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Leno’s last show features ... Freddie Mitchell

Jay Leno had his big sendoff show Friday night, and guess who made a highlight reel:

Jay Leno had his big sendoff show Friday night, and guess who made a highlight reel:

Ex-Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell.

That's right, "FredEx," "First-Down Freddie," "the People's Champ," as he called himself ... the man who sported a wild Frohawk at a conference championship.

Actually, Mitchell was a UCLA student during the Leno encounter - although the word "student" might seem debatable, given the contents of the clip.

Leno was there taping a bit for "Jaywalking," a regualar segment where softball questions elicit knuckleheaded answers.

Friday's Tonight Show finale featured "some best moments ... from 17 years of Jaywalking," Leno said.

Drag Me to Hell might be less scary.

We learned (if the respondents were right) that one of countries bordering the United States is Australia ... and another is Hawaii ... that the French emperor who had a pastry named after him was Creme Brulee ... that the first words of the Bible are "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."

"Yes, they are real people," Leno had said during his intro.

One of the first ones up was Mitchell.

Ironically, the discussion had a bit of a Philadelphia connection:

Jay Leno: Can you name two of the Founding Fathers?

Freddie Mitchell: Founding fathers of what?

Leno: Of the United States, two of the Founding Fathers.

Mitchell (looking clueless): No ... no.

Leno: Who was the first president of the United States?

Mitchell: Benjamin ... Franklin. Am I right?

Leno: No. No.

Mitchell (turning away): Damn.

After being drafted in the first round in April 2001, Mitchell explained: He was just trying to get on TV.

"Yeah," he told Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan, "I was just playing along."

"Mitchell practically stiff-armed his way to the front of a long line," the New York Times wrote in a profile years later.

"I knew it was George Washington," Mitchell told the Times. "But if I'd have given the right answer, they'd have cut me out."

He was a history major, he said.

He also said, back when he was drafted, that he was friends with major model/actress Elizabeth Hurley, had appeared on TV shows Baywatch and Pacific Blue, and had been invited to the Playboy Mansion.

With the Eagles, he continued to be a quote machine.

Especially in 2005, during the playoffs.

"I'm trying to take the humble approach. ... I just want to thank my hands for being so great," he said after the Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings with help from a Mitchell fumble recovery for a touchdown.

He sported the Frohawk in the NFC title game win, which propelled the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

Then he riled New England by saying he didn't know the names of the Patriots' cornerbacks and that he "has something" for safety Rodney Harrison.

He only caught one pass in the Super Bowl.

But he was in the middle of the hubbub about quarterback Donovan McNabb's huddle troubles near the end of the Supe.

"One play had to be called by Freddie Mitchell because Donovan was mumbling because he was almost puking," center Hank Fraley said on Comcast.

(Fans, note that Fraley said "almost" - and recall that McNabb was twice drilled in the ribs by a Patriots linebacker on two preceding plays.)

After the Super Bowl, reflecting on his Patriot-peeving remarks, Mitchell lit into his teammates. "They didn't back me up because they were scared."

Mitchell even managed to tarnish his greatest moment - the famous "fourth and 26" play during a 2003 playoff comeback over Green Bay - by later needling McNabb.

"The argument would be Don doesn't have confidence in me," Mitchell said. "The mother-... had confidence in me on fourth and 26 to get his (rear) out of a jam.

Mitchell had one catch in the Super Bowl, his last game in the NFL.