Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

How Sunday went down for Eagles fans

Normally in this space, I hit you with 10 observations from my time watching the Eagles game. But, since Sunday was truly historic, we're going to try something new. I'd like to recap the past 24 hours or so. I'll do Optimist/Pessimist and some other usual features from the observations in a later post, but since there wasn't a whole lot to break down football-wise in this one, I thought this might work better. Feel free to share your tales from Sunday in the comment area. Here's how it went down for me: Fri. 10 p.m. - Sit at local watering hole with close friends and MTC contributors MC and C-Nast. Of course, the Birds come up. Will there be changes before next season? Probably not, we decide. Were the receivers not open against Washington? Or was Donovan McNabb too hesitant? Or does it all come down to Andy Reid's philosophy? Who knows. We've been asking the same questions for years. Somebody get another beer. Sat. 10 a.m. - Time to do my weekly NFL picks. Uh-oh. Time to predict what will happen in the Eagles game. This has been an impossible endeavor every week since September. I decide to pick the Birds to cover the 1.5-point spread and write the following: I'm interested to see what the mood will be like at the Linc come 4:15 Sunday. If, as most expect, the Bucs win their early game, things could get ugly. But what if Tampa Bay somehow loses? And the Bears go down at Houston. I know many of you say you're rooting against the Eagles to bring about change, but I know this fan base better. It will be a playoff game. And say the Eagles go up early on a Brian Westbrook run. And Tony Romo misses a wide open Terrell Owens. A montage of T.O. tantrums is played on the video screen. Then what? In a world where sports were meant to bring us happiness, and not misery, that's how things would play out. Sun. 10 a.m. - Speak briefly to girlfriend who is visiting next week and tell her there is a slight, slight chance that I may have to work on the weekend if the Eagles win, the Bucs lose and either the Vikings or Bears lose. There is virtually no chance of this happening, I explain. Tampa Bay is a 12.5-point favorite. Sun. 1 p.m. - Fire up a live chat on the blog. Knowing it's a longshot, I figure, I'm an NFL blogger. These are the types of things I should be doing. Who knows? It might be fun, right? 1:24 - "So are you required to post updates even though no one is here except me?" asks a chatter who goes by the tag WorldBleepingChampions. I just wanted to provide updates, I explain. 1:26 - The Bears, already up 7-0, get a turnover against the Texans. Wait a minute. This was the one game I was confident about. 1:28 - The Raiders' offense picks up a first down by drawing Tampa Bay offsides. It's the most production we've seen from Oakland all game. On TV, play-by-play guy Kevin Harlan asks Rich Gannon to simulate a hard count. He does. Viewers everywhere are overcome by awkwardness. 1:29 - The Bears, meanwhile, pick up a field goal to go up 10-0. 1:30 - Adrian Peterson fumbles for the Vikings. Ok, at least one good thing has happened so far. 1:31 - Never mind. The Vikings recover. 1:34 - Dad returns from religious service and explains that he told friends who aren't football fans that there's a better chance of him getting struck by lightning then the Eagles making the playoffs. What can I say? Some people are just eternal optimists. 1:37 - Vikings pick up a field goal. Bad news. In the chat, we try to convince ourselves that at least the Raiders' defense is playing well as Tampa and Oakland are scoreless in the first half. 1:45 - Michael Bush runs in for a 4-yard touchdown. 7-0 Oakland. By the way, most in the Philadelphia-area had never heard the name Johnnie Lee Higgins at 1 p.m. 45 minutes later, we're all pinning our playoff hopes on his shoulders. 1:49 -- Peterson goes 67 yards on the play untouched. Flag on the play! Oh wait. It's on New York. 10-0 Vikings. 1:56 -- "How bad is it when you have to depend on Oakland or Houston, and a disinterested Giants team?" types chatter Bob1. 1:58 -- Bad news: A Cadillac Williams TD ties the Raiders-Bucs game at 7. Good news: The Giants pick up a field goal and now only trail, 10-3. 2:01 -- Good news from the Texans-Bears game. Andre Johnson scores. Houston down, 10-7. "At least the Iggles didn't go 0-16 like the lions..." types The Commish in our chat. 2:05 -- The Bears fumble the kickoff. Houston recovers. 2:07 -- Words I never thought I'd hear come out of my Dad's mouth: "C'mon Eli!" 2:10 -- "I am rooting more for Ryan Moats today than in his entire Eagles career," types chatter EMF. We spend about two minutes in the chat trying to figure out when the Texans signed Moats. 2:13 -- The Texans go up 14-10 against the Bears. So you're telling me there's a chance? 2:16 -- We steal a page out of Bill Simmons' playbook and start referencing ourselves with the Ja prefix in honor of JaMarcus Russell. There's JaBrett, JaRush, JaCommish and of course, JaSheil. 