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Eagles Kicked Out of Playoffs By Falcons in 1978

September 13, 2011

There have been some really heartbreaking playoff losses by the Eagles over the years. The 2009 NFC Championship Game against the Cardinals, the 2004 Super Bowl, the Fog Bowl, etc. But their loss to the Falcons in the 1978 wild card game (The first wild card game in NFL history) ranks right up there with all of the above. The loss came about as a result of circumstances almost as strange as that thick fog that descended on Chicago 10 years later.

Temple grad Nick Mike-Mayer was the Eagles kicker in 1978. Mike-Mayer had been perfectly serviceable through the first 11 games of the season, but went down with a rib injury in Week 12 and was done for the season. So Dick Vermeil brought in 2nd year man Mike Michel out of Stanford. Michel was really a punter, but he had done some placekicking in college, so Vermeil hired him to do both. It was a disastrous decision. He missed PATs in his first two games as kicker, he once completely whiffed a punt in a game against the Redskins, and Vermeil started to go for it rather than kick field goals. And yet, despite the fact that he showed no confidence in Michel, he kept  him on the team.

On Christmas Eve, 1978, the Eagles and Falcons met in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium. The Eagles dominated the game early, with Harold Carmichael hauling in a 13-yard scoring strike from Ron Jaworski. Michel missed the PAT, however, and the score remained 6-0 until the 3rd quarter, when the Eagles put together a drive that ended with Wilbert Montgomery scoring from the 1-yard line. The kick was good, and the Eagles carried a 13-0 lead into the 4th quarter. The missed extra point looked pretty harmless, especially when the Birds went deep into Falcons territory in the 4th quarter. But a fumble at the Falcon 15 midway through the 4th shifted the momentum.

Falcons QB Steve Bartkowski orchestrated a 7 play, 85 yard scoring drive through the cold rain, and the Falcons cut it to 13-7 with just over 5 minutes remaining.  After stopping the Eagles , the  Falcons struck quickly, with Bartkowski hitting receiver Wallace Francis on a 37-yard scoring strike with 1:39 left to play. The extra point was good, and the Falcons took a 14-13 lead.

But the Eagles weren’t done. Jaws led them all the way down the field, and with 13 seconds left, they had the ball on the Falcons 16. Out came Michel, with a chance to go from goat to hero. This from the Morning Call:

If you were watching the game on TV, you heard CBS announcer Jack Buck declare “It’s good!” with gusto.

(Merrill) Reese was almost influenced by that enthusiasm.

“He and Hank Stram were in the booth right next to us and, when I heard Jack, I almost called it good, too,” Reese said. “But I froze. I couldn’t get anything out. Which proved fortunate because the officials waved it wide right. I learned a valuable lesson that day, never call a kick, call the official.”

Reese will never forget what he witnessed next.

“I remember there were Eagle players lying all over the field like they were battle dead,” Reese said. “And I remember the cold drizzle.”

As far as the quiet plane ride home?

“Vermeil wound up walking to the back of the plane and putting his arms around a disconsolate Michel,” Reese said. “He said, “Mike, it’s not your fault. We asked you to do something you weren’t brought here to do and I appreciate your effort.’ Then he cut him the following spring. The team drafted Tony Franklin to do the placekicking and brought in Max Runager to punt.”

Mike Michel never played another game in the NFL. Mike-Mayer was traded to Buffalo where he would kick for the next 4 years. Tony Franklin would kick field goals for the Eagles from 1979-1983, when he was traded to the Patriots, for whom he would kick the winning FG in the famous snowplow game.




Size Charts

Select your brand and style to read more about how your purchase will fit:

American Needle fitted hats | '47 Brand hats | '47 Brand apparel | Majestic apparel | Majestic jerseys | Red Jacket apparel | Junk Food apparel | Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

 

American Needle Fitted Hats

If you do not know your size, first determine where on your head you want to wear your hat. Usually it is worn about a half-inch to an inch above the eyebrows and/or just above the ears. Have a friend hold the tape measure (cloth, plastic, or download a printable version here) at the point where you want the hat to rest on your head.  Insert the tip of your little finger between the tape and your head.  Record the measurement and find your Fitted Hat size using the chart below.  This should provide you with a comfortable fit.

