CNBC finance guru and television host Jim Cramer will open the Eagles season Thursday at the Comcast Center Plaza, where his Mad Money stock market show will feature interviews with his bosses at Comcast, including CEO Brian Roberts.
Filmed at 17th and JFK Boulevard, the show is open to the public starting at 3:45 p.m.
We chatted with Philly native Cramer about all things Eagles (he's given pep talks to the team, held season tickets for 20 years, and quotes Eagles coach Doug Pederson's book Fearless chapter and verse), cheesesteaks, growing up Philly (Springfield High School, class of '73), and why winning last year's Super Bowl has changed this town forever.
Cramer: It's really important that Wentz be as healthy as possible. I know that people take different times to get over the injury he had. I'm concerned it's not enough time. The Eagles' medical staff is unbelievably good, but we've seen other people go back too fast. RG3 [former Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III]. He went back too fast. That can't happen to Carson. Having watched [backup quarterback] Nick [Foles] play against everybody, Oakland, the Vikings, in real games, against real teams, I have faith in him. Philadelphia is such a tough town. He's the MVP in the Super Bowl. Now he's washed up? That's just crazy. … That said, I'm wearing No. 11 [Carson Wentz]. That's because we won every time I wore it last year. That's cause and effect.
Cramer: He's ridiculously normal. He's so humble. He inspires people, just look at what coach has done. He's made it so the people who aren't the stars feel valued and play over their heads.
He let me give a talk to the team — three times at training camp. I even got to announce a pick! [2017 fourth round wide receiver] Mack Hollins, a year ago. The first year, my theme was "TNP," or Take No Prisoners. The year after it was "Underpromise, Overdeliver," like we say on Wall Street. This year's talk, I said 'It's OK to fail, it's not OK to quit.' Let's face it, Philly is such a hard town. The talks I give, it's just two minutes. I give the talk at the end of practice, on the field. I can't believe it, how lucky I am. And the Super Bowl has changed Philly. We're not losers anymore.
Cramer: [Thursday] after the show, I'll take the subway down and go to my box. It's filled with family and friends. No business associates. I used to go with my dad all the time. [The Eagles] even dedicated a game to him. This is not like any other franchise. I love the Phillies, and I was a vendor for years. I threw out the first pitch two years ago. But I know a lot of Eagles players, like Chris Long, who do remarkable things, players like Malcolm Jenkins, who said "we just have to get one." This is what we want our country to be.
Cramer: I'm a big freedom-of-speech guy. I didn't want [the players] to kneel. But who am I to say? It's their conscience. I wouldn't do it. Nike's very smart. What Pederson says in his book, Fearless, is that what's more important is to help the community. My father was in World War II and he regarded the Star Spangled Banner as inviolate. He's with me in my head saying, "It's not right." But I come back and say "Pop, he's free to express himself anyway he wants." I wouldn't do it. But I support his right in this great country to exercise that. It's a great free country.