Leading up to the Eagles’ heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football, NBC Sports touted the fact that announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth would reveal the four players they’d select for an Eagles’ Mount Rushmore.
It’s a feature the longtime duo rolled out last week as part of NBC’s celebration of the NFL’s 100th anniversary:
But shortly after tight end Zach Ertz was stopped just shy of the first down marker and the Falcons knelt on the football to end the game, Michaels and Collinsworth wished fans a goodnight without revealing their picks.
So what happened?
According to a network source, the game was simply “too wild,” and it wouldn’t have made sense for the broadcast to include the feature. Late lead changes, a rash of injuries (Michaels likened the game to an episode of General Hospital), and highlight-worthy plays kept most viewers on the edge of their seats.
So which four Eagles players did Michaels and Collinsworth select? We won’t know until at least Week 7, when the Birds take on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. But back in 2013, NBC’s Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk selected halfback Steve Van Buren, defensive end Reggie White, two-way legend Chuck Bednarik, and head coach Andy Reid.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t expect Reid to make NBC’s cut this time around.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is among the newest venues in the NFL, having opened just two years ago. And Sunday’s loss was the first time Eagles play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese had the opportunity to call a game there (last year’s season-opening Sunday Night Football win over the Falcons took place at Lincoln Financial Field).
Prior to the game, Reese told 94.1 WIP host Glen Macnow he was thrilled that the stadium’s roof would be open for the entire game, but was less enthusiastic about his view of the field.
“Eh. On a one to 10, it’s a five,” Reese said of his view, though he agreed with Macnow that it was better than the broadcast booth at FedEx Field near Washington, D.C., where he and analyst Mike Quick are positioned in the corner of the end zone. But Reese also hinted that another stadium that will host an Eagles game in December has an even-worse broadcast booth.
“Somebody told me that Washington is a utopia compared to what we will find in Miami,” Reese said.
With 3:41 remaining in the first quarter, NBC turned to a commercial break featuring The Cars’ 1979 hit “Let’s Go.” It was a nice nod to Ric Ocasek, the band’s lead singer and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Sunday afternoon.
It wasn’t the only nod NBC’s broadcast team tossed out Sunday night. Earlier in the game, they faded to a commercial while playing “I Wanna Go Back” by Eddie Money, who died Friday, not long after announcing he had stage four esophageal cancer.