When the going gets weird at a game, you've got to hope that Kevin Harlan is there to call it. Luckily, he was present when a black cat ran onto the field during "Monday Night Football."
Play stopped as the cat, displaying a high motor and, well, catlike reflexes, scampered around the field at MetLife Stadium, delaying the game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
"He's walking to the three," Harlan deadpanned on the Westwood One broadcast. "He's at the two, and the cat is in the CDW red zone!"
Yes, he worked a sponsor's plug into the viral moment.
"Policemen and state troopers have come onto the field, and the cat runs into the end zone!" he continued, growling, "THAT IS A TOUCHDOWN! And the cat is elusive, kind of like [running backs Saquon] Barkley and [Ezekiel] Elliott, but he doesn't know where to go!"
The cat briefly ran into the stands, in a feline variant of the Lambeau Leap, then returned to the field and scampered up the tunnel. [We pause briefly to report that the cat has not been found, but that MetLife Stadium officials promised to take it to a veterinarian when he/she is.]
The touchdown did not count, of course, because although the kitty broke the imaginary plane of the goal line, it did not have possession of the ball at the time. Duh.
Also, the NFL probably is going to fine it for violating its game-day uniform rules.
As for the game, B.C. (Before Cat), the Giants were leading. After the interlude, the Cowboys outscored them, 34-9, and won, 37-18, with owner Jerry Jones, naturally, finding a way to make this all about him.
"I haven't seen one glare at me that far away before. I know he was looking at me the whole time he was out there," Jones said (via The Athletic). "But things did kind of change when that black cat came. What was amazing to me was how few people wanted to go grab him."
The call was catnip for CDW, telling The Washington Post in an email that it was "awed by this cat's inspiring display of athleticism, proving what can happen when talent, hard work and opportunity meet. And Kevin's instant-classic play call will no doubt be studied by aspiring announcers for years to come. On another note, we are now shifting our marketing dollars to cat-based activities and sponsorships."
"I ran," the Cowboys' DeMarcus Lawrence admitted. "I hate cats," but knew that the Giants' luck had turned. "Game over. If a black cat runs on the damn field on a 'Monday Night Football,' you might want to call it quits, bro. Y'all's luck is terrible."
Jabrill Peppers of the Giants could not disagree. "I ain't superstitious or nothing, but any time I saw a black cat or it went across me growing up, something bad happened," he said. "I kind of grew out of it now, but I still don't like 'em. I wasn't gonna go out there and get it."
Quarterback Dak Prescott isn't superstitious, but "wasn't getting near it." Elliott had a good excuse - he's allergic to cats. Receiver Amari Cooper said was "kind of happy about that because it came around the time that my knee was hurting so I was thinking I had a little bit more time to get this thing right."
This isn't the first time Harlan has had to adjust on the fly, whether it's to a streaker or a random fan.
But working the sponsor into the call is some next-level stuff and he wasn't the only one having fun with the moment, with fans noting that he found the end zone more easily than either the Giants or Jets.
Security told Madelyn Burke, a New York reporter, that several feral cats live at the stadium, coming out after the game and being fed.