So, I just saw the hoss Pats lineman almost return a kick for a touchdown, which would have been the most amazing thing I saw today if it was for…well, you know. This story starts with Rand telling me of an awful experience he had at a local high-end steak chain. We talked about this style of restaurant for a while, pointing out obvious flaws and wondering if their new strategy was to drive up the prices while abandoning quality. Setting aside the steaks, is it really that difficult to make a quality side dish or salad?
My thoughts on these places had always been that it was such an ordeal to make a decent steak at home, a restaurant was really the only place I ever had a nice piece of USDA prime. But a hundred dollar dinner that tastes like Sizzler can motivate a man, and Rand was convinced that we needed to start making steaks on our own. It prompted a secret 36-hour research and brainstorming session that had us researching the best ways to make a steak indoors. Why secret? Well, we feared disastrous results. Kitchen fire. Shoe leather steak texture. No need to advertise that kind of thing. But, there we were in our separate apartments youtubing the art of the sear, oven safe skillets, and butter basting.
Sunday’s Eagles/Giants game seemed like the perfect time to try to make our first steaks. We put the meal together quickly before the game, picked up a cast iron skillet and sat down with a beverage to watch. The next two and a half hours were a nightmare for Eagles fans. Every weakness the Eagles have was exploited. Terrible 3rd down play, porous offensive line, and the inability of Andy Reid to do anything right regarding the clock or a challenge. With the Giants leading 24-3 at the half, the game wasn’t over, but it was headed in that direction if the Eagles didn’t come out scoring touchdowns.
Well, they didn’t. It took a Giants turnover to briefly turn the tide, but then after DeSean Jackson coughed up the ball (and Reid inexplicably didn’t challenge) the game was all but over. Three touchdown lead with seven minutes left. What happened in those next seven minutes is already being dubbed the Miracle at the Meadowlands Part 2. But, what happened just before that is what could really be important. There was no optimism in Rand’s living room when Short Bus found Kevin Boss for the Giants final score. We flipped to Red Zone, muttered some general mean-spirited barbs at the Giants, and got ready for what would be a consolation dinner.
With the football unwatchable, Rand snagged his new skillet from the bag and sat down with it, looking it over, appreciating its weight and beauty. From the moment that skillet was brought in front of the TV the tide turned. Brent Celek successfully juggled a long TD catch, David Akers executed onside perfection, Michael Vick ran for about 100 yards, and of course Matt Dodge possibly ended his NFL career. And, why? I have to think it had something to do with the skillet, the magic skillet. I know it’ll be around for all Eagles games for a while. Oh, and how were the steaks? Phenomenal.
I said in my picks on Friday that the Eagles won games in spite of themselves and Sunday was an extreme example of that. It wasn’t a game that makes you feel warm and fuzzy about the Eagles post-season chances (it was just the most epic ending in recent Eagles history). There is that incredible quick strike ability, but other than that, the Eagles are a team with a lot of holes. The defense (Nate Allen this week) continues to lose bodies. And for most of the game the Giants showed for a second time this year a blueprint for disrupting Michael Vick and the Eagles offense.
In some ways the injuries on defense might be good for the fans, because it should keep expectations somewhat in check. There isn’t going to be any secrets. This team will have to win with offense the rest of the way. I think DeSean Jackson’s return will be a singular topic tomorrow for most people and they won’t jump to the Super Bowl quite as quickly as they would have after a standard win. The mantra will become, the Eagles can score with anyone. Which is true, and once the playoffs start, the outcome is often a mystery. You just have to get there first, and the Eagles took a massive in that direction with the most improbable of comebacks on Sunday.
Another classic installment from this genius whoever they may be….maybe not quite as good as Cliff and Jayson, but that second line had hooked, “Coach, why are you on the field?”