Randall Cunningham, the former NFL MVP and All-Pro quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles is returning to the spotlight on Sunday.
Briefly, that is.
But don’t bother looking for him standing on the sidelines at Lincoln Financial Field. Instead, he is making a special appearance at the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts Atlantic City between noon and 12:45 p.m. on Nov. 3.
The meet and greet is free to attend.
Why that day and time? Well, it just so happens the Chicago Bears and Eagles kick off at 1 p.m. The DraftKings sports betting app currently has the Birds listed as a 5-point favorite.
But perhaps more fittingly, the Cunningham appearance is part of a weekend-long early anniversary celebration for the Resorts sportsbook. The 5,000-square-foot space opened under the DraftKings brand on Nov. 20, 2018.
So Cunningham being there is just part of the pregame hype. Sort of like what former Super Bowl champion Justin Tuck did last fall.
Cunningham, however, shares that never die Eagles bond with the fans.
When he retired following the 2001 season, his 4,928 rushing yards ranked No. 1 all-time among quarterbacks. Michael Vick, another former Birds passer, surpassed the mark with 6,109 career rushing yards.
But since Cunningham is the one coming to Atlantic City, it’s the perfect time to look back at five of his most memorable games while wearing Eagles green.
5. Those Darn Bears
It seems whenever Cunningham and his Birds played Chicago, the final score wasn’t so memorable. Remember that unfortunate 1988 playoff game better known as the Fog Bowl?
The following season, the two teams played again at Soldier Field on Oct. 2, 1989. In this particular game, Cunningham attempted 62 passes and finished with 401 yards. Looking at those two numbers alone, one would bet the Eagles won, right?
That would be incorrect, as four of those passes ended up being interceptions. The 4-0 Bears picked up a 27-13 victory.
But we decided to include this game on the list because the 62 pass attempts in a game set a Philadelphia Eagles record.
Nick Foles tied the mark during the 2014 season.
4. Randall Cunningham refuses to go down
Former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks knows a thing or two about how difficult it was trying to tackle Cunningham. In this particular case, we are referring to an Oct. 10, 1988, Monday Night Football game between the two rivals.
Banks did manage to get his hands on the quarterback, who some referred to as “Plastic Man,” but it wasn’t enough.
Besides keeping the play alive, Cunningham found his escape route and connected on a touchdown pass with tight end Jimmie Giles.
Describing it really doesn’t do the play justice so here’s this little clip:
— NFL (@NFL) December 22, 2016
3. Five touchdowns vs. Washington Redskins
Randall may have never taken his team to the Super Bowl, but he turned in some big-time performances against division rivals.
One particular game from Sept. 17, 1989, against the Washington Redskins is among them. All Cunningham did was pass for 447 yards and five touchdowns.
But what makes this game stand out even more was the fact that the Birds were trailing 20-0 before Cunningham connected with Keith Jackson on a 17-yard touchdown pass. The other touchdowns came in the second half.
The quarterback picked up many nicknames during his career, but on this day he was the Comeback Kid. Birds won 42-37.
2. Cunningham to Barnett for 95 yards
An NFL football field is 100 yards (not including the two end zones). Well, on this particular play, Cunningham and wide receiver Fred Barnett covered the bulk of it in one play.
It’s No. 72 on the list of the NFL 100 greatest plays list.
The game took place on Dec. 2, 1990. It was third down, and Cunningham had to throw the ball from the end zone with Bruce Smith, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, hot on his tail. But Cunningham was like Harry Houdini once he got outside of the pocket.
The escape artist connected with Barnett down the field for what ended up being a 95-yard touchdown. While the play remains a highlight today, Philadelphia lost 30-23.
Cunningham finished the game with 231 passing yards and 71 rushing yards.
1. QB Randall Cunningham the punter?
And the #1 Randall Cunningham game might best be described as “unique.”
Games between the Eagles and New York Giants are known for producing strange plays that fans recall decades later.
There was that game on Dec. 3, 1989, when Cunningham (yes, QB Cunningham) punted the ball from the back of the end zone. It’s the distance of 91 yards (including 70 yards in the air) that people are still talking about today.
Randall Cunningham 91-yard punt and 95-yard TD pass.
— I-80 Sports Blog (@I80SportsBlog) January 13, 2019
That’s right. This quarterback who was best known for his passing and rushing abilities could play special teams, too. And it was a pretty big deal as both teams were battling for NFC East bragging rights.
It turns out the risky play ended up paying huge dividends for the Birds. Philly ended up recovering a fumble deep in New York territory to set up the game-winning touchdown.
Eagles won 24-17.