If you're anything like us, no matter how well you "prepared" yourself for Sunday's game against the Broncos, it left you sad. Some losses, like the Chargers game, leave you angry. Some leave you shaking your head. And then there are affairs like Sunday's, after which you just want to sit there and listen to some Elliott Smith or Camera Obscura while dreading the relentless work week -- and life -- staring you in the face.
And so, Philly dot com commenters, we are here to help. Today, we are joined by The Evster to dish out some of our fondest Eagles memories. If these don't put smiles on your big dumb faces I don't know what will.
That time I waited patiently by the radio for like two days so I could tape record "Buddy's Watching You"
ZWR: Not even going to explain this one, just go watch it right now. Luis Zendejas wore a cardigan!!!!
The Evster: I'm not sure what's more amazing: Zendejas wearing that cardigan or the fact that cardigans are now back in style. Also amazing: The Bounty Bowl game when Buddy Ryan offered $200 (ONLY TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS?) to anyone who would annihilate Zendejas. God, I miss Buddy. I'm picturing him in Kentucky now, petting the noses of his enormous Clydesdales while wearing the softest, warmest, Zubazziest cardigan. I'm donating to the Alzheimer's Association immediately. You should too.
ZWR: Bro Jessie Small needed that money. Did you know that you could have bought roughly 16 shares of Exxon Mobil stock back then that would now be worth over $1,400? Doesn't seem like a little any more, does it?
The Evster: I bought a milkshake at Reading Terminal Market yesterday that cost $6.75. What has this world come to?
ZWR: I feel you girl I spent $10 on a salad at Chop't I mean it was good and all and the creamy sriracha dressing was lights out but ten big ones?
That time(s) Randall wore the gold shoelace tips on his cleats
ZWR: Our pre-colleague Bill Ordine detailed the business relationship behind Randall's gold laces here. This article is pure gold (get it?!) Honorable mention: Randall's iconic SI cover.
The Evster: I actually remember Randall's shoelaces being a bit outlandish, coming at a time when he was more concerned with his image and his flat top than his passer rating. Then again, passer ratings are for dorks and flat tops are for hustlas. Thirty years later I now approve of the gold tips as well as Gold Toe socks, by far the most comfortable footwear for 36-year-old bloggers who make cameos on Philly.com. Also, that SI Cover was totally bonkers and deserves way more attention than the italicized "honorable mention" you gave it above. Sorry for arguing with you so early in this post. But thanks for including me on this. I really appreciate it.
ZWR: Okay genius then write more about the SI cover.
The Evster: Okie dokie. The Ultimate Weapon was the ULTIMATE nickname. To this day, my wife (born and raised on the rugged streets of Poughkeepsie, NY, and someone who has never sat through an entire three-hour NFL game) refers to Randall as "The Ultimate Fighting Champion" whenever she plays dress up in my old, tattered #12 replica jersey. Before that, sure, people knew Randall, but that cover validated him as a bonafide star. Also, he had smokey haze coming off his body which showed off his really long legs! We coulda called him Randy Longlegs!
ZWR: That was actually quite good. Nice job.
That time Keith Byars threw that block against Giants
ZWR: Keith Byars was bigger than Trent Cole and wore shoulder pads that weighed roughly 57 pounds, and the Giants were a bunch of skuzzbucket jerks, so it was extra special when he de-cleated Pepper Johnson at the Vet.
The Evster: Remember, Pepper Johnson was also Keith Byars' best man at his wedding, which at the time seemed like a really big deal, but now that I think back on it seems really, really stupid. I mean, who cares?! I'd blast my best man from my wedding if I needed to pick up a first down. I'd blast my best man from my wedding if I needed the last pig in a blanket. My best man from my wedding (aka my brother) is a jerk by the way. When we were kids he once tried to choke me out after I accidentally spilled grape juice all over his "Bring it Home for Jerome" sweatshirt. That was probably warranted, though. That was a really nice sweatshirt.
ZWR: Yeah I totally would have choked you out too show some respect.
That time Wes Hopkins' wife beat up his mistress at a game
ZWR: Wes was a heck of a safety, but he probably should have called some better coverage on this play. ZOINKS.
The Evster: There's nothing more exciting than when an angry woman starts to take off her earrings. It's like a subtle, swift hint that someone is about to get clubbed with a shoe. I honestly feel like cat fights are scarier than dude fights. So much clawing. So much hair pulling. So erotic.
