Sunday, February 06, 2005

Win It for All of Them

I got an e-mail the other day from Alli's grandfather. Within 12 hours, it had morphed into the following tribute. Enjoy...

As the city celebrates and the Birds prepare the first of what will hopefully be many Super Bowls in the Reid-McNabb era, I think it's appropriate to remember all those past Eagles from our lifetime who never got a chance to play in this game or win this game but sure made their mark and helped make Eagles football and Eagles fans what we are today. Today is our day... but by extension, it's also their day.

So without further adieu...

Who Is This One For?

1. This one's for Randall "Let Me be Me" and his Ugly Flap, because he was Mike Vick and Donnie Mac before there was Mike Vick and Donnie Mac.

2. This one's for the day Randall signed his contract in the morning, fell behind 20-0 against the Redskins at RFK, then threw 5 TD passes in a comeback 42-37 win.

3. This one's for the first game back on Monday Night Football in 1988, when Randall took that hit from Carl Banks, put one hand down to steady himself, then sprang up and hit Jimmie Giles in the end zone.

4. This one's for Randall's 93 yard punt at the Meadowlands, which just kept rolling and rolling...

5. This one's for Ricky "For Who, For What" Watters, who gave Gruden the finger long before Chucky broke our hearts, and who refused to go over the middle long before Pinky "lost it in the lights."

6. This one's for Keith Krepfle, the only Eagle (so far) to visit the end zone in a Super Bowl.

7. This one's for Jaws, for enduring all the boos, the million sacks by LT, and moving on with class after leading us to our only big game before Sunday.

8. This one's for Wilbert Montgomery, the second-greatest Eagle running back ever, whose most famous run still makes you feel good inside.

9. This one's for Harold Carmichael, the greatest receiver ever to wear Eagles green, at least until we have two or three more seasons of T.O.

10. This one's for Big Daddy Hairston, Bill Bergey, Roynell Young, Jerry Sizemore, Guy Morris, John Bunting, Jerry Robinson, Louie Giammona, Tony Franklin and all the other 1980 Eagles who will now be known as the "first Eagles Super Bowl team" instead of the "only Eagles Super Bowl team."

11. This one's for Dick Vermeil, who will probably be crying with us when we win on Sunday.

12. This one's for Buddy's Boys -- "the Greatest D ever assembled" -- Clyde, Reggie, Seth, 'Dre Waters, Wes Hopkins, Byron Evans, Mike Pitts, Izel "Toast" Jenkins, Mike Golic, Eric Allen, Ben Smith, Todd Bell, Al Harris, Jesse Small and especially 1, 2, 3 J.B. # 99. Bring it Home for Jerome.

13. This one's for the Vet: the cats and rats, the holes in walls, the turf, and the legends.

14. This one's for the Bounty Bowl, the Pork Chop Bowl, the Fog Bowl, The Body Bag Game, the Inch That Stole Christmas, Fourth & One, the Pickle Juice Game, 4th & 26 and all the other classics over the years.

15. This one's for each of seven stops inside the three yard line against the Cardinals at the Vet, when Seth Joyner mocked Johnny Bailey.

16. This one's for the Eagles' 13-6 MNF football win in Houston in 1991, when the Eagles knocked out anything wearing a Houston WR uniform in the Astrodome, a.k.a. The House of Pain, leading to the immortal quote from Jerome Brown, "They brought the House, and we brought the Pain."

17. This one's for Arkansas Fred Barnett and Calvin Williams, Chris T. Jones, Freddie Solomon, Irving Fryar and Antonio Freeman. It ain't, however, for James Thrash, Charles Johnson, Na Brown, Dietrich Jells or Torrance Small. Sorry boys.

18. This one's for Fred Barnett's 93 yard TD catch in Buffalo, after Randall made future Hall of Famer Bruce Smith look silly by eluding a safety in the endzone.

19. This one's for Keith Byars, Heath Sherman and the wonderfully named Anthony Toney, for trying to run behind an offensive line that could best be described as "a work in progress."

20. This one's for Cris Carter, whose Hall of Fame career should have been entirely in Philly, because all he did was catch touchdowns.

21. This one's also for Mike Quick, who made the Eagles of the mid-80's watchable, until Buddy came along and Randall matured (to the extent he ever matured), and gave us a 99-yard TD catch against the Falcons in overtime for the longest play in team history.

22. This one's for Mike Mamula and his half-a-sack, Mike McMillan and all 5 foot 9 of him, Richie the K and his laminated sheet, the Doug Pederson Era, and Tommy Hutton who bobbled the snap on Monday Night in Dallas.

23. This one's for Sean Landeta, the best punter in team history, and John Teltschick, the craziest punter in team history.

24. This one's for Willie T, and Mike Zordich, two guys who could've played for Jim Johnson's defense any day (Ed. Note: ZORDICH? ARE YOU NUTS???).

