Coach Doug Pederson, seeking to instill some confidence in his team and Eagles fans after last week’s embarrassing loss in Minnesota, kinda, sorta guaranteed a victory at Dallas on Sunday night.
“I know the sky is falling outside,” Pederson told Philadelphia radio station 94.1 WIP on Monday. “We’re going down to Dallas, our guys are gonna be ready to play. And we’re gonna win that football game, and when we do, we’re in first place in the NFC East.”
It’s a bold statement but ranks well down the list of other famous guarantees.
Pederson’s prediction, which he later tried to recant, doesn’t compare to the one issued by Joe Namath a few days before the New York Jets were set to take on the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Namath, the coolest football player in history, held his pregame press conference at poolside in Miami Beach. In Sports Illustrated’s iconic photo, he was sitting in a lounge chair, clad in a plaid bathing suit. A half-dozen reporters and two female admirers surrounded him. The group included one guy using a newspaper to shield his bald pate from the sun.
Somehow I can’t picture that happening at this season’s Super Bowl LIV in South Florida.
“I’ve got news for you,” Namath said that day. “We’re gonna win the game. I guarantee it.”
Everyone was shocked except Namath’s teammates, which included Wildwood High School graduate Randy Beverly.
Although the Jets were 18-point underdogs, they were confident they would back up Namath’s bold prediction.
He was right. The Jets won 16-7, with Beverly getting two interceptions.
In keeping with the spirit, here are a few more predictions about some upcoming events. Keep in mind that I’m not always right. I proved that when I forecast an Eagles loss to the Vikings in the 2017 NFC championship game.
There is no money-back guarantee.
The reports of dissension in the Eagles’ locker room that cropped up this past week will have zero impact on Sunday’s game. Players are too busy studying film and reviewing the game plan to be bothered with what some anonymous Eagle told an ESPN reporter. Any suggestion that Pederson has somehow lost the locker room is pure poppycock. Eagles 27, Cowboys 20.
I’m going to be a finalist for “Husband of the Year.” If anyone needs me Sunday, I’ll be in New York City watching “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on Broadway with my wife, who is an avid fan of the books, movies and theme parks. Unbeknownst to me, it’s a two-part play, and each part lasts over 2.5 hours. I’m hoping she won’t notice if I spend the second act in a sports bar watching Eagles-Cowboys.
The 76ers will win their first NBA championship since 1982-83 this season. Someone will ask Joel Embiid to predict how the Sixers will fare in the playoffs, and he will forever endear himself to fans by answering, “Fo, Fo, Fo.” They will meet the Los Angeles Clippers in the Finals. Ben Simmons will hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer in Game 7 to win the title.
Wildwood Catholic High School will become the first local boys basketball team to win the state Tournament of Champions this season. West Virginia commit Taj Thweatt, the 2018-19 Press Boys Player of the Year, and Temple recruit Jahlil White lead a loaded lineup that also features senior forward Pat Hopping and junior guard Martin Anguelov, a transfer from Lower Cape May Regional.
New manager Joe Maddon will lead the Los Angeles Angels to the American League playoffs next season. Millville’s Mike Trout will win the A.L. Triple Crown with 50 home runs, 120 RBIs and a .325 batting average. He will win both the league’s MVP and Comeback Player of the Year awards.
Also, new manager Joe Girardi will lead the Phillies to the National League playoffs next season. Bryce Harper will win the N.L. Triple Crown with 45 home runs, 110 RBIs and a .320 batting average.
Lastly, the Eagles will win the NFC East this season with a 10-6 record. They will earn the conference’s No. 3 seed but lose to the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Rams. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey will return an interception for a touchdown for the decisive score. Afterward, an anonymous Eagles player will complain to an ESPN reporter about not getting the ball enough.
David Weinberg’s Extra Points column appears Wednesdays and Sundays in The Press.