Ex-Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho shines at ESPN

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

After a 20 game career with the Philadelphia Eagles, Emmanuel Acho is living his best life as an ESPN college football analyst.

There’s no greater feeling in sports than cheering on your team’s star players, watching an All-Pro-level talent flawlessly deliver the goods in front of hundreds of thousands of eyes while remaining cool, calm and collected under pressure.

These players may be the faces of their franchises, but the real connective tissue that keeps a team together comes from the role players who you may not recognize on the street, but consistently give it their all under the Sunday Night Lights.

For me, one of my favorite long since gone, unsung role players was Emmanuel Acho.

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Acho, a sixth-round pick out of the University of Texas came to the Eagles in a trade with the Cleveland Browns for elusive scatback Dion Lewis (a terrible move in his own words), as the Eagles desperately searched for linebacker depth in their new 3-4 defensive scheme.

Though he was only with the team for two seasons, appearing in 20 games while recording 22 tackles, Acho brought some much-needed levity to a team in the far too serious Chip Kelly years and generated just as many off the field headlines as he did on it.

From whipping out silky smooth piano ballads on his IG account (or Rachael Ray‘s) to taking a young Philly fan to prom after she got 10,000 retweets (singing to her too), Acho truly exemplified what it meant to use your power and clout as a professional athlete for good.

Too bad it didn’t help him for a long NFL career.

After suffering a thumb injury that resulted in a settlement, Acho was unable to land another gig in the NFL and prematurely found himself having to transition into post-football life.

Before I choke, football was never all that far away.

While his brother Sam still suited up for the Chicago Bears, Emmanuel got a job working for Longhorn Network, the official network of the University of Texas, where he served as a player pendant breaking down the team’s activities.

From there, Acho continued to garner headlines, only now with his face in front of the camera as opposed to behind a helmet, truly allowing his personality to shine through.

Since then, Acho has continued to work in the sports journalism field, including appearances on the Dallas Cowboys‘ Cover Four and NFL Network, before joining ESPN as an analyst just prior to the 2018 college football kickoff for their new show College Football Live.

Now delivering hot takes alongside industry vets like Chris Cotter, Greg McElroy, and David Pollack, Manny Acho continues to make the City of Brotherly Love proud, even if it’s no longer on the field.

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Oh yeah, and in case you’re wondering, he still doesn’t appear to be the biggest fan of Chip Kelly. I wonder why?