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NFC CHAMPIONSHIP BRAINSTORMING: Eagles at Rams

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Pregame Random Thoughts
Random Thoughts
Through out the NFL Playoffs, we will be breaking down the FOX games with a twist ... or more accurately ... a twisted point of view.

  • CHAT: Talk football on Lycos!
  • 3:30:39 PM: If Philly makes it to the Super Bowl, how many Ron Jaworski jerseys will come out of the closet?

    3:35:29 PM: What was up with that video of the Eagles walking to the field? The tunnel had like marble floors. It looked like a hotel lobby. You know, domes are just plain wrong.

    3:36:27 PM: When George Halas and the boys got together in Canton to create the NFL, if they would have looked into the future and seen domes, they would have made some sort of rule outlawing 'em.

    3:37:06 PM: Come to think of it, they would have outlawed Eric Dickerson as a sideline reporter as well.

    3:44:33 PM: Ah, Howie is wearing "earth tones." Alert Al Gore!

    3:46:39 PM: Looking at the AFC title game — Did Vegas have an over/under for number of instant replays? This game is ridiculous. It'll end sometime Monday morning.

    3:50:40 PM: Almost as bad as the concept of football in domes is the name they've given the one in St. Louis. The Dome at America's Center?

    3:55:32 PM: If Hugh Douglas gets hold of Warner and throws him to the ground, there will be a rumble.

    4:03:34 PM: FYI, FOXSports.com's offices are in L.A., and some of us are East Coasters who moved out here. Those people have to mend their football-watching experience accordingly. It is a strange adjustment period, filled with anxiety and confusion. As the early games begin, you are eating breakfast, drinking coffee. Many times you can not bring yourself to consume beer until the late games. It can be very painful.

    4:12:02 PM: If the Patriots hang on to win, it will give the Eagles hope ...

    4:14:41 PM: ... or it will have the Rams on guard for the possibility of an upset.

    4:17:01 PM: The players' entrance looks like a the entrance of boxing match with all the lights and fake smoke.

    4:27:01 PM: AFC championship just ended. Hafta think that either of these teams would be a favorite over New England in the Super Bowl. And there's the kickoff ... it's game time!


    First Quarter Random Thoughts
    4:28:33 PM: Wow, fumble by Donovan McNabb. Is the Rams defense blessed? How do they get so many turnovers?

    4:32:12 PM: Seems like the Rams are making a concerted effort to get Faulk more carries. And with that, Kurt Warner throws a touchdown pass.

    4:33:03 PM: Isaac Bruce draws first blood for the Rams, with just under three minutes gone in the first quarter. This could be a long day for the Eagles' D.

    4:33:19 PM: Bruce is almost a forgotten man in the Rams offense. A year or two ago, he was touted as one of the best receivers in football. Now it seems like no one's talking about him. But there he is with the TD catch.

    4:33:51 PM: At what point do Eagles fans change the channel?

    4:35:15 PM: Whenever an announcer refers to a player groin, you have to giggle. Or maybe it's just me.

    4:35:28 PM: If ever a commercial deserved to be updated for modern viewers, it would be the old Reese's Peanut Butter Cup commercials. "Hey! You got chocolate in my peanut butter!"

    Fan comment: Mark M. from Bowie, Md., says, "How much money do the Eagles owe in fines if they dominate the game?"

    4:39:44 PM: Too bad the Steelers didn't win, because if they had met the Rams in the Super Bowl, FOX could call it "That 1980 Show."

    4:41:29 PM: Eagles coach Andy Reid has a tendency to pass the ball, but if he wants to win this game he must get that running game going and going often. That means Duce Staley and Correll Buckhalter have to get reps.

    4:44:31 PM: Safe to say 49 percent of the country is cheering for the powerhouse Rams, 49 percent is cheering for the underdog Eagles, and 2 percent is cheering for a tie that goes on forever.

    4:45:16 PM: Donovan McNabb can singlehandedly ensure that this game won't be boring.

