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CHILLIN' WIT' ... City Councilman Jim Kenney

As a lineman, he's an excellent tailgater

Chillin' Wit' is a regular feature of the Daily News spotlighting a name in the news away from the job.

TWO HOURS BEFORE yesterday's game, City Councilman Jim Kenney, a lifelong South Philly rowhouse guy, is in Parking Lot D at the Linc with friend and fellow Eagles diehard Ray Pennacchia, senior vice president of NovaCare Rehabilitation. Kenney is sipping a 1986 Stags' Leap cabernet from the cellars of Canal's Fine Wines owner Charles Beatty.

Steve Rommeihs, the Eagles' executive chef, offers a reporter a cup of the "Banging Crab Bisque" that the players get every Friday. He explains that the gourmet feast surrounding an island of extraordinary wines and microbrews was the team effort of the some of the city's best chefs and brewmeisters who also happen to bleed green.

Later, a couple of lots away, Kenney has a less-expensive beverage, a can of Miller Lite, at Mike Mitchell's filet-mignon tailgate. The councilman laughs heartily with Pennacchia, remembering Gaspare "Gamp" Pelligrini, the legendary coach who spent some of the 1970s at St. Joseph's Prep yelling at Kenney, an admittedly less-than-fleet-footed lineman, before three victorious decades at Malvern Prep.

"Gamp wasn't from the South, but somehow he'd acquired this Deep South accent,"

Kenney says. "He'd shout at me, 'Boy, you look like a 500-pound man, can't get out of the way of his own s---.' And, 'When I call your name, son, you come running like God's calling you.' Did I mention I wasn't very good?"

- Dan Geringer