Monday was an eventful day in the Philadelphia sports media.

Let’s recap:

  1. Howard Eskin claims that Alshon Jeffery is Josina Anderson’s mystery source
  2. Anderson says that Eskin has “zero knowledge” whom her source is
  3. Jeff McLane asks Doug Pederson if Eskin is leaking information for the team
  4. McLane and Eskin reportedly shared some words after the press conference
  5. Mike Missanelli rips both McLane and Eskin, claiming the latter is a “water boy” for the Eagles and bought his own Super Bowl ring

Is that true? Did Howard really buy his own ring?

Said Mike:

“The Super Bowl ring I can tell you, (Eskin) purchased it himself. He didn’t get a ring, he bought it. That’s how pathetic what we’re talking about here is. Plus, he doesn’t get paid for being on the sidelines. He just likes to be there to be included. That’s the level of patheticness we’re talking about here.

He’s not really a member of the team and it’s not endorsed by the team whatever he says. But he likes to think he’s part of the team. You can judge for yourself somebody buying a Super Bowl ring, thinking he was part of it.”

Later in the day, two sources contacted Crossing Broad to dispute that claim, saying that Eskin did not purchase a ring but was instead given one as a member of the Birds’ radio broadcast team.

Here’s what I was told:

  • the team wanted to “take care” of their people, so they gave rings to Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Howard Eskin, and the radio producer, Joe McPeak
  • the rings were handed out at a private ceremony at the 2300 Arena in South Philly, so the public was not in the room at the time
  • there were apparently two different versions of the ring, one that was handed out to players and executives and employees, and then the one you were able to buy (so if you put them side by side, you should see a difference)
  • the only non-Eagles personnel at the event were +1 guests that employees and players were allowed to bring (a wife, girlfriend, husband, etc)

Here’s the kicker:

I was later told via a third source that Howard DID purchase a ring separately, but that it was not for him. It was given as a gift. So Mike Missanelli isn’t technically wrong; but there are actually two different rings in play here. There’s one that Howard was given by the team and another that was purchased and not worn by him.

I went looking for some photos and write-ups of the event, which was private. Most of what you saw last summer was video that was filmed outside of the building before people went inside. The only pictures that appear from INSIDE the building are from the team website and social media accounts, and I didn’t see any pics that included the entire broadcast team.

I did come across this one from Angelo Cataldi:

Kind of hard to tell since that pic is a little blurry, but here’s a shot of the official rings via the team:

That looks like the real one to me. Eagles logo with the Lombardi trophy and ring of diamonds.

And then if you scroll through Twitter you can find pictures of Howard and other folks with the ring. I guess he was letting fans wear the piece and take pictures with it. Here’s one via HughE Dillon:

I also found a WIP audio clip, from Friday, June 15th, 2018, with Joe DeCamara saying Eskin “did receive” a ring from the team. You can hear that within the first 30 seconds, before Howard says this:

“I am proud to have been honored to get a ring if that’s what you’re asking…. The reason I got the ring and it happens, I don’t know of a broadcast team in the National Football League, or in professional sports that doesn’t get a ring if you’re part of the broadcast team. So the fact that I’m honored to be part of maybe the best broadcast team in the NFL, I’m honored to be part of that and I’m honored that obviously because of that I got a ring.”

Audio of that around the two minute mark:

The video I did come across from inside the event featured Merrill Reese opening the box with his ring and the putting it on his finger. This courtesy of the team Twitter account, which would obviously have access to video the public doesn’t:

The rings feature each person’s last name on one side with the score of the game on the other side, so Howard, if he was given a ring, should have a personalized piece that says “Eskin” on it.

The WIP morning show then had Merrill on about a week later to talk about the ring ceremony. I also found this pic from my main man Rickie Ricardo, the Birds’ Spanish-language play-by-play guy, showing off his ring:

That’s about all I have.

Again, the ceremony was private, so if there’s any photos or video of Howard actually being handed a box with a ring in it, then the Eagles would have those clips. My understanding is that the team wanted to take care of their entire ‘family,’ which is why they gave the four-man broadcast team the same rings that the players and coaches received. That apparently extended to the Spanish crew as well. The ring that Howard then purchased is not worn by him.

So there’s the information I was able to dig up, plus the tidbits from three sources.

Have a fantastic day.