    4:45:48 PM: You have to think the screen pass could be Philly's best weapon against a very fast Rams defense, especially since the Eagles don't have a real consistent deep threat.

    4:46:14 PM: That field goal looked uglier than Kris Brown kicking drunk. But it went through, and it's 7-3. Somewhere, Tony Franklin smiles and gently rubs his foot.

    4:47:50 PM: Let's be serious for a moment: It is all about the beer.

    4:49:02 PM: Contact lenses are certainly a helpful thing for any player, but it would be very cool if a few players in the NFL reached back into the time capsule and donned some Bob Griese-like specs. Or possibly Eric Dickerson goggles.

    4:52:36 PM: Real football fans wear one of those Motorola headsets while sitting on the sofa watching the game at home. Microphone flipped up, of course.

    4:54:23 PM: When Marshall Faulk cuts past the line like that and explodes into the secondary, you really wonder if the guy has ever been tackled for a loss.

    4:55:38 PM: Orlando Pace looks injured. That's not good news for Kurt Warner's ribs.

    4:56:34 PM: That hit on Pace looked like the hit on New England's Tom Brady. They're both from Big Ten schools. Coincidence?

    4:59:23 PM: What would happen if Clay Henry appeared in a Chunky Soup ad? Would the world come to an end?

    5:00:26 PM: As Orlando Pace enters the locker room, the Rams make a field goal. 10-3. "Strained right MCL" doesn't sound good. Have to think the Rams had hoped to be further ahead than they are right now. And that's it for the first quarter.


    Second Quarter Random Thoughts
    5:05:11 PM: That father in the Mastercard sleep-over ad needs to have a long talk to his wife, because their son sure looks a lot like Art Garfunkel.

    5:08:44 PM: The Eagles are dropping lots of passes. Hard to catch when you've got talons instead of hands.

    5:14:32 PM: Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson has not thrown the kitchen sink at Warner yet, whose precision in the pocket is second to none.

    5:15:05 PM: Marshall Faulk is nearing 50 yards, and it's early in the second quarter.

    5:15:46 PM: Jeff Wilkins isn't used to kicking more than one field goal a month.

    5:16:07 PM: Love to type the word "Doink". And it seems appropriate after that Jeff Wilkins 53-yard FG attempt.

    5:18:20 PM: Wow, big run by Buckhalter. With a touchdown on this drive, the Eagles could tie it.

    5:20:57 PM: Ugh. Hope that touchdown celebration doesn't catch on. 10-10 tie ... who'd have thought?

    5:24:40 PM: Wouldn't you have loved to see the Eagles try an onside kick after tying the game at 10 apiece?

    5:25:52 PM: Rollerball is coming out just a few weeks too late for Golden Globes consideration, which is a shame since everyone knows the movies that come out right after the awards always get lost in the shuffle the next time around.

    5:26:10 PM: This NFC title game is a much closer game than that AFC Championship.

    5:26:28 PM: Did Tommy Brokshier wear plaid shirts under his jersey when he played?

    5:26:52 PM: Like the way Kurt Warner slid to the turf when Hugh Douglas was about 10 yards away.

    5:28:06 PM: Everyone makes a big deal at those quick slants Warner throws ... but I'd rather be the guy throwing it than the one risking his neck catching it as two defenders converge on me.

    5:31:25 PM: Another field goal for the Rams. The Eagles are giving up yards but not too many points. 13-10, Rams.

    5:38:05 PM: Chad Lewis has had a big game. That's his fourth catch today, and it gets Philly a first down.

    5:42:03 PM: Did we say Chad Lewis was having a great game? He just dropped a pass in the end zone. C'mon, Chad, don't make us look bad!

    5:44:01 PM: One of the Rams coaches was furiously shaking the ... er, upper area of his pants. What the hell play is HE calling?

