Dec 18, 2011, 1:04 PM EDT
We’ll have more on today’s Eagles/Jets game, but for the time being I figured I’d whet your appetite with this all-time classic Eagles video.
Eric Allen’s 94-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Meadowlands against the Jets took place over 18 years ago. In re-watching the video it hasn’t lost any of its jaw-droppingness. If anything, the passage of time makes it all the more amazing.
The first thing that struck me was the voice of Pat Summerall. There were no over the top catch phrases or forced excitement. He simply called it as it happened. Similarly, it was nice to hear John Madden. Late in his career he sort of became a caricature of what he once was, but he’s vintage Madden in this clip.
The next thing that struck me was the names of the players on the field. For the life of me I could not remember who that #77 was who pressured Boomer Esiason just before he released the ball. I wanted tot say it was Rhett Hall, but it wasn’t. I actually had to look it up. Do you know who it is? I’ll give you a second to think about it……it was Keith Millard.
I totally forgot that the longtime Viking ended his career with the Eagles. Next, the final block in the return was thrown by Ben Smith. Smith, who was a former first-round pick out of Georgia, will forever live on in my mind, along with Ron Jones, as a guy who barring injury would’ve been an all-time franchise great.
Of course I am likely completely overestimating what his career would have been, but there’s something so lasting and tantalizing about a young player who flashes brilliance only to see his career cut short by injury.
Lastly, I completely forgot about Eric Allen and Calvin Williams approaching Randall Cunningham in the tunnel after the touchdown. Randall, who suffered a broken fibula in the second quarter of the game, was on crutches watching Allen’s return unfold. A good portion of the team, including Bubby Brister, ran to meet Allen and Cunningham following the score.
The play was so stunning that no less of an authority than Steve Sabol called it the greatest interception return in NFL history.
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