No, I didn’t watch the commercials, not even the pregame starring the president’s Tsunami relief team. I don’t know how the teams do it, play a serious game amid all those distractions. It’s bad enough to listen to the endless chat from the three announcers in the booth, each competing with the other to say something inane. But yap away they did, as if they were being paid by the word.
Less used to be more in TV announcing. Just think of Vin Scully doing television, using about one tenth the verbiage he would on radio — and he’s the only announcer in history who deserved to be paid by the word.
Fortunately for Fox’s trio, by the fourth quarter its comments became less obnoxious, more incisive, perhaps because like the rest of the world it was almost left speechless by Philadelphia’s decided lack of urgency as it slept-walk through its comeback effort.
The thing is, New England could have lost last night. It was the chased, not the pursuer this time. It withstood rotten luck in the first half, including some iffy and calls. A lesser unit would have been had. Instead, it did enough of what it had to, even before halftime, then dominated the third quarter, and never beat itself.
Somewhere I’d read that the fourth quarter always belongs to Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Not so last night. Probably he’d been leveled once too often, maybe his coaches got confused, but when it mattered he wasn’t quite himself. Terrell Owens saved his team time and again — and not once did New England attempt to reinjure his damaged angle. (So un-Philadelphia like!) Owens remained focused; it was the other Eagles who might have tired from all the distraction Owens brought them these last few weeks.
After it was over, New England seemed more relieved than ecstatic. Is that what happens to a team that wins three Super Bowls in four years? Terrell Owens, meanwhile, was back to mouthing off, singularly incapable of allowing his demeanor off the field match the quality of his play. Of course, when his playing days are over he’ll become a three-man announcing crew all by himself. But that’s down the road.
The crisis now is how the Eagles will be welcomed back in Philly. Owens emerged as their leader yesterday, superseding McNabb and head coach Andy Reid. Let the recriminations begin.