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Apoplectic Eagles Announcer Merrill Reese Reacts to Back-Breaking Overtime Penalty

In Monday’s Hot Clicks: Merrill Reese’s call of the latest Eagles disappointment, another Falcons collapse and more.

“You can’t make this up. The way this team has shot itself in both feet.”

The NFC East is shaping up to be quite the pillow fight. After three weeks, Dallas and Washington are tied at the top of the standings at 1–2, while the Giants and Eagles are winless. 

The Eagles haven’t lost all their games, though. Sunday’s game against the Bengals ended in a tie, but only after Philadelphia threw away a chance to win the game. 

Philly needed a game-tying drive from Carson Wentz in the final minutes to force overtime, and then neither team could get anything going in the extra period, as they just kept trading punts. Playing the field position game was eventually enough to give the Eagles a shot at a long, long field goal to win the game. With 19 seconds left, Jake Elliott lined up for a 59-yard attempt. 

And then Eagles guard Matt Pryor committed a false start. 

The penalty pushed the Eagles back five yards and head coach Doug Pederson decided he didn’t want to take his chances on a 64-yard attempt (which would have tied the NFL record). Pederson punted and settled for the tie. 

It was a maddening sequence of events and nobody was more enraged than longtime Eagles radio play-by-play man Merrill Reese. Reese was in sheer disbelief as he relayed the disaster to his listeners. 

“That’s inexplicable, how they can’t line up for a field goal—with the game on the line,” Reese said. “Inexplicable. They can’t line up for a field goal, ladies and gentlemen, with the game on the line. All they have to do is snap the ball to the holder.”

“You can’t make this up, the way this team has shot itself in both feet,” he added later. 

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Reese has called every single Eagles game since 1977. He’s a born-and-raised Philadelphian, and that absolutely comes through when he’s calling a game. There’s never any doubt about who he wants to win the game. 

“There are those who will say I’m a homer because I love this football team,” Reese told Sports Illustrated in 2001. “However, that doesn’t affect my evaluation. That just puts me in tune with my audience.”

His reaction to Sunday’s debacle, after the Eagles had already blown a big lead against Washington and gotten blown out at home against the Rams, was surely the reaction of every Eagles fan—just with less profanity. 

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