CHEAT NUMBER THREE, A RE-CHEAT, THE PAT-REE-ITS AND WE!!!!-- History of the Superbowl Part 35
It's good to have religious players.
Because when the Philadelphia Eagles come to injure them, God Makes Them Pay.
In God we Trust...that the Eagles will never be rewarded for their efforts.
Philadelphia and the movie Rocky are synonymous with one another.
Yet the director of Rocky made another film that is actually more appropriate when talking about the Eagles.
The Karate Kid.
The Eagles are the NFL's Mike Barnes.
Loud, angry, hostile, chomps his stupid mouth, intimidates all day, calls you stubborn...
And the fans throw all the memorabilia back at them.
And the Eagles take the memorabilia, and toss them back up at people.
Meanwhile their victorious and exuberant opponents, embattled and bleeding, limp over to the sideline where their coach awaits.
"MR. MIYAGI!!!" they say... "WE DID IT!!!!"
To which Jon Fox, Mike Martz and Jon Gruden give them a hug as the credits roll up.
My theory about the Eagles is this -- there is a heavy degree of magnetism generated over the city.
It's always been there.
This is why people who come out with telephones, morse code, everything, are all Philadelphia based.
America has lots of inventions. But only Philadelphia -- appears to have all the ones involving electromagnetism.
It's the same reason Ben Franklin came away with electric shock just by whipping out a car key in a rainstorm.
And it's also the reason why you can break a 5,000 pound liberty bell just by dropping it on cobblestones.
That air could cut a knife in the wrong weather.
Maybe it was a bit misty that day.
Anyway...like I said, this is just a theory, but Philadelphia sports doesn't shake the claim.
All of their big freaky losses over the decades have come due to one thing and one thing only...running out of breath.
Philadelphia people are breathing in air that doesn't even want to churn.
It's like drinking Coca-Coca because you want to get some water in you.
Is it deadly? Fuck if I know. I'm not even sure of science.
Arsenic is involved in all this, but we're not talking about the fart of arsenic electrons.
It's simply unnatural stress or lack of stress that everywhere else in America doesn't have to deal with during the course of athletic training or competition.
To understand this...is to understand how the Philadelphia Eagles could exist.
The Eagles have been around in 1933.
They were NFL champions in 1960, giving Vince Lombardi is only ever loss in a title game.
Then they sucked.
From 1962-1975 they didn't have one winning season.
Then Dick Vermeil managed to apply a shady offensive scheme with a very strong offensive line.
What came of this was staggering -- not.
For the 1980 Eagles would do their dance at a time when every other team in their division was rebuilding.
They were favored against the Plunkett Raiders SPECIFICALLY because the Raiders were a wildcard game and wildcard teams never even got to the Superbowl at that point.
Which brings me to a point that links the Eagles in with the establishment of sports culture...wastefulness.
Why the hell are you going to institute these stupid extra rounds in the post-season and extra qualifying teams that you don't expect to get in?
This is why college is so thoroughly sunk that big time high school athletes are now, for the first time ever, viewing college the same way that writers do!!!!!
There is nothing but one meaningless game after another on all night every day every hour.
January with the institution of the BCS...is now officially worthless.
You don't want college playoffs because it will destroy the sanctity of the game...so you have the 2nd and 3rd place teams in the Big 10 and Pac-10 now in...the Rose Bowl.
Wastefulness when it comes to the Eagles will come in the form of a defense that was BRILLIANT.
It was Buddy Ryan's, and it was brilliantly constructed.
Up and down.
You wanna know who was on the Eagles in the 80s?
Mike and Mike in the Morning?
Yo...he could play. The cat...could...play.
Seth Joyner, Eric Allen, Reggie White, the still-alive Jerome Brown, Golic, Clyde Simmons.
The Eagles were indominable in particularly the 1988 season.
Then God said uh-uh-uh...and farted this huge fog over their playoff game in Chicago, one that has never returned to any other stadium in any other playoff game EVER.
Flurries don't count.
And so the Eagles fire Buddy Ryan around 1991, and promote Rich Kotite...who ends up being SO FUCKING BAD IT'S INSANE.
People wondered if he'd do better if Buddy Ryan's guys weren't against him like he claimed...and so went to the Jets and put them so deep in the cellar, the DePaul Blue Demons were like "hi, neighbor."
All of this would set the stage for Buddy Ryan to go to his next big job to Houston with Kevin Gilbride...very very angry at offensive coordinators and owners.
