Ron Costello

Monday, September 21, 2015

Just after we took our seats the place was rockin.'

Eagles vs Cowboys and a crowd with Super Bowl expectations. 28-7? 30-3? Maybe 42-0.

Them Eagles, healthy overall, will roll. With a genius for a coach, a quarterback who never misses, and a best in the league running back, hell it may be 52-10!

Come on, let's get this thing started. The boys were restless, they've been drinking beer all afternoon.

By the middle of the second quarter, I never saw a stadium so quiet — exception being Black Friday when the Phillies blew a 5-3 lead in the ninth against the Dodgers in the '77 NL Championship Series. The Ball popped out of the Bull's glove.

Funeral-like quite. It was that bad.

Here's why: three and out; three and out; three and out; three and out. At the end of the half, with the Eagles numbers bordering minus offensively, we could hear the beer guy two sections away.

"Yo, Miller Lite here, Miller Lite. Who wants one..."

The best running back in the league had 7 yards rushing on 13 carries in the first half. The offense had 21 total yards in the first half and finished with 226.

QB 7 had three  turnovers including an interception in the end zone — on a first down from the one, with DeMarco Murray in the backfield.

From the one! With....never mind.

Early in the fourth quarter, an Eagles fumble recovery turned the game's momentum and woke up the house. The Birds had the ball in Cowboy territory down, 13-3, with good time left. The crowd was on its feet — rockin' again.

Okay, it's been bad, but the second half belongs to the Birds, right? The expensive seats, the outrageous prices for beer and dogs, and the $6 a bottle for water on a brutally hot afternoon — the annoying 20 and 30 somethings drinking like it was an Irish wedding — it don't matter now cause here we go.

QB 7 breaks from the huddle and looks out over the defense. The noise was deafening. The receivers were still lining up when  a quick snap from Jason Kelce hits QB 7's hands and bounced to the turf. Cowboys cover it.

"No way that just happened. No way!"

I looked at Matt. "What the .......?"

When the booing stopped the eerie silence returned. All around us drunk guys were getting kicked out. To our left down the row, the boys were so depressed they spent $72 for a round from the beer guy. I helped pass the money and the beer.

You know how many cases you can buy on Passyunk Avenue for 72 bucks?

Murray and QB 7 are not totally at fault. The Eagles' offensive line stunk up the Linc so badly you were looking for the toilet paper. And the flag-happy-zebras called 31 penalties.

The 20-10 loss to the Cowboys wasn't just a loss, it was ugly. It was an ugly loss.

The boys not gettin' kicked out were saying, "Bradford ain't no good. He f-en aint!" The guy sitting next to me was so drunk he passed out on his girlfriend's shoulder. The scary part was lots of them left early and headed for Xfinity Live. I'm sure they all had designated drivers.

The booing started so early it got Joe Kuharich and Rich Kotite off the hook. The f-word around us was as common as the empty beer cans that littered the aisles. Millions of them.

We only got to sing the song once, late in the fourth when the stadium was nearly empty. We didn't sing, but a few seconds into the song, a guy yelled, "F that s_ _ _."

I'll tell you, the boys were so pissed at QB 7, Pete Lisk would have gotten a standing ovation!

Now here's the thing: The genius coach made a barrel full of changes in his first two years, creating $50 million of salary cap space, shipping out a boat load of talent, including:
  • LeSean Jackson
  • Try Thomas
  • LeSean McCoy
  • Cary Williams
  • Nick Foles
  • Bradley Fletcher
  • Jeremy Maclin
  • Todd Herremans
  • Trent Cole
  • Veteran offensive guard Evan Mathis
In effect, Coach brought in 'his guys.'

Lookit, he confused the faithful. The feeling on the Philly streets was, "We don't know what he's doing." People were scratching their heads. That was BEFORE Sunday's game.

We sat watching the clock tick off game time, enjoying the cool evening breezes from the Delaware following a scorching afternoon, the bright lights gave the stadium a dazzling glow and with the loud mouths gone, we sat in silence staring out at the Center City skyline.

I looked at Matt and said, "At least the Pope is coming." He nodded,  and we rose from our seats. The walk to the subway was like a death march. Mounted police lined the major streets, practicing their security. Tired and broke, we jammed into a subway train and went home.


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