PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As hard as it is to believe, athletes—more specifically—NFL football players, are also human beings. Former Eagles full back, Jon Ritchie, let us into that world on Tuesday night on 94WIP.
When Ritchie was cut by the Eagles before the 2005 season, he broke down in tears during his phone conversation with Andy Reid. Ritchie told the story on 94WIP Tuesday night, while co-hosting an evening show with 94WIP’s Brian Haddad.
“We were through camp,” Ritchie began. “I was the starting full back all of camp. The other two guys weren’t even playing because they were injured. Camp ended, camp broke, I went home to go watch my high school team play on Friday—went home because my birthday was gonna be Sunday or something like that. Saturday morning, my cell phone rang and it was Tom Heckert [Eagles Vice President of player personnel]. He said, ‘Hey Andy [Reid] is gonna give you a call.'”
Ritchie, who played all 16 games at fullback for the Eagles in 2003, missed 13 games in 2004 due to a knee-injury. However, he fought his way back onto the field and was once again the Eagles starting fullback throughout training camp in 2005, before he was released.
“I was completely shocked,” Ritchie explained on 94WIP. “I did not see it coming. I had no clue. The last day they could possibly release me, so every other team has their roster set—terrible time. Played all of camp! I was the fullback through camp! [I] Busted my butt to get back and able to play wearing a big knee brace, you know.”
Haddad asked, “So, what did Andy say?”
“‘Well, we’re gonna go with the other guy. We don’t think your knee is where it needs to be. The other guy is younger and not as beat up.'”
“Both of them, the other guys [Josh Perry and Tom Tupea], because they both stayed,” Ritchie continued. “I didn’t. I was older and broken down and more expensive.”
An emotional Ritchie admitted he broke down in tears while on the phone with his former head coach.
“I cried,” Ritchie admitted. “I mean, uncontrollably. I was so shocked. I can’t even describe the feeling—it was the most mortifying experience of my life, just because I was so blind sided by it. And it was just the worst day of my life to the point—the worst moment and I just lost it.”
After a brief silence, a sarcastic Ritchie said, “No, it’s good to relive it though. A lot of fun.”
You can hear Ritchie tell the story on 94WIP with Haddad below.
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