2:19 -- It works! Russell throws a touchdown pass. Raiders go up, 14-7. 2:23 -- The Giants pick up a field goal and are down 10-6. Break out your David Carr jerseys. 2:34 - Halftime break. Not too bad. Bears and Bucs trailing. Giants still in it against Minnesota. Time to pound a quick hoagie, hit the bathroom and return for more chatting. 2:48 -- Touchdown Texans. Houston up 21-10 against Chicago. Is this really happening? 2:52 - I knew this was too good to be true. Jeff Garcia connects on a 58-yard touchdown strike. Blown coverage. Tie game. 2:55 - Raiders fumble the kickoff but recover. Reader Matt asks what happens if the Raiders and Bucs tie. I slam my head into my keyboard. 2:57 - Ex-Eagles linebacker Matt McCoy getting serious playing time for the Bucs because of injuries. This has to be a good thing, right? 2:58 - The Bears score and cut the lead to 21-17. If Kyle Orton is the reason the Eagles miss out on the playoffs, I may have to stop following football. 3:04 - The Giants score, go up 16-10 with David Carr in the game. David Carr is leading touchdown drives? Do I take this as some sort of sign? 3:07 -- I explain for the 48th time what exactly needs to happen for the Eagles to make the playoffs. 3:14 - Tampa goes up 17-14 with a field goal. Why do they tease us like this? 3:19 - Russell's intercepted. Brutal. But wait. Flag on the play. Face-mask! 15 yards! First down Raiders! 3:21 -- Russell's intercepted. Brutal. No flag on the play. No face-mask. No 15 yards. First down Tampa at the Oakland 10. 3:22 - Touchdown Bucs. They go up 24-14. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Meanwhile, Tarvaris Jackson is intercepted in the end zone. If only the Eagles could have had a shot at Minnesota in the playoffs. Jackson would be good for three turnovers. Minimum. 3:30 - Big gain for Oakland on a pass interference call on a halfback pass. And the Giants drive inside the Minnesota 10. Ok, it's not over yet. 3:31 - Johnnie Lee Higgins, you are the man. Raiders score, down 24-21. 3:33 - Giants get a field goal, go up 19-10. 3:38 - Vikings get a bomb from Jackson, trail 19-17. Oh well. As long as the Texans hang on, this game is irrelevant. 3:43 - Bucs go for it on fourth-and-four. Incomplete. Raiders have life. 3:44 - Michael Bush with a 67-yard touchdown run! The Raiders are back on top! If the season ended right now, at this very instance, the Eagles could control their own destiny. 3:49 - "In the end, the Eagles need to beat the Cowboys and that's a longshot at best," writes chatter LeRoy. 3:50 - The Texans score again, up 31-17. The Raiders intercept Garcia! 3:53 - Under four minutes left in Bucs-Raiders. Bush running all over Tampa. [Insert presidential joke here] 3:55 - I explain for the 67th time what needs to happen for the Eagles to make the playoffs. 4:03 - Raiders settle for a field goal. They're up 31-24 with 1:09 left. How did I treat people in my previous life? I'll find out soon enough. What a cruel way this would be for it to end. C'mon Oakland! 4:05 - Vikings hit a last-second field goal and beat the Giants. It's OK. The Bears are still losing. 4:07 - Garcia complete on fourth down, crosses midfield. 4:09 - Garcia sacked. Game over! Game over! 4:10 - Switch chats. Head over to the Eagles-Cowboys one. 4:16 - Get word that the Bears have lost. It actually happened. Cowboys-Eagles is for a chance at a playoff spot and a trip to Minnesota. 4:20 - Brian Westbrook fumbles. If there was all this buildup only to be let down, well, it would be pretty typical I guess. 4:31 - Eagles get a field goal and match their output from a week ago. 4:42 - I explain for the 12th time that the winner of Eagles-Cowboys plays the Vikings in Minnesota. 4:46 - Cowboys boot a field goal. Long drive there. This one could come down to the wire. 4:52 - Jimmy Rollins at the Linc, says the Eagles are the team to beat. 4:54 - Donovan McNabb hits Correll Buckhalter for a 59-yard gain. 4:58 - QB sneak in the end zone for McNabb! Eagles up 10-3! They're learning. They're really learning! 5:14 - T.O. stomping on the sidelines. Who had 5:14 p.m. in the pool? 5:23 - McNabb to Buckhalter, TOUCHDOWN. Eagles up 17-3. 5:31 - Interception Sheldon Brown. Flag on the play but it's on Dallas. There we go. 5:39 - McNabb to Brent Celek. TOUCHDOWN. Reid is a genius. 24-3 Birds. 5:40 - "Jerry Jones doesn't know what hit him," says Troy Aikman. 5:42 - Pacman Jones fumbles. Eagles get a field goal. 27-3 at halftime. 5:42 - 6:50 p.m. - This period is somewhat of a blur. 6:51 - Boss e-mails and says we had over 1,270 readers in the chat. A far cry from when it was me and WorldBleepinChampions about six hours earlier. 7:12 - Final is Eagles 44, Cowboys 6. Insanity. We find out the Birds will play at Vikings the following week. 12:38 a.m. - Finally finish this blog post and wonder if it will be entertaining at all to read by others. I probably should have done the standard 10 observations. Insane Sunday that Eagles fans will never forget. Eyes are burning. More tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who read the blog or joined the chats at any point today.

