Philadelphia Eagles fan, jazz guitarist and composer Kevin Eubanks is pumped for the Super Bowl matchup with the KC Chiefs
Philadelphia native, jazz guitarist and composer, and former "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" music director Kevin Eubanks expects his beloved Eagles to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's Super Bowl in Arizona.
Eubanks joined SportsJam with Doug Doyle to talk about what it's like being an Eagles fan on the West Coast.
"I went to get something from the Apple store and the guy that was coming over to help me, and I had my Eagles hat on, and he was kind of talking really low saying can I help you? (Laughing) I said you seem like you're a little down and I'm guessing you're not an Eagles fan."
The employee turned out to be a San Francisco 49ers fan and was still crushed his team lost to the Eagles in the NFC Championship game.
Throughout his days as the bandleader of "The Tonight Show", Eubanks would proudly wear his Philadelphia Eagles, Sixers and Phillies jerseys, representing his hometown team.
"When I was a kid, I would see some of the games. I didn't see all of them because we had to go to bed early. My dad would do the same thing for the Eagles and the Warriors back then, he would tape cards on the wall. The first thing that we see when we would wake up would be who won the game the night before. So, I would always know if the Eagles won. My brother Robin would have cards from the Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, so all that just blurred in together because we were just so deep into Philly sports."
Eubanks thinks the Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is much like as jazz artist with his improvisational creativity and execution on the field, but the guitarist admits he's a bit worried about what the star quarterback of the KansasCity Chiefs might have in store on Sunday.
"I'm completely 100 percent down the Eagles, but Patrick Mahomes, he's got to have a band too. He can come up with some things and throw it behind his head or toss it around when he's getting ready to be thrown down. So these two (Mahomes and Hurts) have some similarities in dealing with things. I love the fact that you never know what's going to happen."
Kevin doesn't care what the final score is, as long as the Eagles win the Big Game Sunday.
That same kind of "not knowing what will happen" feeling is something Eubanks is used to experiencing when he's playing the guitar in a variety of setting, including joining bassist Dave Holland on stage.
"Playing with musicians like that is just amazing. They give you confidence that you can come up with whatever is necessary to keep the energy going, whether it's a slow song, whether it's this or that, I love to play with musicians like that.
Who is his favorite Eagles player of all-time? The answer might surprise you.
"Timmy Brown, (three-time Pro Bowler, Eagles running back and return specialist and member of Eagles 1960 NFL Championship team) back
in the day. That might just be because that's the guy I just kept wanting to get his shirt. That (time period with Timmy Brown) just stuck with me."
Timmy Brown, who grew up in an orphanage, was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. One of the most dynamic multipurpose players of his era, Brown spent eight seasons with Philadelphia. He died in 2020 at the age of 82.
When it came to the Phillies, Eubanks enjoyed watching slugger Dick Allen. The Philadelphia Phillies retired Allen's uniform number 15 on September 3, 2020.
Despite being a sports fan, accomplished musician and composer, Kevin Eubanks admits he's still kind of a shy guy, but joining Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" really helped him become more comfortable in front of people. Eubanks says he was afraid to sing and dance when he was a kid.
"I was not personable. I was very shy. I would not even walk into a room if there were other people in the room. My mother was teaching piano lessons and the students that came in late would be the living room. I would be upstairs in my room. I would just be afraid to just walk downstairs and walk past the students that we're going to go next. I just waited to everybody left before I came out of my room. Then I got more into playing music. The more I started playing, the more I started meeting other musicians and after awhile it was getting a little bit better. I think it was much more the case when I got involved with TV. "
One thing he's not shy about is his love for the Eagles.
You can SEE the entire SportsJam with Doug Doyle interview with Kevin Eubanks here.