A few minutes ago, Helaine yelled to me upstairs. “Are you going to write about the Eagles in the blog?”
That was her way of saying, “Write about the Eagles in your blog.” OK – who am I to resist, especially after such an emotional victory.
If you’re not a football fan, let me get you caught up in about ten seconds.
The Eagles are Philadelphia’s football team. They used to have a player… a star player, named Terrell Owens. Though he was a pain in the ass, he was our pain in the ass. At least he was until he became such a pain he threatened to create dissension within the team.
T.O. was let go.
A guy’s got to earn a living, so Terrell to his number 81 and went to the Dallas Cowboys. In Philadelphia, the Cowboys are tied with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Kim Il Jung at the bottom of the popularity polls.
To make things a little juicier, T.O. was involved in some sort of incident with the Dallas police. Whether he attempted to commit suicide or just had an accident – who knows? The next day he was practicing on the field and smiling. It was weird.
Today the Cowboys came to play the Eagles for the first time since Terrell left. Fox saw fit to make it their marquee game, shown nationwide at 4:15 PM EDT. Anyone even peripherally connected with sports was talking about it. There was no end to the hype.
Quickly, the Eagles went to a 10-0 lead. Helaine and I pinched ourselves. Then we remembered, this is football the king of non-linear games. Ten points in the first quarter means nothing.
We were so right.
The game seesawed back and forth. Donovan McNabb, Eagles quarterback had a pretty good game. T.O. was ineffective. Still, the game was close.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were up by seven, when a missed tackle, long pass and offensive pass interference penalty (all on the same play) moved the Cowboys eighteen feet from tying the game.
We had seen this before. So close – yet so far. When the Giants tied the Eagles in week two, they went on to win. Would the same fate befall the Eagles again?
Simply – no.
With the Cowboys charging, Drew Bledsoe threw to the end zone. The pass was caught, but by the Eagles Lito Sheppard who scampered 102 yards for an Eagles touchdown. Case closed.
Here’s the one awful part of this game. We were on an emotional roller coaster, as if it were meaningful in our lives. It’s only a game, but we allow the football season in general and the Eagles in particular to stake a claim on our lives.
Already, in the Eagles loss to the Giants, we took an emotional hit that lasted a few days. We were depressed as if something really awful had gone on.
Even though I can intellectualize the real meaning of football, that’s not strong enough to overcome my emotional attachment. It’s just as bad for Helaine, maybe worse.
The Eagles were picked to finish last in the NFC East. Now they’re leading the way. The emotion has just begun.