25. This one's for William Fuller, the forgotten Pro Bowl defensive end who filled in the years between Reggie and Hugh.

26. This one's for Andy Harmon, who was one of maybe two Richie Kotite draft picks who made us cheer.

27. This one's for Rodney Peete and Ty Detmer, who made us smile in the mid-90's a few times, and not just because Rodney was married to Holly Robinson.

28. This one's for Lomas Brown, for guaranteeing victory for the Lions before we waxed them 58-37 in the playoffs. Thanks again, Lomas.

29. This one's for Ray Rhodes, if only because you know he cared about nothing else but winning.

30. This one's for the Swamp Fox, Marion Campbell, and the fact that he should have stayed defensive coordinator, much like Richie K. should have stayed offensive coordinator (just kidding about that last part).

31. This one's for Jeff Fisher (not to mention his porn star mustache), who should have gotten the job when Buddy was fired, and instead beat us to the Super Bowl by five years after waiting a few more years to get the job in Tennessee.

32. This one's for Bud Carson, who took the defense Buddy built and perfected it into the greatest defense ever in 1991.

33. This one's for Wendell Davis' knees, which the Bears receiver left behind at the Vet. Sorry, man.

34. This one's for Stan Walters and Merrill, who proclaimed it Groundhog Day in December because "They give it to Smith and they stopped him AGAIN!!!"

35. This one's for Tony Bruno, Tom Brookshire, G Cobb, Big Daddy Graham, Angelo, Arson Arnie, Joe Conklinm, Rhea Hughes and the Dirty 30, who always brightened the Monday morning drive because you knew someone was out there who shared your pain.

36. And it's even for Wolfman Eskin, and his "Stone Cold Mortal Locks", always there to infuriate you on the ride home.

37. This one's for Al Morganti, who created Wing Bowl and gave us something to talk about, care about and laugh about before all those Super Bowls the Eagles weren't in.

38. This one's for Mike Missinelli and Steve Fredericks, for Jody McDonald and Glen Macnow, Anthony Gargano and Steve Martorano, who let us rant and rave every day for at least 15 fall and winter endings to seasons that were less than satisfactory.

39. This one's for Herm Edwards, who gave us "The Miracle at the Meadowlands."

40. This one's for Clyde Simmons, who gave us "The Miracle of the Meadowlands II" in overtime by grabbing a field goal shanked off the back of our own lineman and running it into the endzone.

41. This one's for Vai Sikahema punching the goalposts and the ageless wisdom of B-Mitch.

42. This one's for Emmitt Thomas -- it wasn't his fault Rhodes likes "bend-but-don't break" so much.

43. This one's for Jon Gruden, because Chucky deserved to win his Super Bowl, just for dealing with Watters. But it's not for Dana Bible or Bill Musgrave.

44. This one's for Bobby Hoying, who was Ben Roethlisberger before there was Ben Roethlisberger.

45. This one's for "Who Framed" Roger Ruzek, Gary Anderson, and Chris Boniol, none of whom would stand a chance against David Akers in a street fight.

46. This one's for Luis Zendejas, if only because he was directly responsible for the Bounty Bowl.

47. This one's for Lester Holmes, Antone Davis, Bernard Williams, Jon Harris, Bruce Walker, Mike Bellamy, Alonzo Johnson, and all the other draft busts that we'd like to forget. But it's definitely not for Kevin Allen or Michael Haddix -- the former a criminal and the latter drafted instead of some guy named Dan Marino.

48. This one's for Steve Young. Why? Because in January 1999, his last-second TD pass to some guy named Owens beat Green Bay in a playoff game... which allowed a Packers QB coach named Andy Reid to interview for a certain job in Philly. If not for Young (and that no-name guy who caught the pass), we might be lamenting the Jim Haslett era.

49. This one's for Ricky Williams, just for proving that we're idiots and Andy Reid's pretty smart.

50. This one's for Bobby T and Troy V, who left just a little too soon but paved the way for Lito and Sheldon. It's not for Al Harris, who's still committing pass interference somewhere in Green Bay.

51. This one's for Damon Moore, who chased and finally caught Ron Dixon at the 4-yard line as the Giants tried, but failed, to pull an 80-yard hook and ladder to prevent us from winning the division for the first time in 13 years.

52. This one's for Brian Finneran, who dropped the pass that would have won Andy Reid's first game as a coach. We forgive you, Brian.

53. This one's for Timmy Hauck, a legitimate crazy hitter who held the fort until Damon Moore and then Michael Lewis were ready. It's not for Blaine Bishop -- some things we can't forgive and forget yet.

54. This one's for Brandon Whiting, who went to San Francisco in exchange for some guy named Owens.

55. This one's for Charlie Garner, the Lightning to Ricky Watters' Thunder.

56. This one's for Ted Plumb, the offensive coordinator whose greatest contribution was saving Buddy from choking on a pork chop.

57. This one's for Chad Lewis, for his two TD grabs in the NFC Title Game and his class and guts throughout the last seven years.