ZWR: I imagine Andre Waters' wife hiding behind the buffett and dive-bombing the mistress's knee after she got up from the scuffle and yelling "GANG GREEN!!!" and then Mrs. Byron Evans running over and doing this dance.
The Evster: I imagine Andre Waters' wife being able to put me in a full-nelson while eating a gelati. RIP Dirty Waters. You were so much better than Nate Allen.
That time against the Redskins at RFK when we were losing 30-14 but came back to win at the last second.
ZWR: My goodness look at this. Keith Jackson had 12 catches and three touchdowns! Randall threw for 447 yards!!! Our roster was ridiculous: Cunningham, Quick, Carter, Jackson, that defense. Sheesh.
The Evster: Unfortunately our offensive line at that time was made up of Mike Schad, my Aunt Maxine and two dudes from 23rd and Shunk named Cliff. Still, 447 yards? Against Darrell Green? That's impressive. Which reminds me, why don't they have the NFL's Fastest Man contest anymore? Or the Superstars competition? What the heck happened to this world? I can't believe how much I miss the 80s.
ZWR: Oh man Superstars ruled remember the time Reggie White bench pressed the world and I was all "YEAH THAT'S RIGHT EAGLES WHAT?!?!" and then I think Willie Gault rode a bike or something?
That time Randall Cunningham bombed it to Arkansas Fred Barnett out of the Bills end zone for a 95 yard touchdown that blew my nose right off my face.
The Evster: There are three moments in Eagles history in which I will never forget where I was when they took place: 1) Eric Allen's 94-yard zig-zagging interception return for a TD vs. the Jets: I was taking a bath with my dog when he accidentally swallowed an entire bar of soap and I was forced to wash myself with toothpaste. 2) The time Clyde Simmons broke Jeff Rutledge's facemask: I was being choked out by my brother after saying he looked like Jeff Rutledge and his stupid facemask. 3) December 2nd, 1990 at Buffalo, Randall to Arkansas Fred, 95 yards out of their own end zone: I had just finished playing in a mud-filled soccer game and none of my teammates' parents would allow their disgusting children to ride home in their luxury minivans, so one father piled everyone into the back of his pickup truck to give us a lift.
The Eagles game was on the radio and we all went friggin' berzerker as Merrill Reese described Randall ducking under Bruce Smith (or as we all called him, "NOT Reggie White") and launching a football farther than any human has ever thrown anything. As Freddie B leaped up, snagged the pass and took it to da house, I couldn't concentrate on Merrill because little Archie Lemmidyeside starting jumping around the truck like a mad man and almost fell out of the back and broke his neck. He had so much mud on him. I think he ended up getting meningitis. Nice kid. Terrible soccer player, but nice kid.
ZWR: ARTIE LEMMEDECIDE FOR THE WIN. I remember where I was, too: also not watching the game! Me, Stosh, and Moonie were playing a game of one-on-one with a steady quarterback (think on that) and my old man yelled at us to get in the house to watch the replay and we were all "wait what we totally forgot the game was on" oh my Lord I'd give anything to be a child for one more day.
Hey speaking of Randall and Arkansas Fred, for that game of two-hand touch I was wearing my totally dope sauce white Randall Cunningham jersey which I lost at my idiot best friend's house and eventually replaced with an authentic number 86. Circle of life, Philly dot com commenters, circle of life.
Also last one I promise then we can move on but I also remember where I was for the Eric Allen interception: at a dumb ice rink in New Jersey after a hockey game eating dinner in their dinky restaurant because we wanted to see the end of the game and everyone was all, "OH NO HE DIDN'T!!!" Eric Allen was so dope.
The Evster: Eric Allen was SO DOPE!!!
That time Randall punted a football 91 yards
The Evster: In that same game against the Bills (a game that the Eagles actually lost 30-23, but honestly who cares), our quarterback (aka "THE ULTIMATE KICKING CHAMPION") punted a football NINETY ONE YARDS. In my 36 years on this earth, I have seen punters blast a ball into a giant dumb Cowboys scoreboard, kick a guy in the throat, and run around like a chicken trying to milk the clock, but I have never, EVER, seen a dude punt a ball MORE THAN NINE TENTHS OF A FOOTBALL FIELD. Sav Rocca, what you know about the UNLV Runnin' Rebels, MATE?!?!
ZWR: He also had 80 and a 58 yarders!!! If you think about it they probably could have just saved a roster spot -- and maybe used it on something like a capable offensive lineman -- and had Randall at punter. But who needs blocking when you have Siran Stacy and James Joseph James?
That time when Wes Hopkins broke 12 different guys' noses at Houston
ZWR: OHMYGOD "They brought the house, we brought the pain". Speaking of pain, that's what I feel whenever I think about Rich Kotite being handed the reins to those teams. For serious, if they get anything close to a legit head coach they do damage in the playoffs I just know it.
The Evster: If Wes Hopkins played in today's NFL, he would be broke as a mugg. I don't ever remember that guy not trying to tackle someone with his elbow. It was like having Jake the Snake Roberts in our secondary, just waiting for a guy to bounce off the ropes so he could clothesline him in the esophagus. Do safeties even wear forearm pads anymore? DO SAFETIES DO ANYTHING? I'M LOOKING AT YOU, NATE ALLEN.
ZWR: Not ours. Also, I like that Jake the Snake analogy but would have gone with Bad News Brown.
The Evster: As far as Kotite, I once met Vai Sikahema and asked him if Richie K. was even close to the mega-butthead we all thought he was, and he told me a story about how Kotite never, ever made halftime adjustments. One time, as the players gathered in the locker room, Jim McMahon just stood at the chalkboard leading a game of Hang Man while Kotite blathered about blocking assignments and ugh he was so boring. I bet he owned so many pairs of khaki pants.
That time Buddy Ryan called the fake kneel job against Dallas
ZWR: Hahahahahaha suck a butt the Cowboys you guys were also a bunch of skuzzbuckets I hate you and everyone hates you go screw.
The Evster: The best thing about that play call (besides the fact that Buddy Ryan was wearing a zip-up cardigan) was how meticulously it was all planned. The Eagles took a delay of game on first down to give them a little more room to operate. Then they took two knees, draining the clock down to 12 seconds before ABSOLUTELY BOMBING it into the end zone for Mike Quick. Pass interference, crowd goes crazy, Eagles coaching staff laughing like hyenas on the sidelines while old ass Tom Landy stands there with his stupid derby hat and tweed necktie unable to do anything to stop the madness. THEN, the Eagles actually punched it in on a 2-yard Byars run! The Eagles were NEVER able to just run it in! BUT THEY WERE ON THAT DAY, OLD MAN LANDRY. THEY WERE ON THAT DAY. Oh my God, how old was Tom Landy there? 85? That's the way football was meant to be played, folks. Stick the ball right up the butt of your stupid AARP opponent. God bless you, Buddy Ryan. I hope they have horsies in heaven! (And yes I know you're not dead.)
ZWR: If not real ones, then carousels.
That time the Eagles injured every Redskins quarterback and forced Washington to put Brian Mitchell into the game
ZWR: Everyone remembers the Body Bag and the Houston games with fondness, and they should. That defense literally broke faces and when we played at home the turf destroyed people's knees I mean if you were an opponent coming into the Vet you were all, "oh great I'm definitely getting injured tonight somehow can't wait cool."
LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE BODIES!!!!
The Evster: You know, in sports, everyone says that you have to win a championship to be somebody. If you ain't first, you're last. Buddy Ryan was a failure. McNabb, Andy Reid, Charles Barkley, Eric Lindros, all came up short. But I don't care. Buddy Ryan fired up this city up every Sunday his squad took the field. He made us feared. He made us tough. He made us want to watch people's clavicles pop out of their skin. In today's NFL, you can't shove a guy out of bounds or leg sweep a guy's Achilles -- and I get it, I totally get it -- but for half a decade, the NFL's baddest defense did this over and over and over again. And I love them for it. Oh man I think I'm gonna cry. I can't believe the Eagles currently employ a guy named Riley Cooper. What does he do for this football team? WHAT DOES HE DO?
ZWR: Not at all related but Christ almighty that end zone font is glorious. Making me smile, man. Making me smile. Why are teams so understated with end zones anymore? I appreciate that the Eagles painted theirs for the Kansas City game. Back in the day you'd have a painted end zone, humongous team script from sideline to sideline, even the conference logo or some 35th anniversary crap or whatever. So much more spirit. It's unacceptable, frankly. Same with teams that have the stupid NFL logo at midfield. Stop kissing Goodell's butt, the Panthers. Nobody likes you. And make your entire end zone blue while you're at it.
That time my friend Tim let me borrow his Eagles Starter Jacket for my date to see City Slickers with Jaclyn Delfuzio
The Evster: We totally touched arms.
