BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The greatest receiver in Eagles history arrived in the Twin Cities on Thursday, almost giddy with anticipation at the chance to see the franchise he loves get another chance at the Super Bowl ring that once eluded him.
Harold Carmichael is having one heck of a run in retirement.
Carmichael, the legendary Southern receiver, found out in October that he'd been voted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame, an honor he's quietly coveted as he's watched other peers from his time in the SWAC inducted over the years. The honor came right in the middle of a magical season for the Eagles, the NFL team that has been Carmichael's passion and project for most of his adult life.
The thrill is at a fever pitch now. Carmichael, who was part of the 1980 Philadelphia team that reached the Super Bowl, is in Minnesota to watch his Eagles make a play for their first NFL championship since 1960 and their first Super Bowl ring, and next week he'll head to Atlanta for his formal induction into the Hall of Fame.
"It's been a great couple of months for me, from the news of my induction to the Black College Football Hall of Fame, to the NFC Championship Game and now the Super Bowl," Carmichael said. "This has been a great, great month for me."
Carmichael, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound seventh-rounder, spent the first 13 seasons of his incredible 14-year career in Philadelphia, racking up 589 catches, 8,978 yards and 79 touchdowns, all numbers that still stand as the best in franchise history and are in no jeopardy of falling any time soon.
When he retired after getting little playing time with Dallas, Carmichael had a choice. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and a SWAC star at Southern, Carmichael could have chosen to return to the South.
Except that Philadelphia had become his home.
"We chose to stay, although when I was done playing, we moved to south Jersey," Carmichael said. "That's just like Philadelphia, in my opinion. I didn't want to go any other place. I raised my family here."
Truth be told, the 13 years he spent playing for the Eagles had already turned him into a true Philadelphian.
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