get a call, that's fine. If not, then I'm not going to get myself worked up like that.

"I've gotten the chance to be in the Georgia Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Hall of Fame. My college, they retired my jersey and I'm in the Hall of Fame there. My high school's got my jersey retired and I'm in the Hall of Fame. But I don't think anything can compare to being selected one of the top people in your profession."

Twenty-five years ago, Humphrey and his Eagle teammates were as close to the top as he had ever gotten. Having experienced only two winning seasons in his 10 with the Falcons, in 1980, Humphrey was a part of the Philadelphia team that went 12-4 and won the NFC Championship.

"We played together. A lot of teams in the NFL, I thought, were a little bit more talented than we were, but none of those teams played together any better than the Eagles did," Humphrey said. "Those guys really felt for each other.

"I ran into a camaraderie there that I had never experienced before. We had some good players down in Atlanta, but it was more of an individual thing than anything else. We didn't have a lot of players that really, really, really played together. And that's what Philadelphia had going for them that so many other places didn't. We played together in Philly."

Played together and aside from Super Bowl XV, won together. During Humphrey's three seasons with the Eagles, they posted 33 victories. During his 10 full seasons in Atlanta, the Falcons won only 50 times.

DE Claude Humphrey

"Being with the Eagles was the way I thought football was going to be," says Humphrey. "I played in a game where I got four sacks in Atlanta and nobody said anything about it. And then I got up to Philadelphia and got in a game and got four sacks and got the game ball, got my picture on the front of the paper, got to go out to eat dinner for being player of the week.

"The people in Philadelphia, I thought they loved me. In Atlanta, shoot, people didn't even hardly know who I was and I was going out and getting two or three sacks a game and picking up fumbles.

"I'll give you a perfect example. One year the Vikings came to town and I scored the winning touchdown (on a fumble return), sacked the quarterback twice, and didn't even get a game ball. We had guys in Atlanta that punted the ball, they gave him a game ball. They gave a guy a game ball for running without fumbling in the game. They gave a guy a game ball for kicking a field goal and an extra point. They gave him a game ball, but they didn't give me a game ball. They didn't even mention me. I just felt like I was not appreciated in Atlanta."

Humphrey, who makes his home in suburban Memphis, Tenn., is enjoying his retirement with his wife, Sandra. Looking back, he says that he appreciates being able to conclude his playing days with the Eagles.

"I just hate that it came so late in my career. But playing with Philadelphia was one of the best things that ever could have happened to me," Humphrey said. "Getting the chance to go out and meet those fans. Every week they used to bring us hoagies in the locker room. I wasn't used to stuff like that. I wasn't used to being treated good as a football player.

"Getting up there in Philadelphia, that's one thing I'm most proud of, that I got a chance to be with some great coaches and some great teammates. My teammates up there were just outstanding."

I feel sorry for Dunn who ran for over 10,000 yards in his career (I think only 21 running backs in history have ever done this) and he did it in a Falcon uniform and yet you have all these so called fans on the board making such disparaging remarks. You have Keith Brooking who has led the team in tackles time and time again and these same people making awful comments about him. It truly shows a lack of class. Claude Humphrey puts it in perspective pretty well of what it is like to be a Falcon. I can't believe he never got a game ball. The real shocker is the fact that with 3 years with the Eagles he participated in 33 wins where it took 10 years with the Falcons to reach 50.

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