YESTERDAY COLUMN: The greatest Eagles performance in a Super Bowl
Is the “Philly Special” part of the Eagles’ best Super Bowl performance?
Well, you the fans thought so by selecting Nick Foles’ performance in Super Bowl LII as the finest one in a recent Times News Lehighton Sports poll, as it collected 90% of the vote.
In this week’s version of my Yesterday column - reminiscing about sports and pop culture in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and sometimes before and beyond - I’ll take a look at some of the better Eagles Super Bowl performances, as well as some other items associated with the Big Game and the sports world.
Think about it … what famous game show host once was part of the 49ers’ radio team? In what college stadium was the Super Bowl played 50 years ago? What lock became famous by a Super Bowl commercial? And who was Tony Garea?
Foles’ Fame ... It took journeyman Foles to lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title. In the 41-33 victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, Foles completed 28-of-43 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns.
His “Philly Special” touchdown catch will be a highlight forever firmly embedded. Remember running back Jay Ajayi? He was acquired from the Dolphins in mid-season and proved to be a valuable addition - gaining 44 yards against the Pats.
Did He Or Didn’t He ... In Super Bowl XXXIX, it has been widely speculated that quarterback Donovan McNabb vomited in the huddle during the fourth quarter in the eventual 24-21 loss to New England.
Teammates Lito Shephard and Jon Ritchie claimed he did, while McNabb has vehemently denied it. Ironically, McNabb was 11-of-20 in four drives during the final quarter, tossing a touchdown, having two interceptions, and a three-and-out.
Overall, McNabb was 30-of-51 for 357 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions and garnered 4% of the online poll.
T.O. Was The Show ... Also, in the same Super Bowl as McNabb, Terrell Owens had one of the most dramatic performances with nine catches for 122 yards. It truly was one of the most heroic games, as Owens had suffered a broken leg seven weeks prior and wasn’t totally cleared to play in the game. He also had a torn ligament in his ankle.
Owens played in 62 of the 72 snaps and he was targeted 14 times - the most of any receiver in a Super Bowl. Despite all of his issues and mannerisms, “T.O.” should never be forgotten for a performance that may never be duplicated.
Not Just Another Johnson ... In Super Bowl XV against the Raiders in a 27-10 loss, Eagles nose tackle Charlie Johnson had an unsung game on an afternoon that didn’t go well for the Birds.
Johnson had a combined 12 tackles with a sack. Linebackers Bill Bergey and Frank LeMaster also reached double-digits stops with 10 each. The Eagles’ D gave up 377 yards, as Raiders’ quarterback Jim Plunkett had a banner day.
And do you remember Raiders’ running back Kenny King, who ran for an 80-yard touchdown from Plunkett.
Montgomery Didn’t Need A Ward ... In the same Super Bowl, running back Wilbert Montgomery ran for 44 yards on 16 carries, and he caught six passes for 91.
On a bleak day for the Eagles’ offense in their inaugural Super Bowl appearance, Montgomery was a lone bright spot.
He collected 2% of the poll.
Houston How-Down ... In 1974, Houston hosted the Super Bowl for the first time - and it was held at Rice University. Imagine holding a Super Bowl at a college venue today?
Miami won its second straight crown with a dominating 24-7 victory over the Vikings. Larry Csonka - he also played one less momentous year with the Giants - rushed for 145 yards.
As part of the country flavor, Charley Pride sang the national anthem. Rice Stadium, which held 70,000, did play host to the Oilers for three years. Pride had a number of hits in ’74.
A Deadly Pistol and A Milestone ... On this date in 1969, LSU’s “Pistol” Pete Maravich scored 66 points against Tulane, but his team still dropped a 101-94 decision. Also, former Phillies’ first baseman Bill White became the first African-American announcer in 1971 for the Yankees.
White’s work was often overshadowed by Phil Rizzuto’s approach and popularity. He was a solid color commentator.
A Big Mac, A Master Lock, and A Smooth Shave ... In 1974, the trend of the prominent Super Bowl commercials took a step further.
McDonald’s famous Big Mac jingle (two all-beef patties, lettuce, sauce..) was a prominent spot in which people tried to remember and sing the jingle.
One of the most compelling and controversial commercials was Master Lock’s. A .44 magnum and later a rifle was fired at a shooting range distance to try and break the lock. It stirred some controversy and quickly began a yearly staple.
Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett teamed up in a Noxzema commercial. It initially appeared a year earlier, and Namath opened it by saying “I’m so excited. I’m gonna get creamed.” Fawcett then rubbed Noxzema shaving cream on Namath as a jingle played in the background, and asked viewers to “Let Noxzema Cream Your Face.”
And Here They Are … You remember the announcement as the set swung and you saw the “three eligible bachelors.” The voice was Jim Lange, who hosted “The Dating Game” from 1965-86. It was one of most campy shows in the 1960s and 70s, and we all watched it at one time or another.
By the way, Lange was the color commentator on the 49ers radio network. He also called the University of California football, and was one of the most renowned announcers in San Francisco on KSFO.
Eagles-49ers Calling the Shots ... Over the years, there have been a number of quarterbacks who have played both for the Eagles and 49ers.
Among the most recognizable signal callers was Norm Snead, who was the Eagles’ quarterback from 1964-70 and the 49ers from 1974-75. I had troubling recalling Snead in the red and golden.
Less known George Mira played a season for the Birds in 1969 after playing out West from 1964-68.
Jaws Goes Red ... Do you remember Ron Jaworski as a Chief? He spent the 1989 season as a backup and started six games. “Jaws” completed 36-of-61 passes for 385 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions. He was behind Steve DeBerg.
Anyone recall where he was before KC? Jaworski spent two seasons as a backup in Miami.
Phillies Phodder ... Each week, I’ll have a Phillies’ trivia question for you to ponder. Test your Phillies’ knowledge without looking it up or looking below for the answer.
What other team did Greg Luzinski play for in his 15-year career?
WWWF Wrestler Wrap ... Each week, we’ll look back at a former WWF stat from our past.
Do you remember Tony Garea? He was the guy from “Auckland, New Zealand” and burst onto the scene in the early 1970s. Garea temporarily moved to the NWA on the West Coast, but he returned to the WWWF in the late 70s.
Garea became a fan favorite throughout the 80s, and he was part of five WWWF tag-team titles. He retired in 1987, and accepted a front-office position with the WWF until 2014.
Trivia Answer ... Luzinski played four years for the White Sox from 1981-84. He hit 84 homers with 317 RBIs and hit .265 for the Sox.
Memory Lane ... Each week, I’ll recall a former player, coach, manager, or media personality from our yesterday.
Do you remember Sixers’ guard Henry Bibby? He was a fourth-round pick of the Knicks in 1972 and spent three seasons in the Big Apple. Bibby then spent two years in New Orleans before he was dealt to the Sixers before the 1976 season.
Bibby was an integral part of the team the next four years, averaging 10.7 points from the point. In 10 overall seasons, Bibby averaged 8.6 points and 3.3 assists. After his playing career ended in 1981, Bibby had several stops as an assistant coach.
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