By Joseph Santoliquito
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jabbar Graham wondered who it was knocking on the front door of his Cherry Hill, New Jersey house at 9 Friday morning. When Graham answered, his blinking expression said it all—this guy at the door looks a like Eagles Pro Bowl linebacker Connor Barwin.
That’s because it was Connor Barwin, there to aid an NRG House Solar crew install solar panels to Graham’s roof. Other Eagles may have still been asleep or sitting comfortably in an air conditioned room on their day Friday. Barwin, possibly much to the chagrin of Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly, was scaling a ladder with a solar panel over his right shoulder helping a family convert to green energy.
“I’m very happy that this working family is having this installation done and I’m very happy to be a part of it,” said Barwin, who’s had a partnership with NRG, which has headquarters in New Jersey and Houston, where Barwin played for the Texans, for the last four years. “It was obvious for some of the things I do off the field and the green issues that I’m a part of. The partnership started four years ago and it’s grown ever since. I go to Haiti now with them every off-season and we’re doing this installation and hopefully it will continue to grow.
“Solar energy is great for the environment. It’s a win-win. It makes total sense for someone living in this kind of neighborhood and with this kind of roof space. They’re going to save money, and it’s sending the right message to children about the future and taking care of where they live. I’ve learned a lot about NRG as a company and the great things they’re doing. They’re trying to be a transformative company and be a part of the future. That’s been great for me, just learning about that and learning about solar energy, learning about the environment and the benefits from it. The whole three or four years I’ve been partnering with them I’ve gained a lot from it.”
Barwin said when he first signed with the Eagles he noticed that Lincoln Financial Field used solar paneling.
“There was some synergy there other than the football part of it,” Barwin said. “Christina Lurie (ex-wife of Eagles’ owner Jeff Lurie) started the whole trend of putting solar in NFL stadiums and took a leadership role. I believe Lincoln Financial has the most green energy than any other stadium in the country.”
Graham was certainly appreciative.
“I had no idea when I came to the door and I see this huge guy,” Graham said. “I thought it looked like Connor Barwin. I asked my girl, ‘Is that Connor Barwin from the Eagles?’ As soon as I saw take his hard hat off, I knew it was him. This isn’t surprising, since he’s been with the Eagles, he’s been in the community. Connor is a real class act. He’s a great dude, a great dude.”