Remembering When Philadelphia Eagles Were Super
It's been almost a decade since the Philadelphia Eagles last appeared in the Super Bowl.
When you're a Philadelphia Eagles fan, memories of Super Bowl appearances are few and far in between.
1981 and 2005.
That's it. Two games. Two losses.
Most years, we Birds fans are watching the game trying to find a link to our Eagles. This year, ex-kicker David Akers is playing for the San Francisco 49ers while Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh was once the Birds special teams coach under Andy Reid.
But 1981 was really something special.
The Iggles were finally putting it all together under energetic Coach Dick Vermeil. He built the team's confidence and they rallied around Ron Jaworski, Harold Carmichael and Bill Bergey.
In 1981, it really didn't seem to matter that the Birds lost to the Oakland Raiders because the team really wasn't expected to be there.
The team's Super Bowl came a week earlier in defeating the heavily favored, hated rival Dallas Cowboys. I still remember Wilbert Montgomery ripping through the Dallas defense on his way to scoring a huge touchdown.
Basically, it didn't seem like the Birds showed up against Oakland. After all, it was the first time in team history that they had made to the grand stage since winning the championship game in 1960.
The final in the 1981 game was 27-10. Oakland dominated Super Bowl XV. Jim Plunkett had a field day against the Birds, earning game MVP honors, while Jaws threw three interceptions to the same player -- Oakland linebacker Rod Martin.
2005 was a little different.
This time, the game was much closer. But the Birds were playing the New England Patriots, who seemed to own Super Bowls back then. (They had won three Super Bowls in four years.) Still, the score ended 24-21.
The game was tied at the half and also after the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Pats led 24-14, but Donovan McNabb rallied the team, tossing a score with a little over a minute left. The Birds got the ball back with 46 seconds left but their rally stalled.
What was amazing that game was the return of wideout Terrell Owens from an injury that cost him a chunk of the late season. He had nine catches for 122 yards.
You can make a great argument that the Birds should have won that game.
But now, almost a decade later, we wonder if the team will ever make it back or ever win one.
The ball is now in new Coach Chip Kelly's court. Maybe he'll be our next Vermeil or a young Reid.
Anyway, we can think about that on Super Bowl Sunday.