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Bad Weather Flashback: The Fog Bowl

Aug 27, 2011, 12:14 PM EDT

With hurricane Irene bearing down on the east coast we revisit the Fog Bowl game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears.
fog bowl

Since all anyone is talking about is a hurricane – we’re talking about a hurricane. Not a tornado. Not a tornado. Not a tornado. We’re talking about a hurricane – I figured it’d be appropriate to post a video of one of the all-time “weather games” in Philly sports history.

The Fog Bowl. Eagles-Bears NFC Divisional Playoff on December 31, 1988 at Solider Field in Chicago.

Video – including a Lou Tilley sighting – after the Jump…

The Eagles were in year three of the Buddy Ryan era and boasted a ridiculous amount of talent on both sides of the ball. Notable names on defense included Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner, Eric Allen, Andre Waters, and Wes Hopkins.

Although less heralded than the defense the offense featured Randall Cunningham, Keith Byars, Cris Carter, and Keith Jackson. The team was stacked.

After a slow 1-3 start they finished strong, winning seven of their final nine games. They were peaking at the right time and were primed to go into Chicago and pick up the first playoff win of the Buddy Ryan era.

They fell behind early on a 64 yard touchdown pass from Mike Tomczak to Dennis McKinnon. Consecutive Luis Zendejas field goals brought the Eagles back to with in a point at 7-6. Neal Anderson then punched one in from four yards out and the Bears led 14-6. Bears kicker Kevin Butler, one of the all-time great single bar face mask guys, kicked a 46 yarder to put the Bears up 17-6.

Then the fog rolled in. At first it was a minor annoyance. You figured as quickly as it rolled in it would roll out. I remember thinking that CBS would come back from halftime and there’d be a clear shot of the field.

Not only was there not a clear shot, it’d gotten worse. At this point I was in total disbelief that the league did not simply step in and suspend play.

It was ridiculous. You literally could not see anything. Neither Verne Lundquist nor Terry Bradshaw, the CBS announcing team, could see anything. They could have said that Zendejas, reprising the role of Chuck Bednarik, was playing center and middle linebacker and I would’ve had no choice but to believe them.

The one thing I could never figure out about this game was how, if he couldn’t see anybody, Randall ended up throwing for 407 yards.

It’s been 23 years and this game still bothers me.