Do you know why folks love the NFL?
Because things can go cuckoo on any given Sunday. And often do.
Take today for instance. Call it Surreal Sunday.
The Philadelphia Eagles woke up Sunday morning basically as a waning afterthought.
All the possibilities of their future seemed flooded out, leaving only the anchors of their failures behind to rattle in their helmets.
For the Eagles to make the playoffs, the tremors of several miracles would have to ripple throughout the day.
Tampa Bay would have to lose to Oakland and that seemed to be implausible. Well, the Raiders stunned the Bucs, who fell on their swords until their innards spilled all over the turf.
Chicago would have to lose to Houston. That was a possibility. It turned out to be another boon for the Birds as the Bears got lassoed by the Texans.
Suddenly the Eagles had regained control of their destiny. The fickle finger of fate was back in their hands. All they had to do was win their playoff-for-a-playoff, winner-take-all, win-and-you’re-in showdown with the dreaded Dallas Cowboys.
The ante had been upped. The Eagles suddenly had a golden chance to rehabilitate a seemingly squandered season. Of course, they also could lose to the Cowboys and their receptacle of dreams once again would morph into a trash bin.
Well, in a scenario even the drunkest Eagles’ fans couldn’t have seen in the bottom of their empty beer glasses, Philadelphia absolutely flat-out skunked the Cowboys.
The dudes from Dallas were never in it. They moved as if they were as heavy as Andy Reid full of bacon grease. The Eagles’ offense advanced like a forest fire and their defense was a bunch of capture-and-punish invaders in throttling Tony Romo and the ‘Boys 44-6 at a balmy Linc.
Many Eagles’ fans figured Sunday could have been the final game for Reid as coach and Donovan McNabb as quarterback. But they staked a big claim to return Sunday and certainly relished what they had wrought. McNabb flexed his muscles, apparently mocking former Eagle and now Cowboy bad-boy wideout Terrell Owens. And Reid, normally as effusive as a fire hydrant, stopped being the eternal stoic and repeatedly implored the crowd to make noise.
So the Eagles earn a wild-card berth and visit the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings next weekend.
Yep, when Sunday dawned the Eagles’ 2008 season seemed to be historically sorry.
And by nightfall the promise of the playoffs was a beacon shining upon Billy Penn’s hat. And in its reflection you could see the shadows of Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb and safety Brian Dawkins.