Monday, January 12, 2004

Green is Good

As with so many Eagles games this season, yesterday's victory over Green Bay in the NFC divisional round was wincingly ugly yet rendered a work of art by the final result. There's lots of coverage in the papers, of course; Bill Lyon's front-page Inquirer piece is a perceptive and deftly written summary of an extraordinarily exciting contest. But what I found most interesting was Phil Sheridan's column in the Inky linking this year's Birds to a certain recently deceased left-handed reliever:

"Ya gotta believe," safety Brian Dawkins said. "I don't believe I'm the first person in Philadelphia to say it. I do believe there was another professional athlete in this town who said it first."

Yes, Tug McGraw, you're still winning friends and influencing sporting events.

"I want to erase every bit of doubt in this stadium," Dawkins said. "I want every single person in here to believe in this team."

In the Daily News, Bill Conlin files a rambling but entertaining effort that includes a nifty Pulp Fiction reference and a dangerous echoing of the kind of "team of destiny" nonsense in which the Packers got themselves all wrapped up:

But if you are old enough to remember the Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid, Kirk Gibson's one-legged homer in the bottom of the ninth off Hall of Fame reliever Dennis Eckersley. . .

If you believe a higher power connected the celestial dots between [Joe] Montana and [Dwight] Clark, caused [Bob] Boone to instinctively realize [Pete] Rose was out of position to catch the foul popup. . .

Then you will be as certain as you are of your children's beauty and talent that this is the one omen, the one megaton of foreshadowing that will blast the 5,000-pound monkey off the Eagles' swayed backs.

Look, the Birds won because they made more plays. Talk of higher powers and celestial intervention is nothing but an ill-advised swipe at the football gods -- something Tuesday Morning Quarterback reminds us weekly is decidedly not wise.


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