NFL

Angelo Cataldi: Eagles’ Thanksgiving massacre will live on forever

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There may never be a more sublime Thanksgiving Day than the one Eagles fans experienced last week. Not only did our favorite football team carve up the Dallas Cowboys like a 25-pound Butterball, they did it in front of 100,000 bumpkins stoked for a holiday celebration.

The best past about last Thursday was what Eagles fans didnothave to endure. The surgically altered face of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was conspicuously absent on the sideline. Dez Bryant never got to dance in the end zone; he was too busy berating his teammates. Even Fox analyst Troy Aikman had to stifle the nauseating testimonials for his old team.

Because we are Eagles fans, our first impulse is to embrace our biggest dreams again. After all, there should be no further questions about which team is going to win the NFC East, nor about Chip Kelly making the playoffs for the second time in his two years here. With a coach who has won 19 of his first 28 games, anything is possible.

But the Thanksgiving massacre should be appreciated simply for just how special it was, regardless of future implications. It was one of the most exhilarating victories in recent memory – even more so than the other recent Cowboy drubbings.

When the Birds crushed Dallas three years ago to win the division – Andy Reid’s last meaningful triumph – the Cowboys were pretenders, as they were last season when the Eagles secured the division title on the final Sunday against a home underdog playing without Tony Romo.

What made Thursday’s national embarrassment for the Cowboys especially sweet was that Dallas is supposed to be resurgent now, with the best offensive line in football, the best running back, the best wide receiver and a much-improved defense. Aikman said early in the game – very early – that this is the best Cowboys team in many years.

And still the Eagles, without their starting quarterback (Nick Foles) and their defensive leader (DeMeco Ryans), demolished them. It was a game that will stand alone in memory, like the infamous body-bag event in Washington 24 years ago, and the only other Eagles visit to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, in 1989.

If everything goes according to plan, Chip Kelly will have far bigger victories than the one he masterminded last week in Dallas, but this is one that will always have extra meaning because of the effect the loss had on our most bitter rival.

Has there ever been a more delicious treat for Eagles fans to savor, in one wonderful afternoon, than the bitter reactions of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten as they tasted the most disappointing defeat of their season?

Philadelphia has a basketball team with no wins, a hockey team with no chance and a baseball team with no clue, but we have something truly worthy of our gratitude. Thank you, Chip Kelly and the 2014 Eagles, for a day we will never forget.

Idle thoughts

  • How clueless is Ruben Amaro Jr.? The Phillies GM is playing hardball in trade talks for Jimmy Rollins, even though the shortstop is 36, batted .243 last season and will make $11 million in 2015. Phils management has said the team won’t contend for two years, so why keep Rollins? Is there one logical reason?
  • Jamie Moyer will not be back in the Phillies broadcasting booth next season, but there is still one obvious question that needs to be addressed: How did someone so humorless and boring get the job in the first place?
  • Jimmy Johnson makes over a million bucks doing virtually nothing during the Fox NFL studio show every week. Check the tape. The ex-Cowboys coach never criticizes anyone, speaks only in silly platitudes and is awkward with the other hosts. Good coach, dreadful broadcaster.
  • Now that an arbitrator has ruled that Ray Rice told the truth to Roger Goodell all along, what should happen to the NFL commissioner? Goodell’s initial response to Rice’s vicious assault of a defenseless woman was a two-game suspension. If that soulless ruling isn’t grounds for dismissal, what is?
  • Fans planning to attend Flyers or Sixers games at the Wells Fargo Center for the rest of this outrageous winter should be checked for an upper-body injury. In other words, they need their heads examined.

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