Pro Football Hall of Famer — and Fox Sports NFL — host Howie Long turns 59 on Sunday, and he just might have to choose one son over another.
Talk about sibling rivalry.
Both of his sons are facing off in the NFC wild-card game in Chicago: the Philadelphia Eagles (9-7), the defending Super Bowl champion, and Chicago Bears (12-4), their first playoff game in eight years.
Bears guard Kyle Long vs. Eagles defensive end Chris Long: There can only be one.
And Kyle said Wednesday that the brother against brother fight to advance to the NFC Divisional Round won’t be about blood.
“They tell us to tune out the outside, you know, media, stuff like that, but you can’t tune out your family,” Kyle Long told NFL Network Wednesday. “Unfortunately, I’m playing against my family this week. You’ve got to look at it as just another dude out there. He kind of looks like me, possibly, but on Sunday, we’re not related, so I’ve got to focus on my job.”
He added: “…He’s on the other team, so I gotta figure out a way to beat him.”
Chicago comes in with an NFC North title after four straight last-place finishes, nine wins in 10 games and a belief that anything is possible.
The Bears, paced by a strong version of the Monsters of the Midway, have been the better team all year. But they are generally playoff newbies, and they face perhaps the most resilient team in the league.
Philly has been ravaged by injuries, yet here it is, making big plays on both sides of the ball thanks greatly to the veterans who had such a big role in its roll to the title a year ago: Nick Foles, Zack Ertz, Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox, Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles still have to produce on the field, but their credentials are valid.
There’s no shortage of excitement in Chicago, either. Under first-year coach Matt Nagy, the Bears have moved from last place in the usually difficult NFC North to the top.
Which Long brother has the luck on Sunday?
In their career, as the NFL Network reported, Chris, who’s three years older, owns a 2-0 in head-to-head matchups versus Kyle.
The last matchup came when the Eagles creamed the Bears 31-3 last season.
Their mom, however, on Sunday won’t choose a side.
Kyle told the Chicago Sun-Times: “I don’t think my mom will be able to watch. She’ll be there, but she’ll probably have her eyes covered the whole time.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.