How Sunday went down for Eagles fans

Normally in this space, I hit you with 10 observations from my time watching the Eagles game.

But, since Sunday was truly historic, we're going to try something new. I'd like to recap the past 24 hours or so. I'll do Optimist/Pessimist and some other usual features from the observations in a later post, but since there wasn't a whole lot to break down football-wise in this one, I thought this might work better. Feel free to share your tales from Sunday in the comment area.

Here's how it went down for me:

Fri. 10 p.m. - Sit at local watering hole with close friends and MTC contributors MC and C-Nast. Of course, the Birds come up. Will there be changes before next season? Probably not, we decide. Were the receivers not open against Washington? Or was Donovan McNabb too hesitant? Or does it all come down to Andy Reid's philosophy? Who knows. We've been asking the same questions for years. Somebody get another beer.

Sat. 10 a.m. - Time to do my weekly NFL picks. Uh-oh. Time to predict what will happen in the Eagles game. This has been an impossible endeavor every week since September. I decide to pick the Birds to cover the 1.5-point spread and write the following:

I'm interested to see what the mood will be like at the Linc come 4:15 Sunday. If, as most expect, the Bucs win their early game, things could get ugly. But what if Tampa Bay somehow loses? And the Bears go down at Houston. I know many of you say you're rooting against the Eagles to bring about change, but I know this fan base better. It will be a playoff game. And say the Eagles go up early on a Brian Westbrook run. And Tony Romo misses a wide open Terrell Owens. A montage of T.O. tantrums is played on the video screen. Then what? In a world where sports were meant to bring us happiness, and not misery, that's how things would play out.

Sun. 10 a.m. - Speak briefly to girlfriend who is visiting next week and tell her there is a slight, slight chance that I may have to work on the weekend if the Eagles win, the Bucs lose and either the Vikings or Bears lose. There is virtually no chance of this happening, I explain. Tampa Bay is a 12.5-point favorite.

Sun. 1 p.m. - Fire up a live chat on the blog. Knowing it's a longshot, I figure, I'm an NFL blogger. These are the types of things I should be doing. Who knows? It might be fun, right?

