Dec 10, 2008, 9:00 AM EDT
Busy couple of days for #88 in Eagles History. When citing examples of Philly sports fans being assholes, only Santa Claus getting booed back in 1968 is cited more frequently than the way Birds fans reacted to the Eagles' game against the Cowboys back at the Vet in 1999. Late in the first quarter, Dallas wideout Michael Irvin caught a short pass from QB Troy Aikman, and a combination of hits from Eagles cornerback Bobby Taylor and safety Tim Hauck twisted Irvin's neck awkwardly. As he was wheeled off on a stretcher, thousands of Green-Bleeders cheered at the misfortune that had befallen the Hall-of-Fame receiver that had burned them for over a decade.
However, what those fans likely (hopefully) failed to realize was that the injury didn't just end Irvin's game, it ended his career, #88 sustained a spinal cord injury that meant he never played another second in the National Football League. Needless to say, the Vet faithful caught some heat for their rejoicing in their rival's ruin. ""It disgusted me to death," said teammate Emmitt Smith. " This is just a game. Life, paralyzation and death are a reality. Sport is sport." Even the Birds themselves came down hard. "I know our fans pride themselves on being tough, but that wasn't tough," said receiver Charles Johnson. ""That was just plain ignorant."
Incidentally, the Eagles did end up winning the game 13-10, on a hookup between Johnson and QB Doug Pederson in the fourth quarter.
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