As Donovan McNabb scampered out of bounds on Giants sideline late in the fourth quarter Sunday at the Meadowlands, he picked up a coaches phone and called his travel agent.
“Book that flight to Arizona…”
Well, that’s not exactly the way the phone call, or lack of one, turned out but the game turned out exactly how this team of destiny expected -- with a “Giant” win.
The Eagles’ 23-11 cruise control victory on the road over the reigning Super Bowl Champions confirmed what this Eagles team already knew: they’re good -- real good.
Now the Eagles are only one win away from the Super Bowl having won six of their last seven games -- the media and fans are reconfirming their trust in the organization.
Maybe Andy Reid isn’t such a bad guy. Perhaps now fans would buy Donovan a beer if he strolled into the bar.
For now, though, the beers will have to wait because the Birds will migrate to Arizona this week in preparation for Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
If the Eagles win, Mayor Michael Nutter better put January 18 on his agenda for official holiday consideration.
Speaking of holiday, can anyone remember at what point this team made it’s unfathomable turnaround?
If you didn’t pass out from all the eating, the answer is fresher in your mind than an Oscar Mayer turkey leg.
On Turkey Day the Eagles flew past the Cardinals 48-20 in the Bird Bowl blowout.
Before that game on Nov. 28, Philadelphians may have questioned watching their team on the tube, now they question if their job is worth losing over a trip to the “Grand Canyon State” to see their Eagles bury the Cardinals six feet under.
The Eagles season started anew with that Thanksgiving win. They finished the season winning four out of five and miraculously making the playoffs.
But, if you ask the Eagles about their unpredictable season they will tell you that they knew their cards all along.
So, Sunday will determine the fate of both these organizations and don’t expect the teams’ last meeting to have any weight in this match up.
These are two totally different teams.
Arizona breathed easy most of the season atop the dreadful NFC West relying on their high-octane offense headed by former Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner under center and a duo of Pro Bowl wide receivers in Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.
But much like the 2006-07 Colts did in their Super Bowl run, the Cardinals have a newfound defense in the play offs shutting down both Atlanta and Carolina’s flashy run games.
It doesn’t appear that the offense has lost a step either despite Boldin missing the Divisional game against the Panthers. The Cards offense has scored at least 30 points in both playoff games.
But the Eagles have experience, especially with leaders Donovan McNabb, Brian Dawkins and "Big" John Runyan, who’ve all been with the organization for at least a decade.
That decade is known in Philly as the Andy Reid Era. This will be the team’s fifth NFC Championship appearance since that era began 10 years ago -- an impressive stat no doubt but the trophy case is missing just one little piece -- the Lombardi Trophy.
After 10 years of frustration, it might have all been worth the wait.
Playing in the bash-your-brains-out-every-game NFC East, the Eagles are far more prepared for Sunday’s showdown.
The Eagles are across the board favorites to take this one, especially if Boldin isn’t ready for game time.
Even with Boldin in there, the Eagles defense is too ferocious, too strong and too hungry to let a flock of Cardinals stand in their way of a Super Bowl appearance.
In the last month the offensive line has declared a restraining order against opposing defenses. McNabb has responded and continues to experience the sheer enjoyment of his release form his time-out on the bench.
Consider Sunday a pre-vacation for the Birds. It'll give them time to adjust to the warm weather before they play out their destiny in Super Bowl XLIII on Feb.1.
Philadelphians, if you pick up that phone and call your own travel agent, be sure to buy Donovan that drink when you see him lounging by the hotel pool. He’ll need to keep his cool for Tampa.