Written by Bill Campbell
It would be extremely difficult to over-use or even embellish the word “miracle”. But the Eagles made it easier last Sunday. We’ve been referring to the first Eagles “Miracle of the Meadowlands” since 1978 – 32 years ago. But the current and unpredictable Eagles have now relegated that one into a new section entitled “Memorable Performances”. It was scintillating to be sure but hardly, by comparison, miraculous.
By way of memory refreshment, the Giants quarterback was a guy named Joe Piscarcik who, on third down deep with seconds to play, attempted a hand-off to running back, Larry Csonka, when all he needed to do was kneel down to kill the clock and end the game. The hand-off was fumbled and an Eagle cornerback named Herman Edwards recovered it and ran 26 yards to score and win the game. The Giants had led 17-12 with 30 seconds left in the fourth period allowing Edwards to inscribe his name prominently in Eagles history.
As astounding as all that sounds, the happenings at the “new” Meadowlands last week, when the Eagles scored 28 points in the 4th period, replaced it on the miracle chart. And DeSean Jackson, the “entertainer” as he calls himself, pretty much replaced Herman Edwards as the new individual Miracle Worker. Ironically, Coach Reid had relieved Jackson of all kick-off and punt return duties for the game as an injury precaution. But when the punt position presented itself at game’s end he inserted him. Matt Dodge, the Giants’ punter, was told to punt the ball out of bounds. He got a high pass from center, had to reset himself, and kicked a low line drive—straight at Jackson. He had to be rattled. If he couldn’t kick it out of bounds then it had to be a punt with good hang time. But those are a lot of things to think about when you’re in the middle of creating a new miracle.
And you know the rest.
The miracle was worthy of a new venue and it quickly became the “Miracle of the New Meadowlands”. Maybe 32 years from now, say around the year 2042, maybe in another new season, and with other new names, those of us who saw and heard about this one on December 19, 2010 an who managed to live through it will be forever grateful that this one happened in our time. And, perhaps, we’ll be more prepared for our next miracle.
I am reminded by Eagles broadcaster Merrill Reese that the 19th day of a football season month has exerted a profound influence on memorable Eagles games of the past. For instance, the original Miracle of the Meadowlands, November 19, 1978. Brian Westbrook’s great punt return in the dying seconds, October 19, 2003. And last Sunday’s heroics, December 19th 2010.
All on the 19th.
All against the Giants.
And all at the Meadowlands.