Retired Philadelphia Eagles Defender Turns Focus To Being A Judge At Italian Market

One of the best players in Eagles history will see if his talents extend to judging the best hoagie at an event at the Italian Market, where he will also do a Q&A for fans
Mar 30, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Former Philadelphia Eagle Fletcher Cox appears before
Mar 30, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Former Philadelphia Eagle Fletcher Cox appears before / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA – Fletcher Cox would normally be getting ready for the opening of the Philadelphia Eagles OTAs, which begin on Monday and run through early June.

Judging a hoagie contest may not have been on his radar the past dozen years because he was always busy preparing his body and mind for the grind another long NFL season. No longer does Cox have to do that after he retired this offseason following 12 Hall of Fame quality seasons in an Eagles uniform.

So, instead, Cox will be on the main stage of the 9th Street Italian Market in the heart of Philadelphia on Sunday sampling and judging hoagies from at least seven different restaurants in the Deer Park Best Italian Hoagie contest.

“The 9th Street Italian Market Festival has always been a staple of the Philly community,” he said. “This year, Deer Park 100% Natural Spring Water is hosting the Italian Hoagie of the Year contest and I’ll have the chance to judge which one is the best in town. Having been within this Philly family for 12-plus years, it’s a job I’ll thoroughly enjoy! May the best hoagie win.”

Fletcher Cox
Nov 5, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The contestants include Lorenzo’s, which won the best cheesesteak competition last year, Woodrow’s, Campo’s Cosmi’s, Paesano’s, Carmen’s, and Martha’s.

Deer Park will make a $5,000 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice. The sponsor is also holding in a Greased Pole competition for anybody who wants to sign up, offering a free month of water to whoever grabs a Deer Park water bottle at the top of the pole.

Cox will be doing a Q&A with fans around 9:40 a.m. The contest, that will be hosted by FOX 29 meteorologist Drew Anderson, begins at 10 a.m. and will be judged by Cox and a handful of others that include Audacity Radio’s Michael Bennett of 96.5, Visit Philly’s Binh Nguyen, and yours truly.

Cox was one of the best players in Eagles history and voted one of the NFL's best players of the decade of the 2010s. He ranks among the franchise's top sack leaders with 70 in his career and finished with 16 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries, and 173 QB hits.

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Ed Kracz


Ed Kracz has been covering the Eagles full-time for over a decade and has written about Philadelphia sports since 1996. He wrote about the Phillies in the 2008 and 2009 World Series, the Flyers in their 2010 Stanely Cup playoff run to the finals, and was in Minnesota when the Eagles secured their first-ever Super Bowl win in 2017. Ed has received multiple writing awards as a sports journalist, including several top-five finishes in the Associated Press Sports Editors awards.