Two days after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the Washington Redskins played in Philadelphia, a fortuitous scheduling occurrence that prevented what may have been uncomfortable images of football fans juxtaposed with those mourning and paying respect to JFK.
Redskins players recalled Franklin Field in Philadelphia being the “quietest stadium ever.”
And after arriving back in D.C. that day, some Redskins players went to “see Kennedy’s flag-draped casket as his body lay in state in the Capitol Building.”
As Sports Illustrated noted, the country was on edge, and even the Eagles fought over the assassination before what would be a somber game:
There was a fight, though not a fight in the strictest sense. It was a beating. One member of the Eagles knocked out another and then leaned over him and pummeled his face and skull so fiercely that his own hands were reduced to bloody mitts. The man beneath him, the bigger man, drifted in and out of consciousness, and the Philadelphia teammates who saw him that evening would never forget the damage. His head, one man would say, was swollen “like a pumpkin on a little baby’s body.” His nose and mouth were battered to a pulp; at least two of his teeth were knocked out; and his blood was spilled in such volume that the floor of a stately old Philadelphia landmark looked like the floor of a slaughterhouse.