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PRO FOOTBALL WEEK 1 | SEATTLE 38, PHILADELPHIA 0

It's Boo, Boo, Boo for the Home Team

September 07, 1998|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Fans who came to Veterans Stadium to boo turncoat Ricky Watters--it being a bit early in the year to disparage Santa Claus--quickly found it wasn't worth the trouble.

Besides, there was a better target at hand.

Watters, returning to Philadelphia with the Seattle Seahawks, rushed 16 times for 63 yards, but didn't score. His teammates scored plenty in a 38-0 win.

It was the worst home loss on opening day in Eagle history and the team's worst loss in any game since 1975.

"It hurts everybody in the organization from the top down," said Ray Rhodes, who suffered his worst loss as Philadelphia's coach. "I don't care if you're the equipment manager, it hurts. We are as low as we can go right now."

There are plenty of people in Philadelphia who fervently hope so.

After making the playoffs in Rhodes' first two seasons as their coach, the Eagles were 6-9-1 last season and apparently haven't improved, their front-office protestations to the contrary.

In reference to hiring offensive coordinator Dana Bible, a fan trotted out a sign that read: "We've got a Bible, but we don't have a prayer."

Boo.

Joey Galloway had 142 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns. Warren Moon, the Seahawks' 41-year-old quarterback, was 13 for 21 for 204 yards and three touchdowns.

Moon's counterpart, Bobby Hoying, was sacked nine times and threw an interception that was returned 24 yards for a touchdown by former Ohio State teammate Shawn Springs. Hoying, who took over as Philadelphia's starting quarterback late last season, was nine for 23 for 63 yards.

Seattle Coach Dennis Erickson won his first opener after starting the past three seasons 0-2, 0-3 and 0-2.

"It ranks up there with some of our wins, and we've got to celebrate that," Erickson said. "It's just one football game."

Picking up the Eagles from this loss might be the toughest job of Rhodes' career.

"Quite honestly, it's embarrassing," he said.

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