The cat that stopped a nation
If you thought you were unlucky in the Melbourne Cup, consider the cursed New York Giants.
Enduring another awful season, the 2-7 NFL team were surprisingly ahead 9-3 in the second quarter of a home game against the NFC East division-leading Dallas Cowboys when an unexpected intruder entered the field.
And America was shook.
Cats and dogs across the country started charging at television sets.
ESPN's Kevin Harlan began splicing his call of the actual game with commentary of the cat's exploits as it tried to get off the field.
"Oh, there's a cat on the field, a black cat has taken the field. A black cat is running from the 20, to the near side, the 10. From the 39 and Dallas, here's a short throw caught by Ingram. Caught at the 35, went to the 30, now the cat going the other way and so is Ingram from the 30 to the 24 yard line of the Dallas Cowboys. Now the cat has stopped at the 50," he began.
"They've stopped playing. The players with hands on hips are watching the cat run and zigzag all over the field. The black cat is at the other end of the field. He's a little bit late (for Halloween). Now he is sitting. Now he's at the five, he's walking at the three, he's at the two."
Kevin Harlan's Westwood One radio call of the cat on the field is, as you might expect, an all-time great call. How much of a pro is Harlan? He worked a sponsor read into it. pic.twitter.com/3x0MVNEHNY— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 5, 2019
He even managed a sponsor's mention as the cat approached the end zone. "Now he's in the CDW red zone - CDW, people who get it," Harlan continued. "Now a policeman, a state trooper has come on the field, and the cat runs into the end zone, that is a touchdown.
"The cat is elusive, kind of like Barkley and Elliott but he didn't know where to go. They're trying to corner him and they've got him in the end zone, there are state troopers all around this cat which now climbs up in the stands and the fans are running for their lives.
"And now it goes back on the field again and it's running in the back of the end zone, and it runs up the tunnel."
While the world wanted to know more about the cat, the players wanted nothing to do with it.
"I was just wondering who was going to catch the thing," Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said. "I'm not superstitious, but I wasn't getting near it. Thankfully, we got that thing out of the stadium and was able to get back to the game."
Ezekiel Elliott wasn't going near the cat, either. "I'm allergic to cats," the Cowboys running back said.
But the best reaction came from Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence.
"The first thing that crossed my mind was like: 'F***, they got bad luck now. It just turned on them'," Lawrence said after the game. "I was like: 'Man, the game over.' If a black cat runs on the damn field on a 'Monday Night Football' game, a black cat, you might want to call it quits, bro. Y'all's luck is terrible.
"I hate cats, too, so I was like 'f***, f***, f***. Hurry up and get this cat before it gets to me'."
But the Cowboys had nothing to fear. They outscored the Giants 34-9 from that point, much to owner Jerry Jones' relief.
"I haven't seen one glare at me that far away before," Jones said. "I know he was looking at me the whole time he was out there. But things did kind of change when that black cat came out."
The Cowboys even named the cat player of the game.
The cat is just one of many strays that call MetLife Stadium home - and they're very well taken care of, staffers told the New York Post.
"Everyone is asking about that black cat," said a security guard. "It lives here in the stadium and the cleaning crew feeds it. What else do you want to know?"
"People here give them food. They feed them everyday," one gate guard shrugged. "The complex has always had them. This is nothing new."
A security guard added, "We got a whole bunch of them, they're all over here," pointing to the tunnels in the vast facility. "They hide during the day."
For those wondering about the status of our furry friend 😺 at tonight’s @Giants game👇— MetLife Stadium (@MetLifeStadium) November 5, 2019
The black cat ran off the field and disappeared under a seating section. Once we locate and safely capture the cat, we will take it to a veterinarian for examination. #BlackCat | #DALvsNYG
Only in America.