Last night, Phillies radio play-by-play man Scott Franzke shared an interesting game note on the series opener between the Phils and the Nationals. The Nats were playing in their 1,000th game since the franchise moved from Montreal to DC, and they were doing so in the same stadium in which they played game number 1, Citizens Bank Park. Even more interesting is that they had the same starter on the mound for both games—Livan Hernandez—and his battery mate from that first outing, Brian Schneider, caught Cole Hamels last night. May 3 was also the date in 2006 that Major League Baseball sold the franchise to its current ownership group. Happy anniversary!
Position Title: Intern
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours
Deadline: November 20
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Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.
Patrick Robinson was talking a little trash with some Eagles teammates before the NFC Championship, so when he came up with an interception, he sort of had to back it up.
“Two hours before the game, I was like, 'When I get a pick, I'm not going out of bounds,'" Robinson said. "When I got it, I was running down the sideline, and I was like, 'No, I definitely can't go out of bounds,' so I just cut it back upfield.”
The end result was a 50-yard return for a touchdown — a play that served to energize the Eagles, the home crowd and an entire fan base during the 38-7 win over the Vikings (see Roob's observations).
“I don't think it just pumped up the offense," Nick Foles said. "I think it pumped up the whole City of Philadelphia. I think everyone down Broad Street heard that.”
Not only did Robinson's pick-six tie the score at seven in the first quarter, it shifted the momentum in the Eagles' favor permanently.
There was an uneasy feeling over Lincoln Financial Field after the Vikings marched straight down the field on a nine-play touchdown drive. A penalty on the ensuing Eagles punt improved Minnesota's field position, while a conversion on third-and-long moved the offense close to midfield. Nothing was going right.
"We had to make a play because they drove right down and scored," Chris Long said. "If we didn't have believe in ourselves and a little toughness, you might've thought, 'Oh, man, it's gonna be a long night.' I know some people probably thought that watching on TV or whatever, but we know what we're capable of as a defense.
“On us, on defense, we had to go out and make a big play and create a turnover.”
Long did exactly that. The 32-year-old pass rusher beat the protection and reached Vikings quarterback Case Keenum mid-throw. The result was a pass that came up woefully short of its intended target — what Robinson described as "an easy pick."
Far less simple was the return. Robinson began by running down the sideline with a convoy of Eagles defenders. Then, with precious little room to maneuver and a promise not to run out of bounds, he cut all the way across to the opposite side of the field, outracing the remaining Vikings players to the pylon.
It was a runback worthy of a certain Eagles All-Pro punt returner.
“Pat, man, he was unbelievable out there," Long said. "He was like Darren Sproles with the ball.”
Robinson was happy to play the part, at one point directing fellow cornerback Ronald Darby to throw a key block that ultimately allowed him to get into the end zone.
“A lot of times you get a pick, there's always one guy that slips through the pack and gets a guy who has the ball," Robinson said. "But this time, all our guys were running hard and trying to make blocks for me.”
For a team that's leaned on home-field advantage all season long, winning nine games in their own building, you better believe that play came at a critical juncture in the contest.
"It got the crowd into it," Malcolm Jenkins said. "Defensively, that first drive, we were kind of uncharacteristic in the run game, missing tackles, just kind of leaky and unsettled. Once we got that, we evened the score back up, it was, 'OK, that was our restart.'
“The crowd is into it. Our offense got going. Defense started getting stops. That was a huge play in the game.”