November 21, 2016
There was a time in my life, not very long ago, when I didn’t care much for the Joe Buck-Troy Aikman announcing pairing. That viewpoint has largely changed, and man, I would’ve loved if they were on the call for yesterday’s Eagles-Seahawks game. The alternative turned out to be much, much worse.
As Jonathan Tannenwald wrote last week, the game was on CBS as part of a new “cross-flexing” strategy by the NFL. This meant that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were calling a game that has been broadcast by FOX forever.
Midway through the third quarter, Seattle was driving deep in Eagles territory already up 16-7, trying to put the game away. Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin was caught on camera flipping off offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, but nothing special was said prior to the snap on the broadcast.
And then Baldwin threw the first pass of his career into Russell Wilson’s waiting arms for a touchdown, putting the game away:
Simms’ initial reaction after the touchdown? “Oh, I saw it coming.”
On a play that the Seahawks have never run, Simms apparently was aware that Baldwin and Wilson would trade roles. Despite this knowledge, it was a strange decision by the longtime color analyst to hold off and keep the viewers at home guessing when he knew what was coming.
So, there you have it. Fire Jim Schwartz on the spot and back up the truck for Phil Simms. If he can sniff out a play that has never happened and probably will never happen again, the Eagles can still win a Super Bowl this season with the defense under his guidance.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann