Eagles in Must-Win Situation On 40th Anniversary of Santa Claus Booing Incident

Forty years ago today -- December 15th, 1968 -- is a day that lives on in Philadelphia sports infamy. It was a cold day when a pathetic Eagles team, playing out the final days of the Joe Kuharich era, was getting beaten on their home turf at Franklin Field. And then a makeshift Santa, pulled out of the stands and trotted onto the soppy field, was showered with snowballs and boos.

The rest, as they say ... is written about by every sports journalist, blogger, and website commenter from Beantown to Hollywood and every other mediocre sports town in between.

Yes, Kornheiser, they do boo Santa Claus.

The football world will turn their eyes back towards the City of Brotherly Love this evening, as Monday Night Football comes to Philadelphia with the Cleveland Browns facing the Philadelphia Eagles at the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field.

The tired "Santa Claus being booed in Philadelphia" story has been trotted out over and over and over. It's been twisted and turned and beaten to the point where even Santa's reindeer are dead at this point. My one Christmas wish this year is for journalists to come up with a new storyline.

Alas, there is meaningful football to be played this evening. So in between counting how many references Tony Kornheiser and crew make about jolly old Saint Nick and a belly that resembles Andy Reid's, the Eagles will try to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Birds' level of play this season has run the gamut from impressive, inspired football to looking like a team that was planning their winter vacations way back in October. If the Eagles team that showed up against the Cardinals on Thanksgiving and the Giants last weekend is there tonight, the Eagles should roll over the Ken Dorsey-led Cleveland Browns. The Browns are not a team that will strike fear in the Eagles on their home turf at the Linc.

But this is the 2008 Eagles we're talking about -- a team that couldn't beat the Bengals. You never know what you'll get from this unpredictable squad. The Browns are undefeated this year on Monday Night Football and will hope for the Eagles to leave a nice present in the form of turnovers under the tree. Winning the turnover battle and capitalizing on it is the only way I see the Browns coming away with a win.

Whether Eagles fans will be naughty or nice this evening remains to be seen, but we can certainly count on Santa popping up no matter what.

Eagles in Must-Win Situation On 40th Anniversary of Santa Claus Booing Incident originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Mon, 15 Dec 2008 17:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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