Monday, December 29, 2008

Belated Christmas Gifts

I never expected so many gifts to arrive for me on December 28th...

* The Bears choke away an early 10-0 lead, and lose 31-24 at Houston.

* Tampa Bay chokes away the month of December, capped by a home loss to Oakland, also 31-24.

* Dallas coughs up a pair of fumbles that the Eagles return for touchdowns as Philly destroys the Cowboys 44-6, clinching a playoff berth and ending Dallas' season.

Let me say that last part again...

Philly destroys the Cowboys 44-6, clinching a playoff berth and ending Dallas' season.

Yep, still sounds good.

As far back as November 9th, I felt the Eagles were done. Even though their home loss to the Giants only dropped their record to 5-4, it just felt like the Eagles were lacking the ability to win the big game.

That was followed by the overtime debacle in Cincy, and the blowout loss in Baltimore. At that point, I had given up hope, and was in full Flyers-mode.

Then, they sucked me back in with three straight wins, climbing back in the wildcard chase.

But, an ugly loss at Washington took control out of their hands heading into the final week.

So, even as the Bears were losing their lead in Houston (either the Bears or Vikings had to lose yesterday, and Minnesota ended up winning), I wasn't too excited, because Tampa Bay still had to lose to Oakland.

The Raiders did take a 7-0 lead, but the Bucs tied it. Then the Raiders went up 14-7. Tampa Bay tied it, then took a lead.

Then I thought it was over.

But, somehow, Oakland scored two touchdowns in the blink of an eye -- the details are sketchy as I was simply following along online -- and all of a sudden, the nooses tightened in Tampa, as the Bucs folded down the stretch and the Raiders won the game.

My brother called several times during the final moments of that game -- he was watching at a Buffalo Wild Wings -- to pass along the good news.

Ahhh, but the Iggles were now on the hot seat, still needing a win to get in.

But, they didn't just defeat Dallas, they humiliated them, and not only secured a playoff berth for themselves, but knocked the immortal 'Boys off their perch, and knocked them out of the playoffs as well.


Plus, one of my other least favorite teams. New England, is also home for the holidays.

I truly do not care whether the Eagles get bounced next week. The events of yesterday -- plus the lingering joy of a recent World Series championship -- have taken care of that.

As a 6th-seed, I fully expect them to be eliminated rather soon. But, who knows. The Giants had to win three road games last year to get to the Super Bowl, so, you never know.

The only thing I do know, is that the Super Bowl Champ will not be Dallas.

Donovan, if that was your last game in Philly as a member of the home team, you did yourself proud.

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