1:24 - "So are you required to post updates even though no one is here except me?" asks a chatter who goes by the tag WorldBleepingChampions. I just wanted to provide updates, I explain.

1:26 - The Bears, already up 7-0, get a turnover against the Texans. Wait a minute. This was the one game I was confident about.

1:28 - The Raiders' offense picks up a first down by drawing Tampa Bay offsides. It's the most production we've seen from Oakland all game. On TV, play-by-play guy Kevin Harlan asks Rich Gannon to simulate a hard count. He does. Viewers everywhere are overcome by awkwardness.

1:29 - The Bears, meanwhile, pick up a field goal to go up 10-0.

1:30 - Adrian Peterson fumbles for the Vikings. Ok, at least one good thing has happened so far.

1:31 - Never mind. The Vikings recover.

1:34 - Dad returns from religious service and explains that he told friends who aren't football fans that there's a better chance of him getting struck by lightning then the Eagles making the playoffs. What can I say? Some people are just eternal optimists.

1:37 - Vikings pick up a field goal. Bad news. In the chat, we try to convince ourselves that at least the Raiders' defense is playing well as Tampa and Oakland are scoreless in the first half.

1:45 - Michael Bush runs in for a 4-yard touchdown. 7-0 Oakland. By the way, most in the Philadelphia-area had never heard the name Johnnie Lee Higgins at 1 p.m. 45 minutes later, we're all pinning our playoff hopes on his shoulders.

1:49 -- Peterson goes 67 yards on the play untouched. Flag on the play! Oh wait. It's on New York. 10-0 Vikings.

1:56 -- "How bad is it when you have to depend on Oakland or Houston, and a disinterested Giants team?" types chatter Bob1.

1:58 -- Bad news: A Cadillac Williams TD ties the Raiders-Bucs game at 7. Good news: The Giants pick up a field goal and now only trail, 10-3.

2:01 -- Good news from the Texans-Bears game. Andre Johnson scores. Houston down, 10-7. "At least the Iggles didn't go 0-16 like the lions..." types The Commish in our chat.

2:05 -- The Bears fumble the kickoff. Houston recovers.

2:07 -- Words I never thought I'd hear come out of my Dad's mouth: "C'mon Eli!"

2:10 -- "I am rooting more for Ryan Moats today than in his entire Eagles career," types chatter EMF. We spend about two minutes in the chat trying to figure out when the Texans signed Moats.

2:13 -- The Texans go up 14-10 against the Bears. So you're telling me there's a chance?

2:16 -- We steal a page out of Bill Simmons' playbook and start referencing ourselves with the Ja prefix in honor of JaMarcus Russell. There's JaBrett, JaRush, JaCommish and of course, JaSheil.

2:19 -- It works! Russell throws a touchdown pass. Raiders go up, 14-7.

2:23 -- The Giants pick up a field goal and are down 10-6. Break out your David Carr jerseys.

2:34 - Halftime break. Not too bad. Bears and Bucs trailing. Giants still in it against Minnesota. Time to pound a quick hoagie, hit the bathroom and return for more chatting.

2:48 -- Touchdown Texans. Houston up 21-10 against Chicago. Is this really happening?

2:52 - I knew this was too good to be true. Jeff Garcia connects on a 58-yard touchdown strike. Blown coverage. Tie game.

2:55 - Raiders fumble the kickoff but recover. Reader Matt asks what happens if the Raiders and Bucs tie. I slam my head into my keyboard.

2:57 - Ex-Eagles linebacker Matt McCoy getting serious playing time for the Bucs because of injuries. This has to be a good thing, right?

2:58 - The Bears score and cut the lead to 21-17. If Kyle Orton is the reason the Eagles miss out on the playoffs, I may have to stop following football.

3:04 - The Giants score, go up 16-10 with David Carr in the game. David Carr is leading touchdown drives? Do I take this as some sort of sign?

3:07 -- I explain for the 48th time what exactly needs to happen for the Eagles to make the playoffs.

3:14 - Tampa goes up 17-14 with a field goal. Why do they tease us like this?

3:19 - Russell's intercepted. Brutal. But wait. Flag on the play. Face-mask! 15 yards! First down Raiders!

