The Extended Pre-Game Show

Eagle Fans

Sunday, February 4, 2018, the underdog Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl. Thursday, September 6, 2018, the Super Bowl Champion Eagles have the honor of playing the first football game of the 2018-2019 season. They are at home versus the Falcons. The game, as always, is being broadcast on the oldies station, 96.1 Sox FM. It’s my favorite radio station here in Lancaster. They play the best songs of the 60s, 70s, 80’s, and all the Eagle games. Merrill Reese, the voice of the Eagles, is the announcer for the games. I like listening to the games, instead of watching them on TV. It reminds me of when I was a kid with my transistor radio listening to Yankee games broadcast by Mel Allen, Red Barber, and Phil Rizzuto. Holy cow, the memories.

The pre-game show for the season opener came on an hour before the scheduled kickoff time. It reminded me of one of those broadcasts at a big horse race. A bunch of so-called experts give their reasons why the horse they like cannot lose. Naturally, they are usually wrong. Now, I’m listening to the invisible talking head analysts on the playing field make their predictions for the game and the entire season ahead. They all interrupt each other to embellish their viewpoint. They don’t shut up until somebody someone notices “dangerous weather” heading their way. They read an announcement that lightning storms will be passing over the stadium and the kickoff will be delayed 15 minutes. You can hear the stadium speakers urging the fans to move to safe ground. The talking heads read a note from The Eagles. Please continue the pre-game show until the game starts.

The analysts on the field see a flash of lightning. One of them says, “I’m not staying out here in a lightning storm. I’ve said everything I wanted to say. I’m outta here.”

“Me, too.”

“Me, three.”

“Me, four. Let’s send this broadcast back to the radio studio.”

There is a brief moment of dead air. Then, “Uhh. Hello. This is Helen. I’m here in the studio with Joe. We usually do the weather reports, and speaking of weather, there seems to be a lightning delay in the start of the football game. So, Joe and I are going to bring you an extended pre-game show. Joe, do you know anything about football?”

“Hi, I’m Joe. I like the Eagles. I think that the analysts have pretty much covered all the topics, though. Why don’t we open the phone lines and see how Eagles fans feel about this lightning delay.”

“Great idea, Joe. Our number is 717-555-1212.”

“Okay, Helen and I are waiting for your calls. 717-555-1212.”

Ring. Ring.

“Hello, you’re on the air.”

“Can you hear me?”

“Yes, you’re on the air.”

“Am I on the air?”

“Yes. What do you want to say?”

“I’d like you to play Fly Like and Eagle.”

“We can’t do that.”

“How about We Are the Champions by Queen.”

“We can’t do that, either.”

“How about anything by the Eagles?”

“Sir, this is a broadcast studio, not a record studio. We don’t have any records here.”

“Oh, you suck.”

“Next Caller. What do you want to say about the Eagles?”

“Hi this is Billy from Philly. My girlfriend left me because she said I cared more about the Eagles than her.”

“So you want us to help you get her back.”

“No, screw the bitch. I want to meet girls who are true Eagles fans, not posers.”

“Okay, thank you. Next caller.”

“This is Fran. I’m a true Eagles fan. I’d do Billy from Philly.”

“Next caller.”

“Joe, this is your mother. Don’t forget to pick up milk on your way home.”

“Hi Mom.”

“We’ll be right back to the extended pre-game show right after these commercial messages.”

They weren’t. Apparently, the NFL felt safer with the lightning than the extended pre-game show. They rushed Boyz 2 Men out on the field to sing the National Anthem, and with occasional flashes of lightning illuminating the field, the game began.

The Eagles won the game thanks to several incredible goal-line stands by their defense, and they are on their way to another great season. The rest of the teams played last night and the new football season has begun. Good luck to your team, and Fly Eagles, Fly.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,

Earl

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