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Original Issue

HAZE AND CONFUSED

AS FAR AS STRANGENESS goes, Sunday's wild finish between the Eagles and the Bears (page 32) has nothing on their playoff matchup 30 years ago, on New Year's Eve, 1988. Late in the second quarter Philly QB Randall Cunningham completed a 65-yard pass to Keith Jackson. Cunningham hoped that would presage some more big plays in the second half. "Then I looked for him again," said Cunningham, "and he'd completely disappeared."

The problem? Fog. It began rolling in off of Lake Michigan late in the first half. By the third quarter, Soldier Field was socked in. TV cameramen had to venture out onto the field—as far as the hash marks—to get a usable image. The P.A. announcer was fed information from field level over a walkie-talkie. Eagles kicker Luis Zendejas hit a 35-yard field goal despite the fact that he couldn't see the goalposts. "One time on the sideline I watched a sweep start, then both teams disappeared," said Chicago defensive end Al Harris. "I expected to see Sherlock Holmes come out of the fog with his pipe and trench coat: 'Watson, was that a hound I heard?'"

The fog also forced photographers to adapt. "When you're shooting through fog, you need to get the exposure down, so I switched to a wide-angle lens in hopes that action would be close to the camera," says Heinz Kluetmeier. "The field goal was close to the camera and the posts provided the perfect frame for the photo." And the conditions did more than provide an interesting backdrop. "I was in a place I wouldn't normally have been allowed," says Kluetmeier. "The fog made it possible for me to move around in usually restricted areas."

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