    5:44:39 PM: Well, Eagles fans are wetting their pants after that play. Wow. "Jar-Jar" Pinkston's TD catch gives the Eagles a little security as the second quarter winds down. 17-13 Iggles.

    5:45:24 PM: The Dome at America's Center hasn't been this quiet since the Tony Banks days.

    5:48:14 PM: Without that first quarter brain fart by McNabb on the fumble, this game would be all Philly.

    Fan comment: Kevin R. from Fayatteville, N.C., says, "I think the Eagels are doing exactly what it takes to beat the Rams. If they keep it up, they will win."

    5:51:39 PM: OK, that last play of the first half was the funniest thing ever. When has one offensive lineman ever thrown a lateral to another offensive lineman? We'll have to call Adam Timmerman "Crazylegs."

    5:51:46 PM: Now....was Kurt Warner "tucking" the ball on that play?

    5:52:00 PM: Where was the Rams' vaunted team speed on that play?


    Halftime Random Thoughts
    5:59:33 PM: Wonder if the Rams' halftime deficit will increase beer sales at the dome.

    6:01:51 PM: The people who set up the halftime entertainment stages in about 30 seconds — they're the real "special teams."

    6:02:25 PM: That jewel-encrusted "K' hanging from the neck of R. Kelly looks like it weighs 6 pounds and could feed a third-world nation.

    6:02:42 PM: No matter who wins the Super Bowl this year, their combined championship rings will be no match for the jewelry of R. Kelly.

    6:02:48 PM: Katharine Hepburn is a retired actress, Muhammed Ali is a retired fighter. The two of them live together ... and learn together. Watch Thursdays at 9 for an all-news "Kate & Ali"...

    6:03:29 PM: The memo said "wear white, Mr. Kelly."

    6:03:48 PM: Some of those kids in the choir are definitely faking it.

    6:05:34 PM: If this game were in Philly, the gospel choir would have been booed off the field. If they can boo the lovely ladies of Destiny's Child at the NBA Finals, they can boo anyone.

    6:06:31 PM: Side note: If Destiny's Child chooses to play a special limited engagement at the FOXSports.com offices, we promise not to boo.


    Third Quarter Random Thoughts
    6:10:46 PM: Kurt Warner's new helmet looks kinda like a hockey goalie mask. He should have just gone wild and painted one of those crazy designs on the side like they do too. Perhaps he should have Andy Warhol's people do the Campbell's soup can thing on his helmet.

    6:10:49 PM: Wow, that fumble on the kickoff squirted out like it was a greased pig. The Rams are darn lucky to get the ball back.

    6:11:58 PM: Mike Martz's headset was brought back from the future. On a related note, is the NFL coach's headset really a necessary application of advanced technology? I mean, they're just trying to communicate with people in the same building ...

    6:13:02 PM: The Rams sure are being patient on this drive. Just handing it off to Marshall Faulk.

    6:14:00 PM: What do you do if you are the head coach and you just really, really, really have to go to the bathroom?

    Fan comment: Tom V. from Paradise, Calif., says, "Philly is playing a more physical game, like they did vs the Bears. I'll look for time of possesion in the third quarter to see who''s winded in the fourth. I think Philadelphia will win, but if St. Louis wins they will be bruised because they are taking big hits."

    6:15:40 PM: Handing off to Faulk is smart....but how about a LITTLE balance?

    6:16:34 PM: If you had to play against the Rams, it would be smart to call "No Marshall Faulks" before the game starts. If Mike Martz were to argue, you could always point out that you called it.

    6:19:12 PM: Rams go back to the pass with a big completion to Torry Holt. Here they are again, in the red zone ...

    6:19:38 PM: The Rams receivers are the only ones in the league who consistently run sideways instead of forward upon catching a pass. It sure seems to work though.

    6:21:04 PM: If field goals counted for 7 points and touchdowns were 3, then Kris Brown would be the equivalent of Tony Banks and the Rams would be winning this game. But instead, it's 17-16 Eagles.

