Tuesday, November 26, 2002


I have watched a ton of sports over the years and yet I saw something last night that I've never seen before. Monday Night Football showcased the San Francisco 49ers against the Philadelphia Eagles. Last week, the Eagles superstar quarterback Donovan McNabb broke his ankle on the third play of the game, but somehow managed to limp his way through the rest of the game, throwing four touchdown passes in the process, and leading the Eagles to a big win. However, post-game x-rays revealed the fracture and McNabb will most likely be lost to the Eagles until the playoffs. Enter Koy Detmer. The Eagles backup QB was in the national spotlight last night, making his first start in three years against the west division-leading Niners. Detmer proceeded to play a near-flawless game in helping to stake the Philly boys to a big lead in San Fran. But, destiny had something else in store for Koy Detmer on this night. Late in the third quarter, Detmer dropped back to pass and, as he had done all evening, hung tough in the pocket to complete a 24-yard pass play. But he paid the price, taking a shot to the legs from defensive end Chike Okeafor, who threw him down to the turf. Detmer extended his left arm to brace his fall, and in a moment reminiscent of the famous scene of Joe Thiesman's leg getting bent back and broken on a hit from Lawrence Taylor on Monday Night Football, the quarterback's arm twisted awkwardly under the pressure. When they showed the replay repeatedly, you couldn't help but wince, imagining the pain he must have been in. And Detmer showed his pain too, wildly kicking his legs and flailing as he immediatly grabbed his left arm. The referee was compassionately holding him down with one hand while urgently motioning for the trainer with the other. When the trainers finally set the arm in a makeshift cast, helped Detmer to his feet, and sat him down on the cart to be wheeled off, something amazing happened. In a display of nothing short of love, the entire Eagles roster swarmed Detmer with encouraging words, pats on the head, and pure appreciation. Two weeks in a row the Eagles have witnessed tremendous courage and ability from their top two quarterbacks in the face of adversity, and their leadership has helped define the team character of the Eagles. Koy Detmer is known to be a very popular player on the team, one who knows the offense so well he teaches the coaches a few things. But this went beyond popularity. This went beyond being a good teammate and a likable person. Hell, the 49ers defensive team that was on the field wished Detmer well too. No, this was more than just a moment in a game. This transcended sports.

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