There is nothing more magical than football in the snow.
If you grew up anywhere in the wintry half of this country, you probably have fond memories of hiking up your snow pants and playing sloshing around with your buddies and your Pete Rozelle-signed football in the backyard drifts-- and the only thing that comes a close second to playing football in the snow is watching a classic NFL matchup in furious downpour of the white stuff.
In 1948, the Eagles won an NFL championship at Shibe Park in a raging blizzard, a game that was never forgotten by the 36,309 die-hards who didn't think twice about braving those conditions to watch history in the making. Then there was the "Snow Plow" game in New England and the Pats' memorable playoff victory over Oakland in a snowstorm years later, and the frigid 1967 Ice Bowl in Green Bay. To paraphrase Frank Capra this Christmas season, for a true football fan it would not have been as wonderful a life had those remarkable games never been born.
That's why the decision by the NFL and the Eagles with input from the city of Philadelphia to postpone tonight's game because of a snowstorm that isn't really all that (we might get 11 inches in the city -- not exactly Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer territory, not even close) is more than downright disappointing.
This is the height of wimpiness, and the girly-men who made this sad decision (pictured at top) should be ashamed of themselves. The NFL has been rightfully called the No Fun League for a number of years, but this takes that to a whole embarrassing new level. In fact, let's name names here -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Eagles' owner Jeff Lurie and president Joe Banner and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, you are the Wimps Who Stole Christmas from football fans in Philadelphia.
Honestly, it never even occurred to me that postponing the game (until Tuesday -- a decision that also hurts the Eagles' chances of getting a coveted bye in the first round of playoffs, but we won't go there, not now) was something they'd consider. Around noon, I got an email from a Daily News colleague (I'm the night city editor here on Sundays -- by the way, it took me the same amount of time to drive to Center City from Delaware County as it does on a sunny 70-degree afternoon, possibly less) about production plans for putting out the paper, including if the Eagles' game was canceled I laughed when I read that. Hah! Doesn't she know, I thought to myself, that unless there's a roof collapse or Hurricane Katrina they don't cancel NFL games. Period.
Which is why I was stunned to see this:
UPDATE II: Remember how much Ed Rendell likes football in the snow?
And his volcanic temper and impulsiveness sometimes raised eyebrows. In 1989, Rendell bet $20 that a fellow football fan couldn't throw a snowball onto the field during an Eagles-Cowboys game at Veterans Stadium. He lost the bet and the fan's snowball hit a Cowboy in the back.