    6:23:54 PM: It's become painfully obvious that if the Eagles don't find a way to slow down Jeff Wilkins, they could be on the golf course this time next week.

    6:26:22 PM: From the fans on TV, apparently Kurt Warner's wife has popularized a new hairstyle in St. Louis.

    6:26:48 PM: Fact: 90 percent of the male population would be happy to land the fake phone number of that girl in the Miller ad. Fact 2: None of them would have the guts to call later when not under the influence of Miller.

    6:27:49 PM: Dude, where's my Correll?

    6:28:43 PM: All the talk about Kurt Warner's ribs is making Andy Reid hungry.

    6:30:16 PM: Admit it, throughout the AFC game you kept waiting for "Loving You" to play. Also, has anyone ever written a check for a CD? Wouldn't it be the most infuriating thing ever if the person in front of you at Tower Records had to slowly ... write ... a ... check ...

    6:32:36 PM: This tendency of defenders to crawl rapidly like a dog after making a big play is really starting to get annoying.

    6:36:11 PM: Isaac Bruce with his eighth catch of the day.

    6:36:32 PM: Mooooooooooooooooooooooosssssseeeeeee ... oh wait, they are saying "Bruce." Damn flashbacks.

    6:39:11 PM: The Eagles have run three offensive plays in the quarter so far.

    6:39:58 PM: How could the Rams have had the ball for more than 12 minutes and have just now scored their first touchdown in the quarter? The Rams typically score THREE touchdowns in 12 minutes. 22-17 Rams after Ernie Conwell dropped the two-point conversion pass.

    6:42:47 PM: If the Rams lose this game, I would hate to be Ernie Conwell. Except when he goes to pick up his paycheck or goes out to a nightclub or something.

    6:42:55 PM: Q: Why will the 40th Super Bowl be the biggest ever?

    6:43:00 PM: A: Because it'll be Super Bowl XL!

    6:44:11 PM: Ernie Conwell is TNT's Ernie Johnson in a fat suit. It's true, we swear! And that ends the third quarter.


    Fourth Quarter Random Thoughts
    6:47:22 PM: For a Rams game, this contest has been surprisingly turnover free.

    6:51:05 PM: Troy Vincent aggravated his groin injury and is out of the game. That is not good new for Eagles fans. But this is good news: It's the fourth quarter and people are still watching!

    Fan comment: Kurt R. from Indianapolis says, "The Rams seem to have borrowed the the 1983 Super Bowl Redskins playbook and substituted Marshall Faulk for John Riggins."

    6:52:57 PM: Kurt Warner just got pancaked — but he isn't about to come out of the game.

    6:54:56 PM: The Eagles have no sacks and no takeaways, plus no first downs in the second half ... how the hell are they still in this game?

    6:57:57 PM: Two great plays by Grant Wistrom on that series. One sack, and one tackle of Donovan McNabb from behind. Wow ... a Cornhusker playing defense!

    6:59:18 PM: Who's for a special Super Bowl halftime promotion involving trying to drop-kick Carrot Top through the uprights? Or, we'll accept someone hitting him like they used to hit Eric Lindros. Either one works.

    7:01:06 PM: OK, "Edward Jones Dome" is WORSE than "The Dome at America's Center." It sounds like a euphemism for a toupee. How about "Ernie Conwell Field"? Or "Mad Martz: Beyond Thunder Dome"? "Dome Perignon"?

    7:03:08 PM: Uh-oh ... another Eagles defender injured.

    7:08:31 PM: People who voted for Kurt Warner as MVP over Marshall Faulk obviously have a lot of Campbell's stock in their portfolio.

    7:08:34 PM: If the Rams go on to win this after such a shaky first half, how bad will Mike Martz look to run up the score in the Super Bowl?

    7:08:41 PM: Faulk is nearing 150 yards rushing for the day. And, now, two touchdowns. 29-17 St. Louis.

    7:10:40 PM: Stats of the day: Todd Pinkston has 12 receiving yards. Jeff Wilkins has 11 points.

