【N.J】 Seeing his son coach towards Eagles will probably be surreal second for Delaware County’s Bill O’Connell – US News Network – New Jersey News

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PHILADELPHIA — Proper across the opening kickoff Monday evening, amid the chants of “E-A-G-L-E-S” rocking Lincoln Monetary Subject, Bill O’Connell’s life will flash earlier than him.

All-Metropolis defensive again on the 1972 St. James Metropolis Championship soccer crew. Bulldog in particular operations with the FBI. Above all, father of Kevin O’Connell, third-round draft choose of the New England Patriots and now head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Deep down inside, Bill O’Connell will probably be such a nervous wreck it’s an excellent factor the man who will occupy the seat subsequent to him at Lincoln Monetary Subject is lifelong buddy Tony Serge, a buddy at St. Joseph’s elementary faculty in Aston and a teammate on that historic Bulldogs title crew.

“Being a Delaware County guy most of my life, and moving away, I tell people, ‘Hey, I was always an Eagles fan,’” O’Connell stated. “In fact, I got in trouble a couple of times because we were in California and I was watching games and I’d start blaring out a chorus of ‘Fly, Eagles, Fly.’ People didn’t always appreciate that. It’s kind of surreal to be going in there Monday.”

A gaggle of O’Connell’s soccer teammates at St. James can have his again when his son’s Vikings tackle the Eagles. A number of bought collectively Saturday on the Doghouse in Eddystone to have fun the fiftieth anniversary of the 42-0 metropolis championship victory over Frankford, the one during which Serge rushed for 154 yards and two landing, Dave Lansberry tallied a few TDs dashing for 134 yards, and, um, O’Connell dropped an interception. Possibly even a pair. All was forgiven and quite a lot of laughs have been had by all watching the video of that sport and others, together with one during which O’Connell picked off a go.

“Run that back,” he quipped to a refrain of laughter, the group together with amongst a number of distinguished others, Joe Gallagher, Gary Barnes and Joe Neubauer, who helped put the festivities collectively.

“I haven’t seen some of these guys in 50 years,” O’Connell stated. “Gary Barnes, God bless him, he’s been doing a lot of the coordinating work. He’s reached out and got this thing together. It’s been a labor of love. And thank God we have a Doghouse.”

A gaggle of Bulldogs are tailgating Monday on the Linc. O’Connell’s brother and sister will probably be there, as will a piece of the youthful generations of Bill and spouse Suzanne’s households, many from the Delaware Valley space. Suzanne attended Notre Dame Academy, the sister faculty of St. James. If the kinfolk are something like Bill or Kevin O’Connell, they’ll be locked in each play.

The Vikings are coming off a precision 23-7 win over Aaron Rodgers and the Inexperienced Bay Packers in Week 1. This gained’t be Kevin’s first Eagles sport in Philly. He attended video games right here as a child, performed right here within the preseason as a participant with the Patriots and Jets, and coached right here as an assistant with Washington and the Los Angeles Rams.

However it is going to be a brand new position for Kevin O’Connell, now 37 and named head coach of the Vikings shortly after celebrating the Rams’ Tremendous Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Oh, and sure, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni sees quite a lot of Sean McVay in O’Connell, who was offensive coordinator with the Rams.

“Small sample size, but, yeah,” Sirianni stated. “You’re going to do things the way that you did them when you won a Super Bowl. I have a lot of respect for Coach O’Connell. He’s done a really nice job, and I think he’s a really good coach. He has to put his own spin on things, too. They have different players in Minnesota than they did at the Rams, so there are definitely differences. Definitely, I see the similarities as well.”

Bill O’Connell is aware of how robust it’s to win in Philly. He is aware of Eagles followers, the traditions and the way Kevin grew up idolizing Randall Cunningham however was simply as happy with his Wilbert Montgomery jersey. (Montgomery’s son, Derron, is a top quality management coach with the Vikings.) Bill O’Connell additionally is aware of the Vikings are two-point underdogs.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” O’Connell stated. “We’re playing a heck of a good football team Monday night but we’re very optimistic. All week (the Vikings have) spoken about their experiences going to Philly. I think they’re mentally and logistically ready for the boo birds and the stadium and the noise. They’ve played in some pretty noisy places. Even last year at Sofi, it’s a loud place to play.”

Bill O’Connell attended Maryland on a monitor scholarship, completed javelin thrower that he was, and transferred to Villanova College. He resides in Southern California, however has lived everywhere in the nation, from San Diego to New York Metropolis, to Knoxville, Tenn., the place Kevin was born.

Whereas lots of the tales O’Connell has from his days with the FBI are too categorized to inform, soccer has introduced again the fireplace. For Bill. it’s much more than dwelling vicariously by way of Kevin. Watching the Vikings’ opener was emotional for Bill/

“As the dad, and seeing his progression from playing to coaching, it was a very profound moment,” O’Connell stated. “He and I had a few minutes pre-game and we hugged and I said good luck and I was proud of him. I can’t describe the feeling. It’s right there. Talk about being proud. I mean, I can’t describe it. It was just incredible.”

For Bill and Kevin O’Connell, life comes full circle Monday once they each get collectively at – what else – an Eagles sport.

To contact Bob Grotz, e mail rgrotz@delcotimes.com or @BobGrotz on Twitter

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