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All holy hell broke out during Monday Night Football on Nov. 4, when a black cat ran out onto the field at MetLife Stadium and temporarily delayed the showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. The feisty feline could not be stopped—would not be stopped—as the players and refs stood around, helplessly watching it do its kitty cat thing.
Ever the consummate professional, sports announcer Kevin Harlan rolled with the punches, giving a detailed rundown of the cat’s progress on the Westwood One broadcast—and even fitting in a shout-out to the game’s sponsor.
“He’s walking to the three… He’s at the two, and the cat is in the CDW red zone,” Harlan announced. “Now a state trooper has come on the field and the cat runs into the end zone! That is a touchdown!”
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
“And the cat is elusive, kind of like Barkley and Elliott,” he quipped, referring to Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The cat then briefly fled into the stands before returning to the field, then running off into the tunnel by the end zone.
Suffice to say, the players were rattled. After the Cowboys went on to win by 37-18, defensive end Demarcus Lawrence later told Sports Center that he knew the black cat was a bad omen for the Giants.
“I was like, man, 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,” Lawrence joked, adding that he “hates” cats.
In other words, bad news for the Giants, who actually had been leading the game, pre-cat. Everyone else, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of the black cat, who you might even say was the MVP of Monday night’s game, if the response from sports fans on Twitter was any indication.
Some had jokes and memes about the black cat:
I bet you that cat tackles better than Jarrad Davis— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) November 5, 2019
Even the preemptively-maligned CATS movie Twitter account got in a joke. “I told y’all you were gonna believe.”
The black cat was likewise a big hit for the four-legged friends watching at home, as several people recorded their own cats (and dogs) reactions to the wild card on the field.
My cats Max and Leo saw the black cat on Monday night football pic.twitter.com/Pq5DA3RzgN— Cindy Saucier (@Brat1st) November 5, 2019
The Finnster did not enjoy it as much 😳 pic.twitter.com/vwQDY7jKbX— Nolan MacDonell (@nolstarr) November 5, 2019
For anyone wondering how the cat got there in the first place, Sports Illustrated journalist Madelyn Burke inquired with building security. While a cat getting onto the field is clearly uncommon, MetLife Stadium is home to a number of resident stray cats.
“They usually come out after the game, people feed them, etc.,” she tweeted. “They live in the bleachers, I’m told this one must have gotten startled out by fan noise.”
Asked building security about the black cat on the field: Apparently there are some resident stray cats at MetLife— they usually come out after the game, people feed them, etc. They live in the bleachers, I’m told this one must have gotten startled out by fan noise #journalism— Madelyn Burke (@MadelynBurke) November 5, 2019
Little known fact: most stadiums have a number of cats that live at the facility. With the amount of food left behind by fans, if you didn't have these 'barn cats' you would have a major rat problem#MondayNightFootball #BlackCat #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/oOtJ7wHGNk— Hawkeye (@HawkeyeOnAir) November 5, 2019
As of Tuesday morning, the black cat was still on the lam, however, MetLife Stadium officials have promised to take it to a veterinarian if and when it is located. Godspeed, El Gato.
Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.