With the Eagles hosting the Packers this weekend, it is only right to remember one of the greatest and most meaningless plays in Eagles history. 4th and 26. At the time, it was the greatest thing since 4th and 25 and even that one was only marginally better than 4th and 24.
At any rate, what did it lead to? Another NFC Championship game…loss. So it’s hard for me to look back on that play as one of the greatest in Eagles history, simply because it didn’t propel the team to greater things. Granted, it was a great play, in a vacuum. Had it happened in a Super Bowl that lead to a ring, Freddie Mitchell would be a folk hero who still had a job in the NFL, but I digress.
So leading up to the big game on Sunday, aren’t you curious as to what Freddie has to say about 4th and 26…again? I thought so. Take a look at what your boy had to say:
“You know that play is a love-hate play for me because that was the first time they threw to me the whole friggin’ game. I was blocking my ass off doing everything it took, doing the stuff that society doesn’t recognize.
That whole year sucked for me, and the next year sucked even more. But anyway…
I actually had to go tell the coaches that I was wide open and to throw me the ball. The coaches literally had to talk into Donovan’s headset and tell him I was wide open and to throw it to me.
Donovan looked at me in the huddle and said, “Ready?” And I said, “Dude, I’ve been ready the whole game.”
I started reading the defense as soon as I got to the line of scrimmage. For most guys, it takes a lot of years to read defenses like that.
The name of the play was a 2 Jet Double Go. What it does is sends Pinkston and Thrash on “Go” routes and what I do, as the Sultan of Slot, is I read the middle. I had to take a certain angle that most young receivers wouldn’t have taken. Any other angle and it would have been a bum play. I was the master of finding holes, and I knew right where the hole would be. It was money.
First of all Donovan’s pass was behind me and it was wobbly, but I had to take advantage of the opportunity that was presented to me. Right when I caught the pill, I kind of knew I had the yardage right away. I looked at the sticks and to see where I was at and I knew I got it. I felt like Michael Jordan hitting a last-second shot or Tiger Woods sinking a 50-foot putt.
Then I had to pull out the belt…
That was for the crowd. Not a single person left that stadium when we were down, and I had to do something for them. Hugh Douglas used to say, “That’s the People’s Champ. He does it every time for the fans.” I had to put the belt on for them. I was brought up like Brian Dawkins, with a love for Philly. When he heard the Eagles fans scream that was like church music to him. That’s how I was. I was doing it for love while Donovan was doing it to prove people wrong for booing him.
This is how much of a team player I am: I came to the podium afterwards and said, “We don’t need fate when we have 5.” Man I blew him up! And that was the headlines in the papers…Meanwhile I’m dealing with him not throwing me the ball, and me being on my knee pads to help him out.
But in the end, I love being a part of that play. A lot of great receivers came through this league, but I’d rather have one memorable catch than go to the Pro Bowl. There are Pro Bowl and Hall of Fame players that have caught 20 times as many passes as me but aren’t remembered. So I’m cool with it.”
True… but a lot of those Pro-Bowl and Hall of Fame players aren’t begging the UFL for a job.
Stay classy, Hollywood. You’ll forever be missed…or forgotten. Whatever you want to think.