As the first half of the Monday Night Football contest between the 4-3 Dallas Cowboys and the 2-6 New York Giants came to a close, things were going shockingly well for New York. The team had only managed to score nine points, but their defense was performing better than expected, holding the occasionally explosive Cowboys offense to a single field goal.

Then, with a little over five minutes left in the half, everything changed. A black cat, the ultimate omen of bad luck, appeared on the field of the Giant’s home stadium, drawing cheers from the crowd and laughs from the commentators. The frightened feline was eventually corraled into one of the locker rooms, but it was all downhill from there for the Giants.

The Giants would manage to add another field goal on their subsequent drive, but the Cowboys broke off a huge play on their very next possession, scoring a touchdown with less than two minutes left in the half. The Giants got the ball back with less than a minute left but rookie Daniel Jones immediately turned the ball back over with an ill-advised throw that was intercepted.

The Cowboys quickly got back into range for a last-second field goal and took a one-point lead before the half. The Giants, who were leading by six with a minute to go before halftime, went into the locker room trailing.

New York would only manage a pair of field goals for the entire rest of the game, and the Giants defense began to give up big plays. Dallas would go on to score another 24 points, ending the game in a 37-18 Giants loss.

The booth crew found plenty of faults in the Giants’ second-half performance, repeatedly noting that New York’s defense appeared to be wearing down as the game went on. Dallas was credited with making game-changing adjustments to their offensive scheme that allowed them to capitalize on a winded Giants front.

No. None of that was true. It was the cat.