Hope you all had the merriest of holidays and are thankful for those gifts you received. One of my favorite presents is the one our Eagles have given us this year … HOPE! And also respect … given to us by the coach. Chip Kelly gets Philly, understands the fans' passion and frustration. He has morphed himself into one of US. When he said, "We're from Philadelphia … we fight!" No sweeter words were ever said.
Just like I guaranteed the Eagles would do no "pooching" against the Bears I can assure the Eagles will "show-up" in Dallas.
If they just play their game Sunday night we will ring in 2014 as NFC East champions.
Just as astonishing is the year No. 25 is having and if Shady has the game we hope he will on Sunday, he will shatter the records set by one of my favorite teammates, Wilbert Montgomery, and the amazing Brian Westbrook.
It's not fair to compare one with the other and say one is the best or better than the other. In their eras they gave us so much joy that it really doesn't matter to me. They were all great.
Eagles fans will never forget Wilbert's slashing style and that TD he scored from 42 yards out in the 1980 NFC Championship game (above) against the Cowboys. The Cowboys never recovered from that play and were thoroughly whipped in the frozen Vet. I just watched it on YouTube and got the chills and saw something I didn't notice in all those years. Jerry Sizemore, our right tackle, crushed Ed "Too Tall" Jones but up in the slot was my man "Slim" … Harold Carmichael. He took out the safety that was supposed to close down on the hole and Wilbert scampered untouched into the end zone.
Like Shady, and Brian, Wilbert was just awesome to watch. He had the most beautiful stride that would eat up the turf when he ran. He was a ferocious special teamer and tackler, and was my "gunner" partner on punt coverage. On kickoff coverage I'd bust my hump to get downfield, look over to my left, and see #31 floating downfield with an unmatched ease and grace.
When running the ball the sidelines were never his safe haven or escape from contact. If he were forced that way he would rather throw himself back into the fray to gain a couple more yards than to find solace or comfort out of bounds. For the last half of the season his hands would be swollen like baseball gloves from the hits he took on his mitts from defenders' helmets.
"Wilbert Montgomery …" I can hear Merrill Reese belting out his name right now.
So much for daydreaming … let's just hope the Birds are in a sound state of mind for Sunday's game. I don't give a hoot who plays QB for Dallas! If the Birds play with that same Philly fighting style they showed the country last Sunday night it will be lights out for Jerry's Boys this Sunday night. You felt the buzz the moment you left the stadium and felt it build all week into a crescendo.
Philly football pride is back.
From the Papale Team (Janet, Gabriella, Vinny, and me) have an Invincible New Year and remember, "dreams are not lived on the sidelines!" You have to get into the game and pay the price.