 

'47 Brand Hats

 

47 Brand Adjustable Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Adjustable Hats Men's 6 7/8 - 7 5/8 55 - 61
Women's 6 5/8 - 7 1/4 53 - 58
Youth 6 5/8 - 7 1/8 53 - 57

 

47 Brand Fitted Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Fitted Hats XX Small 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
X Small 6 3/4 54
Small 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium 7 - 7 1/8 56 - 57
Large 7 1/4 58
X Large 7 3/8 - 7 5/8 59 - 61
XX Large 7 5/8 - 7 3/4 61 - 62
XXX Large 7 7/8 63
XXXX Large 8 64
XXXXX Large 8 1/8 65

 

47 Brand Stretch Fit Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Stretch Fit Fitted Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
Small / Medium 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium / Large 7 1/8 - 7 3/8 57 - 59
Large / X Large 7 1/2 - 7 5/8 60 - 61
One Size Fits All 7 - 7 1/2 56 - 60

 

47 Brand Knit Hats Size Chart Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Knit Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 3/4 52 - 54
One Size Fits All 6 7/8 - 7 1/2 55 - 60

 

'47 Brand Apparel

 

 
47 Brand Men's Size Chart S M L XL XXL
Neck 14"-14.5" 15"-15.5" 16"-16.5" 17"-17.5" 18"-18.5"
Shoulder 21" 22" 23" 24" 25"
Chest 36"-38" 39"-41" 42"-44" 45"-47" 48"-50"
Waist 28"-30" 31"-33" 34"-36" 37"-39" 40"-42"

 

47 Brand Women's Size Chart S M L XL
Size 2-4 6-8 8-10 10-12
Shoulder 14.25" 15.25" 16.25" 17.25"
Bust 32"-34" 35"-36" 37"-38" 39"-42"
Waist 26"-27" 28"-29" 30"-31" 32"-33"

 

 

Majestic apparel

Men's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 52-52 54-56 58-60
Waist 28-30 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54
Hip 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 58-60
Sleeve 32-33 33-34 34-35 35-36 36-36 1/2 36 1/2-37 37-37 1/2
Neck 14-14 1/2 15-15 1/2 16-16 1/2 17-17 1/2 18-18 1/2 19-19 1/2 20-20 1/2

 

Women's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  XS S M L XL 1X 2X
Size 0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 16-18 16W-18W 20W-22W
Chest 32-33 34-35 36-37 38-40 41 1/2-43 1/2 43-45 47-49
Waist 24-25 26-27 28-29 30-32 33 1/2-35 1/2 36-38 39-41
Hip 34 1/2-35 1/2 36 1/2-37 1/2 38 1/2-39 1/2 40 1/2-42 1/2 44-46 46-48 49-51
Sleeve 29 1/4 30 30 3/4 31 1/2 32 32 1/2 33

 

Youth Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL
Size 6-8 10-12 14-16 18-20 20 22
Chest 24-26 28-30 32-34 36-38    
Waist 21-23 25-27 29-31 33-35 37-39 40-42

 

 

 

Majestic Jerseys

Adult Men's Replica Jersey Sizing  
Jersey Size Small Medium Large X Large XX Large
Neck (diameter of neck) 6.5 6.75 7 7.25 7.5
Chest (underarm to underarm) 20 1/2 22 1/2 24 1/2 26 1/2 28 1/2
Sleeve (back of inside neck to end of middle sleeve) 8 1/2 8 3/4 9 9 1/4 9 1/2

 

Apparel Sizing Tips:

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

Chest/Bust: With your arms at your sides, measure around the fullest part of your chest, across shoulder blades and under arms.

Waist: To measure your natural waistline, wrap the tape so it intersects your navel. Keep tape flat, but comfortably loose.

Hips: Stand with your heels together and measure the fullest part of your hips. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around your body.

Inseam: Stand up straight, and start the tape measure high in your crotch. Straighten the tape down the inside of your leg to the bottom of your ankle.

 

 

Red Jacket apparel

 

 

Junk Food apparel

 

Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

General Size Neck
(in inches)
Chest
(in inches)
Waist
(in inches)
Arm
(in inches)
Small 14-14.5 34-36 28-30 31.5-32
Medium 15-15.5 38-40 32-34 32.5-33
Large 16-16.5 42-44 36-38 33.5-34
X-Large 17-17.5 46-48 40-42 34.5-35
XX-Large 18 – 18.5 50-52 44-46 35.5-36