ZWR: Dude I wanted an Eagles starter parka but my friends and I all agreed to not get the same one and I had a late pick so I had to get a Sixers one instead which really wasn't that bad because ANY black starter parka was awesome and I also had a Sixers Chalk Line so being Sixers Jacket Guy was kind of my thing.
That time I bought the last Randall Bar at Joanne's corner store ("Home of the Bellybuster!"), so they let me keep the box and I put all of my favorite baseball cards in it
ZWR: This one is pretty self-explanatory. You'd have been so proud, Evan.
The Evster: The mock turtleneck that Randall is wearing on that wrapper is unstoppable.
ZWR: Mock turtleneck AND hella-tight high top fade are you kidding me?
That time we played the Cowboys on Monday Night Football and both teams were undefeated and we destroyed them
ZWR: This game ruled. I remember I got home from school that day and we were all super excited so we played two-hand touch until it got dark and on my way home I saw the Goodyear blimp and got even more anxious and then when I got home I saw that my mom had made like a thousand chicken cutlets which frankly caused my brain to asplode then we destroyed Dallas so hard and I was pretty sure there wasn't any way we weren't winning the Super Bowl 45 - 3 and crippling Jim Kelly.
The Evster: I don't remember that game (SORRY, EVERYBODY), but I do remember the time when the Eagles sacked Troy Aikman ELEVEN times in 1991. Here are two very telling quotes from two very different people after that game (from this LA Times writeup):
"I'll give Troy credit, he hung in there and took it," Clyde Simmons said. "He's a tough guy and he had a tough day."
Said Jerome Brown, who had 2 1/2 sacks: "We dominated like we can dominate. It's nothing new."
RIP JB I LOVE YOU SO MUCH GOOD GOD I LOVE YOU SO MUCH WHY DID YOU TAKE HIM FROM US, LORD, WHYYYYYYYYYYY.
ZWR: You don't remember that Monday night game?!?!?!
The Evster: No, but I remember cheering when Michael Irvin was temporarily paralyzed.
That time Heath Sherman ran 35 times for 89 yards
ZWR: Two of the reasons those awesome early-90s teams never won anything are represented here: our running backs were (mostly) butt, and Randall tore up his knee. But don't let the residual downer associated with those remembrances take away from just how amazing- and appreciable- this effort by Sherman was. 35 carries and less than 90 yards, against the old fart factory orange uniform Bucs.
The Evster: Heath Sherman's horseshoe neck collar was straight gangster. I'm not entirely convinced he and Byron Evans weren't actually the same person. I vaguely remember him having a massive dent in his forehead, too. Can Google verify?
That time Randall jumped over that guy from the Packers
ZWR: For serious I was at that game. My mom's friend gave us tickets and my dad was working so I took a kid from my little league team and we sat in the 700 Level with no adult supervision whatsoever. Huh, that was probably a terrible idea but when Randall jumped over that pile of guys it was all about brotherly love! The guys who offered to buy us beers (we were like 12) and had us look out for ushers while they smoked cigarettes in their seats gave like eight thousand high fives.
The Evster: Yo, look at #37's stupid face. He has absolutely no idea what's going on. Plus, he is wearing an ENORMOUS right thigh pad. I have no doubt that that dude now sells life insurance. Also is his left shoe untied? What a dufus.
ZWR: When I was a kid nothing was cooler than the Eagles coming out with their green jerseys, silver pants, and black cleats, breaking people's face masks off and hurdling their dufus linebackers. Also bros check out that awesomely weird slab of turf that goes diagonally from the five yard line across the end zone and is like half an inch taller than all of the other turf the Vet so ruled. In retrospect we probably should have just called this article "3,000 words about Randall Cunningham," and no one would have been mad.
The Evster: I ALSO LOVED WHEN THAT WIDE RECEIVER ON THE BEARS TORE BOTH OF HIS ACL'S! NEVER HAPPENED TO CALVIN WILLIAMS, BUDDY! NEVER HAPPENED TO CALVIN WILLY!!! OHHHHHHHH, THE HUMANITYYYYY!!!
ZWR: Calvin Williams still walks with a confident, healthy gait. That's science. Philadelphia owns.
The Evster: By the by, I'd like to dedicate this post to Buddy Ryan's late wife, Joanie, who died two days ago after a battle with Alzheimer's. I loved that woman like a mother. Never met her, nor have I ever seen her interviewed nor do I know anything about her. But I love her. I love her so much. RIP, Joanie. You probably made incredible buttermilk biscuits.