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Get out your Eagles green

Kate Gales | Thursday, January 13, 2005

You should be pleased to know that we are entering the approximately third best time of the year. The first is in fall, when South Bend is warm and the NFL is wide open and the Irish are free of embarrassing gridiron losses and baseball is starting to get really interesting, although my beloved Phillies are usually eliminated around this time. The second is March, when college basketball is the passion of every sports fan and the baseball season is a beautiful vision where one can believe that the Phillies have a stellar rotation and deep bullpen.But it’s a new year right now, a new semester and new beginnings, where the slate is wiped clean and every student sees dean’s list honors and 4.0 grades. This is the time where conference play is starting in the always interesting Big East basketball conference and spring break plans are being made and most importantly, I am strengthening my soul to endure another round of the playoffs. There are a lot of religious people in my part of eastern Pennsylvania, but most of us are devout Eagles fans the way the Amish are devout Christians. It’s a subject we never tire of, because there’s always something new to discuss. When Terrell Owens burst onto the scene before this season began, we had a new set of antics to dissect over the dinner table. Andy Reid’s brilliant management of the salary cap, a surprisingly dominant secondary and the Campbell’s Soup commercials featuring Donovan McNabb and his mother mean that there’s never a dull moment in Eagles country.By November, it looked like a straight shot to the Super Bowl against the much reviled Steelers from the dirtier, less civilized western part of the great state of Pennsylvania. Like Eagles fans everywhere, I was allowing myself dreams of the big dance that has eluded my beloved team for the past three straight years. I couldn’t have written a better script with a happier ending.And then came Dallas to ruin everything. Okay, all is not lost. But suddenly the NFC is a wide-open gambler’s nightmare. And with the barely .500 Vikings upsetting the Packers, I feel like anything can happen-not my favorite feeling. When Owens went down against Dallas, a little piece of my heart died inside. So come this weekend, I’ll adjust the completely ghetto antennae on our television, put all fragile object far out of reach and tune into the NFL playoffs like the mildly obsessed fan that I am. Because in a weird way, the face that the Eagles are almost an underdog makes me want to cheer that much harder. There are at least 81 reasons to love the Eagles right now and not all of them are relegated to rehab for leg injuries. I encourage you to throw your emotional support behind the infinitely lovable and yet utterly fearsome Eagles during this NFL playoff series. After all, this is one of the best times of the year. Let’s make it one that Eagles fans can remember with jubilation.