A Case for Hank Baskett Keeping a Spot in Philadelphia Eagles Fans' Hearts

Dan ParzychSenior Writer ISeptember 17, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 09:  Hank Baskett #84 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with Jason Avant #81 after catching a touchdown against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on November 9, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Hank Baskett was well known throughout the NFL as the player married to Playboy model Kendra Wilkinson. From a fan’s perspective in the City of Brotherly Love, he will always be remembered for the big plays he provided the Eagles over the last three years.

Baskett’s career with the Eagles came to an end this week when the team placed him on waivers after quarterback Jeff Garcia was signed as insurance in case Donovan McNabb’s rib injury is more serious than expected.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Baskett will sign with the Indianapolis Colts to give quarterback Peyton Manning another option on offense now that wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez will be out until at least mid-October. Gonzalez is recovering after spraining ligaments in his right knee against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

Baskett should have an impact for the Colts’ offense considering they have arguably one of the best quarterbacks in football in Manning. He will have more of a chance to showcase his talent as a wideout with the Colts and not worry about being one of seven receivers on the Eagles’ squad.

Even though he was never considered one of the top receivers during his three-year term with the Eagles, Baskett still provided the team with plenty of big plays and memories that fans will always remember him for.

In 2006, Baskett was traded to the Eagles in exchange for wide receiver Billy McMullen after he signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent from the University of New Mexico. He may not have been well known by fans at first, but after his performance on Oct. 8 that season, he was well known throughout the Philadelphia area.

Oct. 8, 2006 may have been one of the most hyped-up games in Philadelphia Eagles history simply because it was the first time wide receiver Terrell Owens made his return to his former home as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles and their fans wanted and would settle for nothing other than a victory to ruin Owens’ homecoming.

So what was the connection between one of the most hyped-up games in Eagles history and Baskett?

While trailing the Cowboys 21-17 in the middle of the third quarter, the Eagles started a drive on their own 13-yard line. On the first play of the drive, McNabb dropped back and heaved a ball down the left sideline to Baskett.

Baskett caught McNabb’s pass around the Cowboys' 45-yard line and let nothing stop him from reaching the end zone, breaking a tackle and sprinting down the sideline for an 87-yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 24-21 lead.

Talk about a player’s first career touchdown as a rookie in the NFL. As he entered the end zone, lifting the ball towards the thousands of fans sitting in the end zone section of Lincoln Financial Field, the eruption of cheers and excitement became so loud throughout the stadium, it would send chills throughout anyone’s body.

Don’t believe so? Check out the video of Baskett’s touchdown and see what happens.

Former Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells stood in complete shock. Owens sat on the bench in complete shock, with his facial expressions giving away how frustrated he was. Where did this Baskett player come from, and did he really just go deep for an 87-yard touchdown?

Baskett may not have put up the same type of numbers as Eagles wide receivers DeSean Jackson or Kevin Curtis over the last couple of years, but he will always have a place in the hearts of Philadelphia and its fans.

Of Baskett’s six career touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Eagles, three of them were for 87 yards or more (89-yard touchdown in Week 17, 2006 against the Atlanta Falcons and 90-yard touchdown in Week One, 2008 against the St. Louis Rams).

The city of Philadelphia is disappointed the Eagles had to part ways with Baskett after all of the excitement he has brought to the team over the last few years. All they can do now is wish him the best of luck and hope he can provide the Colts with as much excitement in Indy as he did in Philadelphia.

Dan Parzych Is the Eagles Fan Voice for NFLTouchdown.com.


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