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One Loyal Fan’s Dying Wish: 8 Eagles Pallbearers To Let Him Down ‘One More Time’

by: Darrelle Lincoln On  Thursday, August 24, 2017

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It seems like a never-ending nightmare for the fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, as they cheer and fight their hearts out, only to watch the team fall short of winning a Super Bowl yet again.

For one loyal fan, he never got the chance to see his team go all the way and hold that Lombardi Trophy, but he did have a good sense a humor about it as his time on Earth were nearing its end.

Philly.com has the details:

“As Jeffrey Clayton Riegel was nearing death, among the Eagle fan’s last wishes was to have eight team members serve as his pallbearers.

Why?

“So the Eagles can let him down one last time,” according to an obituary published in the Press of Atlantic City.

It was not always an easy team to love, his wife said, adding that she suggested he pay allegiance to a different team.

“I just can’t,” he would respond.

In the obit published Sunday, Mr. Riegel, an electrician, was described as a “wonderful husband, uncle, brother and son” who was quick with kind words for others.

Not always, however, for his beloved Eagles, who clearly disappointed him at times. Or, that may have been his sense of humor considering he told his oncologist “just call me ‘Lucky’ ” as he was nearing death.

As cancer was getting the best of him, Mr. Riegel watched his Birds beat the Buffalo Bills, 20-16, last Thursday night in their second preseason game.

Then Mr. Riegel, a 1978 graduate of Mainland High School and longtime electrician and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 351, died. He passed away in the early morning hours of the next day, his wife said.

“He got to see them go out on a win,” his wife said, suggesting that may have been what he needed to make peace with his death. He enjoyed the team in so many ways, including a having his picture taken with two cheerleaders — Mr. Riegel smiling wide beneath the brim of his tan cap.

A spokesperson for the Eagles declined to comment about Mr. Riegel’s last wishes.”

The likelihood of any members of the current Eagles roster participating in his last wishes is slim, as the team’s third preseason game against the Miami Dolphins takes place just hours after his burial.



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