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Fox announcer calling Eagles-Lions on Sunday has been bad luck for the Birds

The Eagles have lost the last seven games called by longtime Fox play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert.

Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert (left), seen here along his broadcast partner Jonathan Vilma. Albert and Vilma will be on the call for Eagles-Lions on Sunday, their second straight Eagles game.
Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert (left), seen here along his broadcast partner Jonathan Vilma. Albert and Vilma will be on the call for Eagles-Lions on Sunday, their second straight Eagles game.Read moreFox Sports

It’s going to be déjà vu for Eagles fans Sunday when the Birds take on the winless Detroit Lions on Fox, at least when it comes to the broadcast.

Returning to call their second-straight Eagles game are announcers Kenny Albert and Jonathan Vilma, which might not be great news for superstitious Birds fans.

The Eagles haven’t won a game Albert has called in four years. They’ve lost seven straight games when Albert is in the booth, and 11 of their last 13 games with him on the call. You have to go back to 2017 to find the most recent game the Eagles have won with Albert providing play-by-play — a 33-10 drubbing of the San Francisco 49ers he called alongside Charles Davis, who has since moved to CBS.

Albert was unaware of the Eagles’ losing streak.

“I’m always amused when people think that broadcasters have superpowers over what happened on the field,” he said.

Albert’s not just hearing it from Eagles fans. Earlier this month, many New York Giants fans accused hiim of jinxing kicker Graham Gano by mentioning a streak of 37 consecutive field goals just before he missed a 35-yard kick against the New Orleans Saints.

“I knew you jinxed him,” Vilma joked in the broadcast following the miss. “As soon as that graphic showed. You jinxed him.”

“My philosophy is if I don’t mention a field goal streak, a no-hitter, or a shutout, I really wouldn’t be doing my job,” Albert said. “You can’t ignore it, it’s happening right in front of you.”

It’s worth pointing out that Albert has worked a lot of Eagles games over his career at Fox, which dates back to 1994 when the network stole the NFC package from CBS (CBS would later secure the rights to the league’s AFC games, which had previously aired on NBC). In fact, Albert has provided play-by-play for 447 NFL games, eighth-most in the history of the league (trailing only Al Michaels, Dick Stockton, Don Criqui, Pat Summerall, Charlie Jones, Dick Enberg, and Kevin Harlan)

“I would think if you look back through the years, I did a lot of games when the Eagles were going to the five championship games with Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid,” Albert said. “I would venture to say they had a pretty good record in the games I worked.”

It’s not all bad news for Philadelphia fans when Albert is in the booth. So far this season, the Flyers are 2-0 in games Albert has called for TNT, including Wednesday’s victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

“So hopefully, there’s a portion of the fans that aren’t too upset with me,” Albert joked.

» READ MORE: Eagles/NFL Jalen Hurts over Carson Wentz: How the Eagles’ decision has fared so far

You won’t see Charles Barkley and the ‘Inside the NBA’ crew on Thursdays for a while

NBA fans tuning in to watch TNT’s Thursday night NBA coverage might have been surprised to find Hotel Transylvania 2 airing in its place.

As first reported by Marc Stein, TNT has shifted its popular Thursday night double-header coverage (which features Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kelly Smith, and Charles Barkley) to Tuesday nights this year to avoid competing over viewers against the NFL.

The Tuesday schedule began with the Sixers’ loss to the New York Knicks this week, and will run through the end of the year. The first Thursday double-header on the schedule is Celtics-Knicks and Clippers-Suns on Jan. 6.

At the end of January, TNT is expected to return to the same bi-weekly lineup it offered last year, which featured a Tuesday night crew featuring Shaq, retired NBA superstar Dwayne Wade, WNBA star Candace Parker, and Philadelphia native Adam Lefkoe.

The Sixers are scheduled to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on TNT on Jan. 27.

» READ MORE: Ben Simmons appears at Sixers’ shootaround

Quick hits

  1. Todd McShay, ESPN’s senior NFL draft analyst, returned to the network this week after stepping away in September to focus on his health and his family. On Get Up Wednesday, McShay didn’t say what kept him off the air, and instead used his time to say the Eagles should draft Liberty University quarterback Malik Willis if he’s available.

  1. Former Sixers guard and podcast host JJ Reddick has been hired as an NBA analyst by ESPN. Riddick, who made his premiere Wednesday, will do mostly studio work, but he’ll also get a chance to call a few NBA games this season on ESPN. Guess that means he can afford a few more gold bathroom fixtures.

  2. Longtime 94.1 WIP host Glen Macnow is hitting the stage in Anything Goes, which opens Nov. 26 at the Players Club of Swarthmore. “I play a wealthy, woman-chasing old drunk who gets to sing and dance in silk boxer shorts,” Macnow said. “Not unlike most nights at home.”

  3. The new, in-season version of HBO’s Hard Knocks — featuring the Indianapolis Colts and former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz — will premiere Nov. 17. Here’s a trailer:

  1. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was paid nearly $128 million dollars for the past two years, according to New York Times reporter Ken Belson. It’s mostly due to bonuses he earned by securing a 10-year labor deal with players and TV contracts worth more than $100 billion over the next 10 years. Nice work if you can get it.