58. This one's for Tommy McDonald -- his irrepressible spirit, energy and passion.

59. This one's for Timmy Brown and his front teeth.

60. This one's for Duce, who, thankfully, took the Championship jinx with him across the state to Pittsburgh. DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCE!

61. This one's for Franklin Field, the site of the last real title won by this franchise.

62. This one's for the 700 level, because it scared everyone, including many of us who sat there.

63. This one's for every road game in DC, Dallas, Miami, Tampa, Hot-lanta, Charlotte and every other stadium where Birds fans show up en masse and take over to turn it into a home game for the green and white.

64. This one's for Jim McMahon, his shades, his 'tude, and his leadership.

65. This one's for Billy Campfield sprinting down the sideline for a huge TD against Chicago in the 1979 wild-card game.

66. This one's for Paul McFadden, our last barefoot kicker.

67. This one's for Santa Claus.

68. This one's for MNF in Dallas in 1979, when Jaws and Wilbert and Bergey and Carmichael and Bunting and the rest proved they'd arrived by beating Dallas, with help from Tony Franklin's 59 yard field goal.

69. This one's for Buddy's decision to rub it in against Landry and the Cowboys, by having Randall fake taking the knee and fire a pass for Quick to run up the score on Dallas. After Byars scored on the next play, every fan in Eagles Nation knew that our coach understood what we felt for the Cowboys.

70. This one's for the endless chants of DALLAS SUCKS, DALLAS SUCKS!!!

71. This one's for Steve van Buren and the 1948 and 1949 title teams, the only true dynasty in Eagles history.

72. This one's for Darnell Autrey and Chris Warren, who made us all realize how good Duce was.

73. This one's for Corell Buckhalter's knees, and N.D. Kalu's knee. Get well, guys.

74. This one's for Shawn Andrews, who will be as good a first round pick as we've ever had when he gets healthy.

75. This one's for A.J. Feeley, for going 4-1 down the stretch, dating Heather Mitts and getting us a second round pick from the Dolphins.

76. This one's for the arbitrator at UPenn who made it clear T.O. would be a free agent if he had to make a ruling.

77. This one's for Jon Ritchie, his great blocks and bloody forehead.

78. This one's for Kevin Turner, because it's not his fault he wasn't Tom Rathman.

79. This one's for James Willis, Mike Reichenbach and Barry Gardner, the mediocre middle linebackers who made us cherish guys named Evans and Trotter.

80. This one's for Don McPherson, the original Donnie Mac from Syracuse. Also the less talented one.

81. This one's for John Facenda, because he would be rooting for the Birds.

82. This one's for Bill Campbell, who called the last title win in Franklin Field.

83. This one should be for Chuck Bednarik, but if he keeps rooting for the Pats, it'll be for the first Birds fan to stop by his house and sing "Fly, Eagles, Fly" in his front yard after we win.

84. This one's for Ed Rendell and his snowballs from the upper deck.

85. This one's for Vaughn Hebron and Junior Tautilitausi, preseason phenoms who never fully panned out in Philly.

86. This one's for Barkann and the Comcast Sportsnet guys.

87. This one's for Ray Didinger, for being the unofficial historian of the Eagles.

88. This one's for Conlin and Lyon, Dolson and Ford, Ordine and Bowen, Hayes and Narducci, Steven A. Smith and Rich Hoffman, Smallwood and Domowitch, and all the rest of the beat writers and columnists who kept us laughing, screaming and crying for 20-plus years.

89. This one's for John Welbourn. Hope you're happy in KC.

90. This one's for Rocky Balboa. Just like in the movies, we're always the underdog.

91. This one's for Guido Merkens. Hey, it wasn't his fault he stunk.

92. This one's reserved for future retirement. This one's for the late, great Minister of Defense, who won a Super Bowl in Green Bay, but deserved one in Philly. We know he's smiling down on Philly's faithful today. God bless you, Reggie.

93. This one's for SignMan. We'd come up with someting, but it wouldn't be as funny as anything he would write.

94. This one's for the Eagles' cheerleaders, their dancing, their outfits and their lingerie calendar. It's also for Swoop, because cavorting with cheerleaders must be so tough.

95. This one's for the guy leaving the Linc last January after the NFC Title Game loss to the Panthers who looked at the camera and shouted through tears, "I hate you! You break my heart every time!" Because we all felt the same way.

96. This one's for a good pre-game meal at Chickie's and Pete's and a good post-game cheesesteak at Pat's.

97. This one's for Jeff Thomason... oh, wait, scratch that. He's back.

98. This one's for Jim Murray, the best Eagles GM before Banner-Reid.

99. This number's retired. One more time, it's for Jerome.

100. Lastly, most of all, this one is for all the Philly Phaithful of Eagles Nation who've invested their blood, sweat, cheers and tears into this team and never stopped believing that one day, some day, THIS DAY would arrive.

How sweet it is!!!

Now let's go beat the Pats!!!


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