    7:11:02 PM: 6:55 left to play...still plenty of time for Martz to run up the score some. We're surprised he didn't onside kick.

    7:11:15 PM: The Eagles better do something quick and pray they can get an onside kick. Hey, that rhymes!

    7:13:41 PM: 5:27 mark of 4th quarter — first down Eagles. That's their first one of the second half.

    7:14:21 PM: It's no fun trying to read lips on the sidelines if the player in question isn't using profanity.

    7:15:08 PM: When down by two touchdowns, the smart play is to try to gain five yards at a time to keep the clock running and avoid scoring too fast.

    7:17:38 PM: London Fletcher, trying to take Jeff Wilkins' job. Nice little ball-kick, but the refs spot the delay of game.

    7:18:42 PM: In the movie of this game, Vin Diesel will play James Thrash. Donovan McNabb will play himself. Touchdown run by McNabb, and it's 29-24.

    7:19:10 PM: Field goal and safety, and this game is tied!

    7:19:45 PM: Barenaked ladies! Now, that's how you promote a Super Bowl! Wait ... what do you mean it's the name of a band?

    7:22:11 PM: The Eagles wide receivers have been quiet all day. If Philly gets the ball back, they'll need to come alive big time.

    7:23:51 PM: Big, big step-up by the Eagles defense. They held the Rams to a three-and-out, and now Philly will have a chance to win.

    7:24:22 PM: This will be fun: McNabb is 55 yards to earning a statue next to Rocky.

    7:29:38 PM: Odd. Usually when Aeneas picks those off, he returns them for touchdowns. He must be hurt. Or perhaps the Rams defense is more sportsmanlike than the Rams offense and doesn't want to run the score up.

    7:30:15 PM: Rams should score here, then onsides kick. Uh, no, I don't have money on this game ...

    7:31:45 PM: The Rams should take a riverboat to New Orleans and then wave to Rams fans on the shore and moon all the others. Call it The Adventures of Huckleberry Warner.

    7:34:13 PM: Didn't even get the first down ... let alone the touchdown. The Rams had to know that N.Y. Giants play was coming. Game over, as the Rams win 29-24.


    Postgame Random Thoughts
    7:39:17 PM: Game MVP has to be Marshall Faulk. Thirty-one carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Also, Isaac Bruce gets props for eight catches, and the Rams defense came through with another good game.

    7:40:00 PM: Holy third quarter by the Rams. Holding the ball for all but five plays. Did Vince Lombardi give the halftime speech?

    7:41:52 PM: Also, we can say that New Orleans will be overrun next week by New Englanders and Missouri-ans. Wow, those people will be hard to tell apart.

    7:43:01 PM: Is that Bart Starr dating Georgia Frontiere?

    7:43:58 PM: Change her hair, give her 100 pounds of muscle, and Georgia Frontiere is Grant Wistrom. Also, anyone notice that Georgia Frontiere's voice changed just slightly when Jim Henson died?

    7:44:31 PM: Is that a car hood on Georgia's finger? By the way, loved her on The Facts of Life.

    7:46:26 PM: Notice how postgame victory hats are getting uglier and uglier.

    7:47:15 PM: Right now, on the outskirts of St. Louis, a dark smoky cloud quietly climbs out of a burning pile of "EAGLES NFC CHAMPS!" hats and shirts ...

    7:49:23 PM: It's Grant Wistrom's Wild America!

    7:50:02 PM: If the Eagles had won, we'd have seen a Donovan McNabb Chunky Soup ad instead.

    7:53:15 PM: If there was a TV show called Patriots Public, Terry Glenn would play the stoner kid.

    7:57:47 PM: If Drew Bledsoe leads the Patriots to just one offensive touchdown next Sunday, I think Tom Brady will be the Pats QB for a long, long time. And with that, we're done. Peace out, and we'll see you next week for the Super Bowl. Guess what: It's on FOX!


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