**WARNING** - Eagles' football blather to follow.
My beloved Eagles' playoff hopes have finally been crushed out by the Vikings' win on Monday night. Not that they had much of a chance, but there was still the glimmer of hope after their game in Dallas on Sunday. The trouncing given to the Birds earlier in the season when the Cowboys dismantled them on the Eagles' home field was partially repaid in a 10-6 victory, the score of which tells very little about the game itself. It was another marvelous strategy game played by Jim Johnson and the Eagles' defense, involving sacks, turnovers and a smothering of Terrell Owens. It also included the usual odd time-management calls by head coach Andy Reid - I mean, honestly, you don't call a time out to decide if you should issue a challenge! Just challenge it at that point, then you are only out one time out if you lose (which you did), rather than spending a time out *AND* being penalized another one for the unsupported challenge. *sheesh*
But I digress. The final score would have been different if anyone other than Brian Westbrook and Jon Runyan were on the field. It most likely would have been 17-6, but with 2:19 remaining in the game, and the Eagles at the 25 yard line, Westbrook found himself with the ball, with no Cowboys between him and a certain TD. So he ran towards the goal . . . and knelt down at the 1 yard line. It took a few seconds for everyone - including Andy Reid - to understand what it meant. And what it meant was a certain victory over the hated Cowboys.
Before the last play, Runyan counseled Westbrook and told him that since Dallas had no timeouts remaining, if he should have a chance to score, he should take a knee at the 1 yard line, keep the ball in-bounds, and let the clock run. That way, the Eagles could just take a knee three times and win the game, rather than scoring and giving the Cowboys a chance, however slim, to score and recover an on-side kick. With at least three Eagle defeats snatched from the jaws of victory in the waning seconds of games this season, the definition of "impossible" has changed. So, the Cowboys never got the ball back, the Eagles won, and Westbrook was being lauded for one of the most selfless acts in football history.
At least by most football fans. And by football fans, I mean those for whom the scores by the actual teams matter, not those who "own" fantasy football teams. Because apparently the fact the Westbrook didn't score - and specifically chose not to score - has participants in fantasy leagues howling with rage:
Listen, Brian, we know it's fun to show off how smart you are, but fantasy owners (and gamblers) are the NFL's most hardcore fans. If it wasn't for our compulsive habits, many of your teammates would be greeting customers at Wal-Mart during the offseason to make extra money. Remember where your bread is buttered next time you start thinking about your team before ours, OK?"
"Westbrook made an extremely intelligent play against the Cowboys by intentionally kneeling down at the one-yard line just before the two-minute warning. The play clinched an Eagles victory, but also cost Westbrook and his fantasy owners a valuable playoff touchdown.
"Come on, Brian Westbrook. Taking a dive on the 1-yard line rather than taking the meaningless touchdown? Sure, it was a smart play for his real team, but he should have considered the fantasy implications. The Eagles' playoff hopes are shot, but he didn't need to take fantasy teams down with him."
"Remember where your bread is buttered"? "He should have considered the fantasy implications"? Wow.
SAVE YOUR CORKS!!
[Only about 1,000 more needed for our Wine Cellar Wall!]
Quote du jour:
"We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them."
Buddha (563BC - 483BC) Indian religious leader
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