In week 11 of the 2002 NFL season, Donovan McNabb went 20-for-25 for 255 yards and four touchdowns on a broken ankle in a game that will forever live in Five lore. Following that, the Eagles finished the season with Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley under center (who went a combined 5-1) and eventually went to the NFC Championship game (with a healthy McNabb in the playoffs). But that all could have gone very differently if Troy Aikman wasn’t on vacation.
According to Aikman — retelling a story he’s told before, but making it no less insane — Andy Reid called and asked him to come out of retirement and quarterback the Eagles after McNabb went down:
“[Reid] said, ‘Hey, did you hear what happened.’ I said, ‘Yeah, we did a game break.’ He said, ‘Well I want to talk to you about coming to Philadelphia.’ I said, ‘Andy, we’re in the middle of a broadcast. It’s halftime right now.’ He said, ‘I know, I’m watching the game.’ So I said, ‘OK, I’ll call you after the game.’”
Ultimately, Aikman decided it was best to enjoy the California whether and avoid flying across the country to prepare for a game.
“I got back to Santa Barbara and this was around November or whenever it was, and I woke up and I’m thinking, ‘I can either enjoy the next couple of days in Santa Barbara, California, it’s about 65, 70 degrees, or I’m going to be on a plane flying to Philadelphia and probably going to be playing on Monday night against the 49ers,’” Aikman said.
Turning down the offer allowed many Eagles and Cowboys fans to never have to face the strange emotions that would have come with Aikman wearing Eagles green (especially in Week 13 at the Vet). So really, he saved us all, and we were fine with Koy… and then A.J.