One day after the regular season ends, an obscure anniversary will arrive for the NFL.
December 31, 1988. The Fog Bowl.
During the second quarter of a wild-card playoff game between the Eagles and Bears on New Year’s Eve nearly 30 years ago, a dense fog rolled in to Soldier Field. The thick blanket of excessively liquified air dramatically reduced visibility. The unusual and intriguing development quickly melted to a virtually unwatchable game, televised by CBS and called by Verne Lundquist and Terry Bradshaw.
The unwatchable game between Mike Ditka’s Bears and Buddy Ryan’s Eagles can be watched in full, with the stunningly clear pre-fog conditions becoming a white soup of the sort that hasn’t happened in a playoff game since then. (Fog marred a Sunday night game 14 months ago between the Falcons and Patriots in New England, but a quick switch by NBC to the overheard camera on cables saved the day.)
The first postseason Fog Bowl reunion happened seventeen years ago, when Andy Reid’s Eagles beat Dick Jauron’s Bears in a divisional-round matchup at Soldier Field. On Sunday, if the Eagles outscore Washington and the Bears upend the Vikings (and if the Rams don’t lose to the 49ers), a pair of Andy Reid proteges, Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy, will meet at Soldier Field for only the second Eagles-Bears playoff game since New Year’s Eve 1988.