But the fun part was that the Philly defense was falling apart too.
Philly was the victim of an early 90s where only ALL THEIR DIVISION RIVALS were the game's THREE BEST TEAMS.
Yet everyone would get the fuck out of there when they could.
Except one guy.
The man who actually sold the swell merchandise with the COOL COLOR OF GREEN.
Not like the cold, office masking-tape uniforms they wear today.
Cunningham was a huge fan favorite, and probably the only guy until Allen Iverson who the fans actually liked.
The problem was that he would get sort of injured, and in would come Ty Detmer, who played about as well in perfect health as Cunningham did injured.
And thus...you had what no NFL coach wants when he's at the helm...a quarterback controversy.
For quarterback controversies will do nothing but signal to the front office that new problems are starting when what you paid for was a problem solver.
If you're a defensive guy, that's really bad for the business leader who hires him, because even a six-year old kid can tell said business owner how he screwed up.
And their coach was in fact a former defensive coordinator. Ray Rhodes.
So Rhodes would vanish in exchange for the guy who was an assistant coach of the Packers on the offense...and then became Favre's quarterbacks coach not before but AFTER THE PACKERS SUPERBOWL WIN.
My point is, don't worry about the fat jokes...for I'll bet Andy Reid probably has a very very healthy ego.
His very first draft selection ever is the quarterback who ate up every fucking Syracuse record ever -- Donovan McNabb.
McNabb and Reid were both booed when their names were mentioned to the fans.
Probably because...McNabb and Reid knew what they were doing.
For the Eagles will shoot out of the dust and into the gleam.
But lose three straight NFC title games.
Now onto the fourth, which nobody seems to be making fun of them for due to being in the NFC.
They grab a guy who you would have guessed they would have lauded, for he's cool -- Terrell Owens.
It looked like they were going to be unbeatable.
13-1, 14-1...and then the Gods said uh-uh-uh...
Last game of the god damn season, Owens gets an injury.
What's messed up about this was that it happened during a string of garbage games where Reid was giving them 5 minutes total to play, INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO BENCH THE STARTERS TO REST THEM!!!!!!!!!!!
Reid's guys all dishonor him of course, because magnetism makes the ball literally lose air while it's spiraling.
God forbid of it's actually cold outside in Veterans Stadium...the turf will be stretched like a trampoline.
McNabb tried to scramble and dance and Air McNair himself to victory three straight times on the same land that withdrew Bears reciever Wendell Davis's knees from his leg.
But the Eagles this year will get a slew of teams that were UGLY.
All these people were 8-8.
The Vikings even started out 5-1 and were 8-8 anyway.
Yet the Vikings with Daunte Culpepper started out in Green Bay and WON...but then Philly was able to handle them in the Divisional Playoffs.
Then they have to play Atlanta, which causes everyone in Philadelphia even more pain then usual.
For the Falcons, while not being among the stronger of their opponents in these NFC title games, with Michael Vick at the healm, the fans could definitely predict the specific way that the Eagles could lose this time.
27-10 Philly. It was all simply pessimism.
So onto the Superbowl where the Patriots await.
In the playoffs, New England had agreed to grant Peyton Manning the duel they knew he wasn't ready for, and a rookie from Miami of Ohio who was 14-0 so far as an NFL starter...Ben Rothlesburger.
Rothlesburger was already better then Peyton Manning.
Rothlesburger will even win a...stay tuned.
In the Superbowl, the Eagles would manage to hold the Patriots down in the same kind of defensive struggle the first three quarters of the Carolina Superbowl had been.
Only Donovan McNabb had been taking rushing attempts this whole time.
This was NOT A GOOD THING.
For Donovan McNabb, accustomed to practicing in dead Philadelphia air, was thoroughly overwhelmed by the prominence of oxygen in outdoor Jacksonville.
He would become the first Superbowl quarterback since Ron Jaworski in fact...to be OUT OF BREATH with half the game still left to finish.
No concussions, no sprained knees, no coke overdoses, no lost helmets, and Philadelphia was looking at an injured quarterback anyway.
One who had been relied on to do everything.
For Terrell Owens would play really really inspiredly on one leg. 151 yards and a touchdown.
But that leg, man.
Bellicheck wasn't gonna let Owens limp past him for a championship while he's gone through the painstake of putting their very playcallers under his thumb.
And so McNabb, on the game's final drive, gets intercepted on the second play.
Philadelphia hadn't even been given the time to get nervous.
It would have after all, probably been a health risk?
Just a theory.