Today in Philly Sports History: "Groundhog Day," 1995

Today in Philly Sports History: "Groundhog Day," 1995

The Dallas Cowboys weren't exactly in the business of losing games in the mid-90s--they won three Super Bowls in four years, on their way to dynasty status and a recapturing of the "America's Team" moniker. But on December 10th, 1995, they were facing the Eagles at the Vet, and the Eagles had them tied at 17-17 late in the fourth quarter. With the ball on their own 29-yard line, coach Barry Switzer made the Belichickian decision to go for it on 4th-and-1, handing the ball to star back Emmitt Smith. Smith was stuffed and the ball turned over--except that the whistle had already sounded the two-minute warning, and the Cowboys got a mulligan.

Except that when the Cowboys re-assembled after the warning to run the play for real, they neglected to heed past mitsakes, and went for it once more--even running the same play by handing it back over to Smith. The Eagles D stopped him short of the marker a second time, and this time it was the Eagles' ball for certain. Gary Anderson ended up kicking a 42-yard field goal, and the Eagles won the game, 20-17, moving them to 9-5 for the season and giving the Cowboys just their fourth loss of the season.

Almost as famous as the play itself was of longtime Birds announcer Merrill Reese's recounting of the events. An incredulous Reese memorably referred to the play as "Groundhog Day"--referencing, of course, the Bill Murray comedy classic where the same day keeps repeating itself over and over again. (Merrill would eventually rank it as his #8 all-time most-memorable Eagles call, still apparently no competition for Wilbert Montgomery running for a 42-yard touchdown in the 1980 NFC Championship--another game against the Cowboys).

Of course, the 'Boys' revenge would be swift and merciless, as they soundly dispatched the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs by a score of 30-11, on their way to their third Super Bowl. But the Birds would take their victories where they could get them against Big D in the 90s, and this was undoubtedly one of the sweeter ones.

Report: Rockets to hire Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni


Report: Rockets to hire Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni

The Sixers are losing a top assistant coach just five months after he joined the team. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo's The Vertical, the Houston Rockets are finalizing a deal to hire Mike D'Antoni as their head coach. According to Wojnarowski, the deal is for four years, with a team option in the final year.  

D'Antoni had been a Sixers associate coach since last December, when the team hired him after starting the season with a 1-26 record. 

While he took a supporting role in Philadelphia, D'Antoni has 12 years of NBA head coaching experience with the Nuggets, Suns and, most recently, the Lakers. The 2013-14 Lakers went 27-55 under D'Antoni. 

Earlier in the week, Wojnarowski reported P.J. Carlesimo could take D'Antoni's place. 

Carlesimo, 66, and Sixers head coach Brett Brown were both assistant coaches under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs from 2002-07. Carlesimo also has previous head coaching experience with the Blazers, Warriors and Sonics/Thunder. 

Markieff Morris detained at Philadelphia International Airport

USA Today Images

Markieff Morris detained at Philadelphia International Airport

Former Prep Charter and current Washington Wizards star Markieff Morris was detained at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, according to law enforcement officials.

Morris, who was with a party that included his mother, checked a bag for an international trip when “a suspicious item” was found in his suitcase, according to law enforcement.

A secondary search of his bag revealed what law enforcement officials called “suspected marijuana.” Terminal A at Philadelphia International is overseen by Tinicum Township Police in Delaware County, not by the Philadelphia Police Department. Philadelphia airport security notified Tinicum Township Police. Morris was then taken to the Tinicum Township Police precinct for questioning. He was later released on his own reconnaissance.

A Tinicum Township police spokesman said the investigation is on-going.

Morris, a Philadelphia native, is in his first full season with the Wizards, who acquired him from the Phoenix Suns in February. The Suns drafted him out of Kansas with the 13th overall pick in 2011. Morris' twin brother Marcus was drafted one pick later by the Houston Rockets before being dealt to Phoenix, where played with his brother for a little more than two seasons. Marcus now plays for the Detroit Pistons. 

Brian Dawkins spotted at Eagles practice and he still looks ripped


Brian Dawkins spotted at Eagles practice and he still looks ripped

Brian Dawkins, one of the most beloved Eagles off all time and a guy who clearly still hits the gym, was in Philadelphia on Thursday and was spotted at the NovaCare Complex to watch the team practice.

As you can see, Dawkins still has biceps as big as your waist. The team sharing a simple photo of Dawkins got fans all in a tizzy.

Was it a coincidence that Weapon X appeared just days before "X-Men: Apocalypse" is set to hit theaters? Only he knows.

For his part, Dawkins acknowledged that it's better to stay in shape than become a fat old man.