So, John Madden, with your 14 Emmys and chance Feb. 1 to complete the Super Bowl sweep as analyst for ABC, CBS, Fox and now NBC: Do you like the Eagles this year?
“I always like the Eagles,” Madden told me. “Every year. Unfortunately, they’re playing in the best division in football.”
The Giants are Madden’s official pick to win the Super Bowl, at least at the moment, a brave prognostication for a team that some people (most of them from Philadelphia and Dallas) figure could finish third or even fourth in the NFC East.
None of Madden’s NBC buddies, neither Al Michaels in the Sunday Night Football booth, or the 805 folks, including new hire Dan Patrick, teamed once again with Keith Olbermann in a reuniting of the legendary ESPN duo, made a public prediction when they faced the critics.
But who cares about them. What about the Eagles?
“Donovan McNabb needs to play and stay healthy,” said Madden. I could have come up that, and I don’t get $10 million a year, or whatever. “He’s such an outstanding quarterback, and he’s really never had a premiere wide receiver, except Terrell Owens.”
Now I’m really suspicious of Madden’s expertise.
But can the Eagles go all the way?
“Hell, yes. They’re tough. No one really likes to play the Eagles. Who do we have this week? Oh --, the Eagles?”
Defensive coach Jim Johnson keeps all opponents guessing, Madden said. But what about the knocks in Philly against head coach Andy Reid?
“If there are any knocks, it’s bull. He’s one of the best coaches in the NFL.”