I’m an Eagles fan, but I’d still find this video amazing even if David Akers kicked for the Giants… OK, maybe not, but it’s cool anyway.
The Eagles beat the Giants on a last minute field goal. It was not their best game. It was good enough.
At halftime, Pam Oliver asked Andy Reid what he thought this game would come down to. Reid answered, “The wire.”
Toward the middle of the fourth quarter, the three of us, sitting in the family room, got very quiet. There was the unspoken undercurrent of the Eagles snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And we were feeling this way while the Eagles had the ball!
Even as the Eagles took a time out with under 20 seconds to go, we worried the Giants would be left with too much time. The Eagles must have figured that out too. They called one more play. Garcia plunged up the middle and the clock was stopped at 00:03.
David Akers. Good. The final was 23-20.
Next Saturday the Eagles go through this again. Helaine and Steffie will be here. I’ll be in New Jersey with some friends. Thank heavens for cellphones.
How strange is this game of football? Unless you’re in the Super Bowl, the season has been a disappointment. Sadly, every team but one exits the playoffs with a loss.
I got home from the JDRF Walk bushed beyond belief. Still, the Eagles were playing on TV, and as a good fan I wanted to watch.
When I say “on TV,” in this case I’m talking about on TV somewhere other than Connecticut. In order to see the game, I had to find a place where they were showing the game. I headed to “Eli’s on Whitney.”¹
Me in a bar is sort of laughable. I don’t have anything against alcohol – I just don’t drink.
I take that back. Two or three times a year I’ll have a Bailey’s, which is closer to chocolate milk than booze.
Eli’s is centered around a large rectangular bar with seating on three sides. On the walls above the bar, and the walls inside the bar, are TVs. On Sundays, every NFL game is shown. The more popular games have multiple sets. ‘Glamor’ games with Cleveland or Kansas City (or both) have just one.
I walked in around 1:15 PM. The bar wasn’t particularly crowded, so I found a spot near one of the TVs showing the Eagles – Oakland game.
There were groups of people watching together, but I stood off to the side, against a wall, by myself. The only person I knew, at the bar with a date, was watching a different game.
I ordered a Diet Pepsi and some fried mozzarella. I also told the waitress, though I’d be drinking soda, I’d be tipping like I was drinking alcohol. I didn’t want her to spend the afternoon thinking I as a low value customer (which, to her bosses, I was).
The day started very poorly for the Eagles. On the opening kickoff, kicker David Akers fell to the field, writhing in pain. There was a penalty, and amazingly, Akers tried again… only to fall down in pain again. Another penalty. A scrub came in to make a very short kickoff on the third attempt.
All day long that would be a major advantage for Oakland.
The Raiders scored first, then the Eagles. With Akers unavailable, Mark Simoneau came in and missed the point after. The score was 7-6.
Donovan McNabb, the favorite quarterback of nearly everyone but Rush Limbaugh, seemed out-of sorts. Passes went too far… or too short. There were lots of passes which could easily be labeled, “intended for the security guard.”
Oakland’s Warren Sapp dropped one sure interception of a McNabb pass and caught another.
Though the score remained close, the Eagles were going nowhere. Luckily, as bad a day as the Eagles were having, they were playing a team whose entire season will be worse!
Let me cut to the chase. The Eagles went ahead. Then, as time ran down, Oakland tied the score. The Eagles got the ball back with 2:15 to go, moved most of the length of the field, ending up on the 5 yard line with :12 remaining.
Unbelievably, David Akers limped out onto the field. His short field goal attempt was good!
As the ball left his foot, he fell to the ground, again in pain. Close-up shots showed he was crying.
Yes, it was great that the Eagles won, but even better was what David Akers showed. He’s a long standing pro with nothing to prove. But, when called upon, he showed he had heart.
I would guess it’s any sports player’s fantasy to make the big play that wins the game. To do that under the duress of acute physical pain only makes the final victory sweeter.
Actually, I’m just guessing. I was never on anything more athletic than the math team.
¹ If you’re reading this from somewhere other than Connecticut, you should know Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin and had the world’s first assembly line right in New Haven. Sure, “Eli’s on Whitney” is located in the next town north, but it’s the thought that counts.
This is two out of three weeks now. Helaine and I have become ‘regulars’ at Eli’s where the bar is ringed with TV sets showing satellite delivered football feeds.
We decided, so we’d get a good seat, to go at 12:30 for the 1:00 PM start. Maybe we could have gone a little later, but not much. The place filled up pretty quickly with groups of fans clustered near individual sets and games.
To our right a group of Detroit fans watched, cheered, and complained, as the Lions played . When Detroit lost on a botched extra point with a few seconds to go, they were crestfallen. As fans they have lived a life built on heartbreak.
As ways to spend an afternoon go, this is pretty good. Within a few minutes of sitting Helaine ordered a soda and I had some coffee. Then as the game began, so did the food!
Actually, this allows me to question the whole economics of football at a bar. There’s no doubt we got our money’s worth. The food was good. We were thrilled to watch the Eagles. Would it be cheaper over the long run to drop cable and just get DirecTV and the NFL package?
The problem becomes my high speed Internet package. The cable company would ramp up its cost if that was the only service I bought from them – and I’m not about to get my Internet access from anyone else right now.
Something to ponder before next season.
The Eagles’ game was painful to watch. The Eagles went up 6-0 early. The Eagles scored a touchdown but David Akers, who is to kicking as FedEx is to packages, failed to deliver. It was 7-6 a few minutes later, and Dallas stayed ahead most of the way.
One of the Eagles star receivers, Todd Pinkston, dropped another ball in what seemed like a case of hearing footsteps. If, all of a sudden, he’s lost his nerve, that’s troublesome. Then, all star receiver Terrell Owens went down with ankle problems. It’s too early to know how serious that injury is.
Toward the end the Eagles scored to go ahead, and did win. But it was an ugly win for a team that has been a dominating force in football.
Going into this game the Eagles had so little more to gain by winning that a performance like this goes down as a moral loss as much as a “W.”
Next week they’re playing on Monday Night Football. Helaine can watch at home. I will watch at work. We’re out of the bar scene for one week.