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Pro Football | TAMPA BAY at PHILADELPHIA NFC championship

Seeing Was Believing for McNabb

January 16, 2003|Diane Pucin

PHILADELPHIA — When the St. Louis Rams beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 29-24, in last year's NFC championship game, Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb left the losers' locker room to stand by himself and watch the Rams celebrate and receive a trophy.

"I did that on purpose," McNabb said Wednesday. "It definitely is extra incentive. It was an emotional game for me and you get so close. Obviously, we didn't win the game. But you visualize us getting back to that spot again and doing it at [Veterans Stadium].

"That was my motivation going through the off-season, of getting back to this point and changing the outcome. It's been on my mind ever since the season started."

This time the Eagles have the home-field advantage.

"To get what we wanted, to get here with basically the same guys who went through the playoffs last year, it's great," he said. "We're at home, but we still have that taste in our mouth of losing. And we want to get rid of that taste."

*

There's a lot of talk about the weather, about how the Buccaneers are 1-21 when the temperature is colder than 40 degrees. There is a prediction of snow arriving Friday, and temperatures are expected to be barely above 30 degrees at game time and falling for the rest of the night.

Eagle Coach Andy Reid said it's dangerous to make too much of the weather.

"Both teams are out there playing," Reid said. "I don't look much at their record in the cold.... The temperature won't matter. Where you put your focus is on getting yourself ready for each individual battle."

McNabb, for one, isn't hoping for snow.

"If it decides to snow," he said, "we have to play in it too. Let's just have the cold."

-- Diane Pucin

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