3:21 -- Russell's intercepted. Brutal. No flag on the play. No face-mask. No 15 yards. First down Tampa at the Oakland 10.

3:22 - Touchdown Bucs. They go up 24-14. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Meanwhile, Tarvaris Jackson is intercepted in the end zone. If only the Eagles could have had a shot at Minnesota in the playoffs. Jackson would be good for three turnovers. Minimum.

3:30 - Big gain for Oakland on a pass interference call on a halfback pass. And the Giants drive inside the Minnesota 10. Ok, it's not over yet.

3:31 - Johnnie Lee Higgins, you are the man. Raiders score, down 24-21.

3:33 - Giants get a field goal, go up 19-10.

3:38 - Vikings get a bomb from Jackson, trail 19-17. Oh well. As long as the Texans hang on, this game is irrelevant.

3:43 - Bucs go for it on fourth-and-four. Incomplete. Raiders have life.

3:44 - Michael Bush with a 67-yard touchdown run! The Raiders are back on top! If the season ended right now, at this very instance, the Eagles could control their own destiny.

3:49 - "In the end, the Eagles need to beat the Cowboys and that's a longshot at best," writes chatter LeRoy.

3:50 - The Texans score again, up 31-17. The Raiders intercept Garcia!

3:53 - Under four minutes left in Bucs-Raiders. Bush running all over Tampa. [Insert presidential joke here]

3:55 - I explain for the 67th time what needs to happen for the Eagles to make the playoffs.

4:03 - Raiders settle for a field goal. They're up 31-24 with 1:09 left. How did I treat people in my previous life? I'll find out soon enough. What a cruel way this would be for it to end. C'mon Oakland!

4:05 - Vikings hit a last-second field goal and beat the Giants. It's OK. The Bears are still losing.

4:07 - Garcia complete on fourth down, crosses midfield.

4:09 - Garcia sacked. Game over! Game over!

4:10 - Switch chats. Head over to the Eagles-Cowboys one.

4:16 - Get word that the Bears have lost. It actually happened. Cowboys-Eagles is for a chance at a playoff spot and a trip to Minnesota.

4:20 - Brian Westbrook fumbles. If there was all this buildup only to be let down, well, it would be pretty typical I guess.

4:31 - Eagles get a field goal and match their output from a week ago.

4:42 - I explain for the 12th time that the winner of Eagles-Cowboys plays the Vikings in Minnesota.

4:46 - Cowboys boot a field goal. Long drive there. This one could come down to the wire.

4:52 - Jimmy Rollins at the Linc, says the Eagles are the team to beat.

4:54 - Donovan McNabb hits Correll Buckhalter for a 59-yard gain.

4:58 - QB sneak in the end zone for McNabb! Eagles up 10-3! They're learning. They're really learning!

5:14 - T.O. stomping on the sidelines. Who had 5:14 p.m. in the pool?

5:23 - McNabb to Buckhalter, TOUCHDOWN. Eagles up 17-3.

5:31 - Interception Sheldon Brown. Flag on the play but it's on Dallas. There we go.

5:39 - McNabb to Brent Celek. TOUCHDOWN. Reid is a genius. 24-3 Birds.

5:40 - "Jerry Jones doesn't know what hit him," says Troy Aikman.

5:42 - Pacman Jones fumbles. Eagles get a field goal. 27-3 at halftime.

5:42 - 6:50 p.m. - This period is somewhat of a blur.

6:51 - Boss e-mails and says we had over 1,270 readers in the chat. A far cry from when it was me and WorldBleepinChampions about six hours earlier.

7:12 - Final is Eagles 44, Cowboys 6. Insanity. We find out the Birds will play at Vikings the following week.

12:38 a.m. - Finally finish this blog post and wonder if it will be entertaining at all to read by others. I probably should have done the standard 10 observations. Insane Sunday that Eagles fans will never forget. Eyes are burning. More tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who read the blog or joined the chats at any point today.

More coverage
Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

Follow Sheil on Twitter. And become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for even more Birds coverage, including app-exclusive videos and analysis. Download it here.

Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected