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The Loop

Longtime Philadelphia Eagles announcer Merrill Reese’s reaction to Sunday’s OT debacle is the stuff pain is made of

September 28, 2020

Mitchell Leff

Make no mistake. There’s been A LOT of teams who have had brutal-to-the-point-of-hilarious starts to this thing we’re calling the 2020 NFL season. The Falcons’ fourth quarter futility has been historic. The Chargers punched a painkiller needle through their starting quarterback’s lung. The Jets have been MAXIMUM Jets. But it’s hard to look at what happened on Sunday, now three weeks into the season, and come to any other conclusion than this conclusion:

No team has been more inept, infuriating, and downright pathetic than the Philadelphia Eagles.

In Week 1, they gave up 27 unanswered to a team without a name, prompting fans to start roasting jersey bonfire S’mores about a month earlier than usual. In Week 2 they got headbutted by the Rams. And then came yesterday, against the lowly Bengals, a 23-23 slog that dragged it’s lifeless body into and through OT to the delight of absolutely no one. With 19 seconds left and Eagles on the 41, kicker Jake Elliot—who had made a 54-yarder earlier in the game—lined up a 59-yarder to win it . . . only to watch one of his hog mollies flinch. Here’s longtime Eagles announcer Merrill Reese on the call.

Reese has been calling Birds games since 1977, but when he realizes the Eagles are going to punt the football to protect the tie after the penalty knocked them out of field goal range, you can almost hear the retirement in his voice. This was one of the starkest roll-over-and-die decisions in recent NFL history, and it’s all Reese can do to keep his lunch down. Hell, even Mac couldn’t stomach it.

“It’s inexplicable how they can’t line up for a field goal with the game on the line. In-ex-plicable” Reese says, letting viewers fill in his syllable gaps with their own f-bombs. The Eagles then take a delay of game penalty and after another agonizing minute on top of five agonizing quarters, finally kick the football. “You can’t make this up,” Reese concludes as the Bengals field the punt, effectively ending the game. “The way this team has shot itself in both feet.”

Try both feet, one hand, and the gut. Somebody better tell Carson to lock up those boomsticks before the season is well and truly gone.