Rich Hofmann: The numbers speak of an underlying devotion to football and to the Eagles, and to the notion that fans are generally happy about the team, just not thrilled. Joe Banner hit on something, and it seemed exactly right: "It's because of the accumulation of almosts."
MIAMI - What we forget sometimes, but never should, is this thing Donovan McNabb has with scars. He counts them. He admires them. He holds them up to the light, examining them this way and that, remembering every detail of the injuries, every ounce of the pain.
MIAMI - It used to be that a reporter from Philadelphia absolutely had to descend upon the Super Bowl in time for Media Day. That, though, has not been true for a while. What once was a phenomenon is now a made-for-NFL-Network rat's maze. Media Day jumped the shark so long ago that the shark is now a grandparent and the story angles are just as weathered.
SOMEBODY ASKED Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels the other day what he thought about all the moves the team has made in recent months, building toward the postseason berth that has so often eluded this franchise, and Hamels said, "For me, being here for [only] the past year, I don't really think I deserve an opinion."
ANDY REID WON his first game as the Eagles' coach on Oct. 10, 1999. Doug Pederson was his quarterback and he led a fourth-quarter rally that day at the Vet. The afternoon is really only memorable now because it was the day Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin suffered a neck injury and the fans infamously cheered the arrival of a stretcher brought onto the field by paramedics.
IF PEOPLE TOOK a second to stop talking about the punt, if they thought about the most important development of the second half of the Eagles' season and not that one play at the end, most would say that it was the demonstration to Andy Reid and to everyone that Brian Westbrook can carry a big load at running back and that the offense works well when that happens.
WHEN IT WAS happening on Saturday night, the reaction here was the same as the reaction everywhere. How can Andy Reid punt, even if it is fourth-and-15? Trailing by three, with 1 minute, 56 seconds left, on the Eagles' 39-yard line, how can Reid be sending out the punt team?
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest.