Category Archives: National Football League

Fly Eagles Fly (SIGH)

I have zero love whatsoever for the two teams in Super Bowl LVII.
I dislike the Eagles. I do not like their uniforms, which they have worn since 1996. The shade of green is disgusting, there’s too much fucking black and the Eagle head is lazy and cartoonish.
Unfortunately, the Eagles’ opponent is one team I despise. I despise this team as much as any in American professional sports right now.


The Chiefs.
That’s right, I despise the Kansas City Chiefs. I cannot stand them.
Chiefs fans have become arrogant and entitled since the drafting of one Patrick T. Mahomes II in 2017. Since Mahomes took over from Alex Smith as the starting quarterback before the 2018 season, Chiefs fans (Chiefs Kingdom according to the nauseating Mitch Holthus and every other media shill) have felt it is their GOD-GIVEN RIGHT to be in the Super Bowl.
I felt Saints fans at times have gone off the deep end. The trolling of the Falcons for blowing the 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI has got to stop. It’s been six freaking years. Matt Ryan and Tom Brady are long gone from their respective teams.
Saints fans need to be grateful they have a Super Bowl championship. Many cannot or will not remember how wretched the franchise was for most of its existence prior to Sean Payton and Drew Brees arriving in New Orleans in 2006.
However, nothing compares to what Chiefs fans have been like over the last five seasons.
Many forget how bad the Chiefs were just 10 years ago, when they went 2-14 twice within five seasons and had a massive egotist (Scott Pioli) as general manager and a head coach (Todd Haley) who had no business being a head coach at any level, especially the NFL.
Those under 45 also cannot remember how bad the Chiefs were before Marty Schottenheimer’s arrival as coach in 1989. I remember, because there were some very BAD teams in Kansas City in the1980s when I first started to watch the sport.

Patrick Mahomes has been compared by many to Michael Jordan.
I hate Jordan, no doubt, but to compare Mahomes, who has only been in the NFL for five seasons and won one championship, to Jordan, who won six in eight seasons with the Bulls, is preposterous.
I’m sick of Arrowhead Stadium being called the greatest venue in sports.
Packers fans would like to have word with those of you who worship Arrrowhead. Same with Red Sox and Cubs fans. Or those in college football.

Two years ago, I was faced with a Super Bowl between the Chiefs and the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers. I hoped the Chiefs would win, because I was sick and tired of Brady.
Kansas City laid an ostrich-sized egg and lost 31-9. I was pissed at the Chiefs for basically handing Tampa Bay the game. Might as well have stayed home.
I also did not watch one down of the Chiefs’ victory vs. the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. I was so pissed when the Chiefs won. God I hate the Chiefs.
Super Bowl LIII between the Rams and Patriots was one I didn’t watch until the second half. I hated Brady and Belichick, but I was just as pissed about the Rams being there, since they were gifted the NFC championship when the officials went blind on a blatant pass interference/illegal hit vs. a Saints receiver.
I held my nose and hoped the Rams could knock Jesus Christ off his pedestal. Instead, the Rams offense stayed back in Los Angeles, and New England won 13-3.

That’s it. I’ve had enough of this. Hopefully the Eagles win and we can move on with life. I’ve got a very bad feeling.

Don’t go away mad, Tom Brady. JUST GO AWAY.

On the 51st anniversary of the Dallas Cowboys’ first Super Bowl championship, the 2022 Cowboys honored the 1971 team the best way they knew how.

The Cowboys went into Tampa last night and throttled the so-called greatest quarterback of all-time in a 31-14 wild card game victory which wasn’t as close as the final score.
Dallas led 24-0 (four touchdowns, four missed extra points by Brett Maher) before Tom Brady finally engineered a touchdown drive.
I did not follow the game until I happened to see the Cowboys were ahead 12-0 in the second quarter. But I did not turn on the TV. I instead went online to pick up the Dallas radio feed with the legendary Brad Sham calling play-by-play. I wasn’t about to listen to Joe Buck and Lisa Salters drool over the so-called GOAT (aka Jesus Christ in cleats).
Notice I did not say Troy Aikman. Aikman recognizes Brady’s talents, yes, but does not kiss his ass. Aikman paid his dues for 12 seasons and won three Super Bowl championships, so he isn’t about to genuflect at the altar of Brady.

I believe Super Bowl VI was the greatest game the Cowboys have played in their 63 seasons. On the biggest stage in North American team sports, the 1971 Cowboys were dominant in every way against a Dolphins team which won its next 18 games and the next two Super Bowls.
Last night, Roger Staubach was grinning from ear-to-ear watching Dak Prescott throw five touchdown passes.
Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan, Chuck Howley, Cliff Harris and the rest of the Doomsday defense was beaming with pride over the way this year’s defense shut down the so-called GOAT, who was 7-0 vs. the Cowboys until last night.
Later members of Doomsday–Randy White, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Charles Haley, Darren Woodson, Dat Nguyen, DeMarcus Ware–were enjoying it just as much, as were future offensive legends Danny White, Tony Dorsett, Michael Irvin, Jay Novacek, Larry Allen and Emmitt Smith.
Up in heaven, Tom Landry and Harvey Martin were celebrating with Tex Schramm and Clint Murchison.

I do not hate the Cowboys like so many irrational football fans do. They’re not one of my favorite teams–the Saints and Cardinals occupy those spots–but I stomach Dallas much better than a lot of teams.
Tampa Bay is one of the teams I cannot stomach and will never be able to. The Bucs’ first owner, Hugh Culverhouse, was a cheap douchebag who let John McKay run the team when he had no business being in professional football. Sure, McKay offered great one-liners to the press, but he also was a totalitarian dictator to his players and didn’t realize that he couldn’t simply hoard the best talent in the NFL like he could at USC.
I actually liked the original Tampa Bay color scheme of orange and red. I despise the current skull and crossbones flag. And I have especially hated the team after they unceremoniously fired Tony Dungy after the 2001 season and hired Jon Gruden, who has been exposed as a liar and fraud.
As a Cardinals fan, I was really, really, REALLY PISSED OFF when Bruce Arians came out of retirement to coach Tampa Bay. The son of a bitch claimed his health was failing him when he stepped away in Arizona after the 2017 season. After one season in the broadcast booth, he comes back to Tampa, then gets Brady in 2020 and wins Super Bowl LV when the Chiefs no-showed.

I don’t like any teams from Tampa, period. I hate the Lightning because the NHL doesn’t belong in Florida, or anywhere in the south. I hate the Rays because MLB keeps them in St. Petersburg and will not give baseball back to Montreal after the Expos were forced to move to Washington.
By extension, I hate Manchester United because it is owned by the Glazer family, which also owns the Bucs.
Tampa Bay, Carolina and Baltimore make up my unholy trinity of the NFL. I also hate the Rams because of how they were gifted the 2018 NFC championship vs. the Saints, then laid down like dogs in Super Bowl LIII vs. the Patriots. Of course, the way the Rams bought the Super Bowl LVI title (F**K THEM PICKS, right Les Snead?) also angered me, so it was so gratifying to see them face-plant in 2022.

The only good thing about Brady going to Tampa is he has exposed Bill Belichick as a not-so-great coach.
Belichick has won more Super Bowls than any other coach. That is a fact which cannot be rrefuted.
Greatest of all-time? GIVE ME A BREAK.
I am going to stick with my GOAT, Joe Gibbs. I’d like to see Belichick or any other coach win three Super Bowls in ten seasons with FOUR different starting quarterbacks (Joe Theismann in 1982, Jay Schroeder and Doug Williams in 1987, Mark Rypien in 1991). Also, Gibbs’ teams could run the ball with authority, and the REDSKINS never had a bad offensive line under his tenure.

Let’s hope Thomas Edward Brady never sets foot on an NFL field again. However, I can’t see it happening now that Gisele dumped his sorry ass and he’s got nothing else to live for. He’ll be playing come September. AARGH.

On this date: Cowboys are finally “this year’s team”

Greetings from Columbia, a place I haven’t passed through in 18 months and haven’t stayed in 27 months.
I’m at the Springhill Suites, the hotel I lodged at when I was in Columbia in October 2020 for Missouri’s football game vs. LSU, one which wasn’t supposed to be played at all in 2020, and certainly not at Faurot Field.
In a nutshell, LSU and Missouri were paired when the Southeastern Conference scrapped all non-conference football games in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To make up the lost games, the SEC added two conference games per team. Not all would be played.
Missouri was originally scheduled to make the trip to Baton Rouge, but the approach of Hurricane Delta to the Louisiana coast prompted SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey to move the game to CoMo 72 hours before the scheduled kickoff.
Mizzou won 45-41. This October, LSU is scheduled to make its return, a game which has been on both teams’ dockets since 2014.
I’m not staying in Columbia. By noon tomorrow, it’s eastbound and down to St. Louis, a place I have not been in far too long.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Super Bowl VII, where the Dolphins completed their 17-0 season by defeating the Washington REDSKINS. The final was 14-7, but the game was never that close; the only reason the REDSKINS got on the board was because Garo Yepremian didn’t have the sense to fall on the ball after recovering a blocked field goal attempt.
Instead, Yepremian batted the pigskin in the air like a volleyball, and REDSKIN safety Mike Bass–a teammate of Yepremian’s during Garo’s brief time with the Lions–returned it 49 yards for a touchdown.
Miami probably wanted to play Dallas, which lost the NFC championship game to Washington, after the Cowboys emasculated the Dolphins in Super Bowl VI. Instead, Don Shula’s club got to face the original paranoid coach himself, George Herbert Allen.
I don’t have enough space right now for all the bad things I have to say about George Herbert Allen. I wasn’t old enough to remember him coaching the REDSKINS (1971-77) and certainly not the Rams (1966-70), but from all I’ve seen on NFL Network, he was the blueprint for Bill Belichick, Andy Reid and every other coach who would be a perfect employee for the CIA.

Today is the 51st anniversary of Super Bowl VI, when the Cowboys, derisively called “Next Year’s Team” after playoff losses in each of the previous five seasons, destroyed the Dolphins in New Orleans’ Tulane Stadium. The final was 24-3, but it easily could have been 54-3.
Dallas began the 1971 season 4-3, including a loss to the Saints on the very same field. Following New Orleans’ 24-14 victory that October day, few could have believed the Cowboys would be back three months later.
Tom Landry finally saw the light after a 23-19 loss to the Bears at Solider Field which saw the Cowboys alternate quarterbacks Craig Morton and Roger Staubach on nearly every play.
A few days before going to St. Louis and facing a Cardinal team which defeated Dallas 20-7 and 38-0 the previous season, Landry named Staubach as his starter.
The Cardinals were in the midst of the first of three consecutive 4-9-1 seasons, but they gave Dallas all they could handle before a late field goal by Toni Fritsch pulled it out for the Cowboys 16-13.
Dallas’ Super Bowl express was revved up, and it gained steam by winning its next six games to close the regular season, followed by impressive wins over the Vikings and 49ers in the playoffs.
Yes, the Cowboys needed to defeat the Dolphins to officially win Super Bowl VI.
In reality, Dallas clinched the championship as its plane returning from the Christmas Day playoff at Minnesota was somewhere over Oklahoma.

At approximately 1835 that evening, the only team with a realistic chance of defeating the Cowboys, the Chiefs, were shocked 27-24 by the Dolphins in the longest game in professional football history, lasting 82 minutes and 40 seconds of playing time.
Ironically, the Dolphins-Chiefs game of 1971 was SHORTER than the Dolphins’ loss to the Bills yesterday which ended in regulation. By 20 minutes.
The Chiefs, who went from Super Bowl IV champion in 1969 to 7-5-2 in 1970, bounced back nicely in 1971 despite an opening day loss to the Chargers. Their season gained momentum when they rallied from a 17-6 halftime deficit to defeat the 5-0 REDSKINS, and overcame November losses to the Jets and Lions to defeat the 49ers in San Francisco on Monday Night Football, followed by a scintillating 16-14 victory over the Raiders at Kansas City to win the AFC West and keep Oakland out of the playoffs for the only time between 1967 and 1977.

After the Chiefs lost, there was no way the Cowboys would lose to any of the five remaining teams.
They hammered the REDSKINS in Washington in November, and if Washington won at San Francisco, the NFC championship would be in the Cowboys’ new palace in Irving. The 49ers had a strong defense, but their offense was inconsistent, not to mention San Francisco spit the bit in the 1970 NFC championship game, losing 17-10 to Dallas in the last game in Kezar Stadium.
In the AFC, the Dolphins had a premier passer in Bob Griese, premier runners in Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick, and a suffocating defense led by Nick Buoniconti, Manny Fernandez and Dick Anderson. However, Miami lacked big game experience.
The Colts defeated the Cowboys in Super Bowl V, but Johnny Unitas (and backup Earl Morrall) were not getting younger. Also, there’s no telling what kind of revenge Dallas would have in store for Baltimore if there was a rematch.
Cleveland? Yes, Leroy Kelly, Bill Nelsen and many of the others who contributed to humiliating Cowboy defeats in the 1968 and ’69 NFL Eastern Conference championship games were still around. But Paul Warfield was in Miami. Not only that, but the Browns had an untested coach, Nick Skorich, and a lineup which was either too young (Jack Gregory, Doug Dieken, Clarence Scott) or too old (Kelly, Nelsen, Erich Barnes).

San Francisco got a second chance at Dallas with the Super Bowl on the line, defeating Allen’s REDSKINS 24-20 at under-construction Candlestick Park. The Colts won the rubber match of their three-game playoff series in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium (aka The Mistake by the Lake) by leaving the Browns stuck in the mud in a 20-3 win.
In their first playoff game in Irving, the Cowboys put the 49ers on ice early in the second quarter when defensive end George Andrie inserted himself between John Brodie and Ken Willard on a screen pass at the San Francisco 7-yard line. Andrie intercepted, and two plays later, Calvin Hill scored to make it 7-0.
Game over.
San Francisco only mustered a field goal against Doomsday, and Duane Thomas swept into the end zone in the fourth period to finalize the score at 14-3.
In the Orange Bowl, Griese’s 75-yard bomb to Warfield in the first quarter was a body blow to the Colts’ hopes of repeating as Super Bowl champion.
In the third, Anderson’s 62-yard interception return was the death knell for the Colts, who did not play for another AFC championship until 1995, and did not return to the Super Bowl until 2006.
Miami’s 21-0 win was sweet for the Dolphins and their fans, but they would have been better off not getting on the plane to New Orleans.

In the 28 years between Super Bowl VI and his death at age 75, Tom Landry said time and again he never saw the Cowboys more confident of victory than they were the week in New Orleans. Landry and his staff were also loose and relaxed. They knew they had the better team, and it would take Miami playing a near-flawless and game and Dallas playing a C-minus game for the Dolphins to have a shot.
Instead, Dallas played the near-flawless game. Miami played something much less.
Larry Csonka’s fumble on Miami’s second drive was an omen. Dallas fell just short of the end zone, but the time-consuming drive which ended in Mike Clark’s 9-yard field goal (the goalposts were on the goal line until 1974) was the blueprint the Cowboys would use to bludgeon Buoniconti and his mates, who were gifted the “No-Name” sobriquet by Landry the week leading up to the game.
With just over a minute remaining before halftime, Staubach fired a bullet to Lance Alworth, the Chargers legend who was deemed expendable by Sid Gillman only a few months prior. Alworth hauled in the pass just inside the flag and in front of Dolphins cornerback Curtis Johnson for the touchdown and a 10-0 lead.
Miami drove downfield to a 31-yard field goal by Yepremian following Alworth’s TD, but all it did was allow the Dolphins to avoid being shut out.
Dallas came out in the second half and made Miami look silly, driving 71 yards on eight plays to a 3-yard sweep around left end by Thomas for the touchdown which put the game away once and for all.
Even though it was 17-3 at that point still more than a quarter and a half remained, the Dolphins knew they were doomed.
Chuck Howley, the veteran Cowboy linebacker who became the first–and to date, only–player from a losing team to be named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player the previous year in Miami, added an exclamation point early in the fourth quarter by stepping in front of Kiick on a screen pass and returning it 41 yards to the Dolphins’ 9.
Staubach threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Mike Ditka three plays later.
Ditka nearly scored on a tight end reverse just prior to the two-minute warning. When Hill attempted to go up and over for another touchdown, the ball was popped loose, and Fernandez recovered. Mercifully, the clock soon ran out.

Most Dolphins ignored Landry’s gadget play near the end, but one did not.
Mercury Morris, the speedy running back who had yet to escape Shula’s doghouse due to injury and lackadaisical effort, blasted Ditka’s run as “bush league”.
It should be noted in 1971, the victory formation was still years away. Sure, most teams ran simple plays when trying to kill the clock and protect a lead, but the concept of the quarterback kneeling immediately after taking the snap did not come into vogue until the “Miracle at the Meadowlands” in 1978.
Morris also harshly criticized Shula in the locker room at Tulane Stadium for not using him during the game. The next morning, Shula ordered Morris to meet him in his hotel suite so the two could clear the air.
That meeting was part of the foundation for the undefeated season, as Morris beat out Kiick for the starting position next to Csonka in the Dolphin backfield in 1972. Morris’ speed and Csonka’s power have rarely been matched in an NFL backfield since.

I watched the first three plays of the Cowboys-Buccaneers playoff game. Dallas went three-and-out. The announcers are kissing Tom Brady’s ass so much that all the Chapstick in the world won’t help them. GOAT this, GOAT that, GOAT this, GOAT that.
Yes, Brady has won more Super Bowls than any other quarterback. That is a fact which cannot be refuted.
The greatest of all-time? If the rules giving the offense every advantage had been in place when Unitas played, Landry and other defensive-minded coaches would have been out of jobs. Conversely, if Brady played under the rules Unitas did, the whiny baby would have no tears left because he would have cried them all out after two seasons.
I dread another Chiefs-Buccaneers Super Bowl. San Francisco and Buffalo, it’s up to YOU to prevent this.

The Jets’ one shining moment, 54 years later

Fifty-four years ago tonight, Joe Namath became a sports legend, if he already wasn’t one.
Three days before Namath’s New York Jets were to play the mighty Baltimore Colts in third AFL-NFL World Championship Game–more commonly known as Super Bowl III–the Jets quarterback predicted his American Football League champions would knock off the mighty National Football League champion Colts.
The bold prediction drew scorn from media outlets from coast-to-coast. Since the Internet nor cable television existed in 1969 (okay, cable did exist, but only in about .00001% of the United States, all in rural areas where an antenna could not pull in a signal), unless you were in the room when Namath made his prediction, you would have to wait until the next morning to read about it in your local newspaper.

Namath’s Jets won the AFL’s Eastern Conference, by far the weaker of the two conferences, by a large margin in 1968. Meanwhile, the league’s two best teams, the Raiders and Chiefs, were locked in a battle to the death in the West.
Kansas City defeated Oakland 24-10 in October, as Hank Stram compensated for injuries to his top three wide receivers by running the Straight-T formation. Len Dawson threw just three passes, while Kansas City ran it 60 times and piled up almost 300 yards rushing.
(My father and a friend drove 15 hours from New Orleans to Kansas City to watch the game at the old Municipal Stadium., nearly all of it on the two-lane US 71.)
Later in the season, the Raiders defeated the Chiefs 38-21 at Oakland. When the teams completed their respective regular seasons 12-2, a one-game playoff was mandated to determine who would face the Jets in New York on the last Sunday of 1968.
Oakland won the coin toss to hold home field advantage, and for Kansas City fans, it was best they didn’t have to witness this up close.
The Raiders, seek a return to the Super Bowl after losing to Vince Lombardi’s Packers a year earlier, routed the Chiefs, the AFL’s first Super Bowl participant, 41-6.
Hype for the AFL championship was through the roof, thanks to the game the Jets and the Raiders played on 17 November.
That was the infamous “Heidi Game” in which Oakland scored two touchdowns in the game’s final 65 seconds to turn a 32-29 deficit into a 43-32 victory. If you were anywhere east of the Colorado state line, you didn’t see the ending, because NBC cut to the movie Heidi at 1900 Eastern/1800 Central.
The game lived up to the hype and then some, with the Jets prevailing 27-23.

The 1968 Colts, led by the monomaniacal and militaristic Don Shula, destroyed most of the opponents on their NFL schedule. They won all but one of their 14 regular season games, and after defeating the Vikings in the Western Conference playoff, Baltimore went to Cleveland and battered the Browns 34-0, avenging a 30-20 regular season loss.
Even with the greatest quarterback of all-time, John Constantine Unitas, sidelined most of the season due to a severely injured elbow, the Colts offense didn’t miss a beat, thanks to Earl Morrall.
Morrall was acquired off waivers from the Giants, where he spent 1967 stuck behind Fran Tarkenton. All Morrall did was earn the NFL’s Most Valuable Player honor.
Baltimore’s defense was one of the best in NFL history to that point, allowing only 144 points over 14 games. Unlike the Colt teams of the late 1950s which featured Hall of Famers Gino Marchetti and Art Donovan, this Colt defense did not have any future enshrinees in Canton, but still featured All-Pro caliber players like end Bubba Smith, linebacker Mike “Mad Dog” Curtis and defensive backs Bobby Boyd and Lenny Lyles.

Feeling the 1968 Colts were better than the Packer teams which played in each of the first two Super Bowls (but not as good as the 1962 Packers, which were far and away Lombardi’s best), and that the Jets’ defense was a notch below those of the Chiefs and Raiders, bettors in Las Vegas installed Baltimore as 18-point favorites.
The Jets not only had Namath, they also had a huge advantage on the sideline.
Weeb Ewbank was the man who coached the Colts to back-to-back NFL championships in 1958 and ’59, with Baltimore besting the star-studded New York Giants each time. Ewbank developed Unitas into the greatest quarterback to play the game (an opinion I will not change; screw you, Tom Brady), surrounded by Hall of Famers like Lenny Moore at running back, Raymond Berry at receiver and Jim Parker at tackle. Donovan, Marchetti, Boyd and Lyles were the stalwarts of a rock-ribbed defense which also featured two players who would end up starting in Super Bowl III, end Ordell Braase and linebacker Don Shinnick.

The first quarter saw the Colts control play, but come away empty-handed after Lou Michaels (brother of future Jets coach Walt) blow a 25-yard field goal. Baltimore got another chance on the final play of the opening period when Lyles popped the ball loose from George Sauer and Ron Porter recovered at the New York 22.
Then came the turning point.
On the second play of the second quarter, Morrall spotted reserve tight end Tom Mitchell open in the middle of the end zone. The ball popped off of Mitchell’s left shoulder and into the hands of Jets safety Randy Beverley.
Following the touchback, the Jets drove 80 yards on 12 plays, with Matt Snell scoring the touchdown on a 4-yard sweep around left end. Jim Turner’s extra point made it 7-0, the first time the AFL led in a Super Bowl.
Morrall threw two more interceptions in the second quarter, one to former Colt Johnny Sample, and another to Jim Hudson when he failed to spot Jimmy Orr all alone in the back left corner of the end zone on a flea-flicker.

With the Colts trailing 13-0 and Morrall failing to spark the offense, Shula finally brought in Unitas late in the third quarter.
Before Johnny U could get anything going, Namath hit Sauer from 39 yards out to move the ball to the Colts’ 2. A touchdown here would have put the game out of reach, but to their credit, Baltimore’s defense held New York to a short field goal by Turner, his third of the day.
Down 16-0, Unitas drove into Jets territory, only to be intercepted by Beverley. Turner missed a 42-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, but the possession achieved its goal by burning precious time off the clock.
The Colts finally broke the ice on a 1-yard run by Jerry Hill, but only 3:19 remained, and Baltimore still needed two scores (the 2-point conversion was used in the AFL before the merger, but not in a Super Bowl until January 1995) to win.
The Colts recovered an onside kick, but had to turn it over on downs.

Not long thereafter, the gun sounded. Jets 16, Colts 7. Namath ran off the Orange Bowl field waving his right index finger in the air.
The Jets have not been back to the Super Bowl since. They have played in only four AFC championship games (1982, ’98, 2009, 2010) since, all on the road. They have not been to the playoffs since losing the 2010 AFC final to the Steelers, the NFL’s longest active drought.
Joseph William Namath remains the Jets’ best quarterback. Only the Bears, where it has been Sid Luckman and a whole bunch of nothing for 70 years, has had it worst at one of the most important positions in professional sports.

I seriously need better things to write about if this was the best I could do.

Bears, Cardinals, Saints need help (and lots of it)

The Patriots and Bill Belichick won’t be in the playoffs. The Jaguars will. God is good.
If Belichick wasn’t such an anti-social dickhead, then we could better appreciate all the success he’s enjoyed in New England. At least Nick Saban once in a while.
Belichick has proven he isn’t such a great coach without Tom Brady (aka Jesus Christ). Imagine if he had to deal with what Joe Gibbs with the REDSKINS, which had different starting quarterbacks (Joe Theismann, Doug Williams/Jay Schroeder, Mark Rypien) during Washington’s Super Bowl championship seasons of 1982, ’87 and ’91.

The Bears have the No. 1 draft pick. Don’t waste on a no-talent project like you did on Mitchell Trubisky with the #2 overall pick.
Chicago could have had Patrick Mahomes.
Justin Fields appears (emphasis on appears) be the long-term solution for the Bears, a team which hasn’t had a competent quarterback since Sid Luckman, whose best years were when FDR and Truman were in the White House.
Chicago’s defense is pitiful, something which has to hurt its pride. The Bears are known for the defense. Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Stan Jones, Bill George, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and Brian Urlacher all have busts in Canton, and Khalil Mack will one day. Other defenders like Ed O’Bradovich, Richie Petitbon, Doug Buffone, Steve “Mondo” McMichael, Wilber Marshall, Otis Wilson, Dave Duerson, Gary Fencik, Doug Plank, Charles “Peanut” Tillman and of course William “The Refrigerator Perry” are spoken of in reverent terms in the Windy City, even if they aren’t in the Hall of Fame. The only way anyone on the current Bears’ defense gets to Canton is if they drive or fly there and buy a ticket.

The Cardinals will draft #3. PICK AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PICK AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN!
The last time the Cardinals had a competent offensive line was in St. Louis when Dan Dierdorf was in the prime of his Hall of Fame career at right tackle, blocking for Terry Metcalf and Jim Otis and giving Jim Hart plenty of time to
Later in his career, Dierdorf paved the way for O.J. Anderson to have four sensational seasons from 1979-82.
Once Dierdorf retired after the 1983 season, the Cards’ line went to crap. Neil Lomax, who passed for over 4,600 yards in 1984, was forced to retire in 1989 (by this time, the Cards were in Arizona) due to degenerative arthritis in his left hip, largely because the team’s sieve of an offensive line left him open for massive shots. Going up against Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, Jerome Brown, Dexter Manley, Charles Mann, Dave Butz, Too Tall Jones and Randy White twice a season with a terrible offensive line is a good way to get your quarterback maimed.
J.J. Watt played his last NFL game today, which the Cardinals lost 38-13 in Santa Clara to the 49ers. Another Hall of Famer finishing out his career with two years in Arizona, joining Emmitt Smith.
The Cardinals are the NFL’s oldest team. Not surprisingly, they have lost more games than any other NFL team. And they’ve done it in three locations instead of one: Chicago, St. Louis and Arizona. I look for the franchise to add more losses to that ledger until douchebag GM Steve Keim is fired. I never liked him to begin with, and his recent drafts have made him a laughingstock. If he’s back in 2023, then Michael Bidwill is dumber than I thought he was. I didn’t think Michael could be dumber than his father, Bill, but if he brings Keim back, I will have to reconsider.

The Saints don’t have a first round pick, having traded it last year to the Eagles in order to move up a few spots and pick Chris Olave. Olave had a fine rookie season as he became New Orleans’ top receiver, but he wasn’t worth mortgaging the future for.
However, the Saints have been doing this since winning Super Bowl XLIV. Gayle Benson and Mickey Loomis refuse to tear it down, hoping they can catch lightning in a bottle. The Saints are not going to relapse into the pitiful state they were throughout John Mecom’s ownership (1967-84), but New Orleans appears to be stuck on the treadmill of mediocrity, where 7-10, 8-9, 9-8 will be the norm.
Then again, Saints fans would have given their first-born for 7-10 when Mecom owned the team. Saints fans younger than 40 don’t realize just how bad it was. I know because I grew up when Mecom was still owner, and my dad loves telling stories about how bad it was before I was born.

I muted the sound to the Lions-Packers game because I didn’t want to hear Carrie Underwood Fisher sing the theme song. I haven’t unmuted it. Shows you where my head is.
Speaking of which, my head will soon be on a pillow.

Chiefs (maybe) catch another break

The NFL has decided to cancel the Bills-Bengals game, which had to be stopped after nine minutes Monday due to the life-threatening situation involving Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin, who is now conscious. .
This means all the Chiefs need to do is defeat the pathetic Raiders Saturday in Las Vegas and they will have a bye for the first round of the playoffs. If the Chiefs lose and the Bills beat the Patriots, then Buffalo gets the bye, but I cannot see Kansas City losing to Las Vegas and Jerk McDaniels. Sure, the Raiders had a 14-point lead when the teams played at Arrowhead in October, but the Chiefs have had almost three months to adjust, and Vegas waved the white flag by benching Derek Carr.
Patrick Mahomes is living a charmed life: well-endowed between the legs and in the bank, a hot wife who has become a baby machine, and now his team stands to benefit from another’s tragedy.
If the Chiefs play the Bills for the AFC championship, the NFL could force the game to move out of Kansas City to a neutral site, probably Detroit or Indianapolis, since both locales have stadiums with roofs.

To me, the bigger deal is having that week of rest which the Bills won’t have if the Chiefs win. Since the playoffs expanded from 12 teams to 14 in 2020, only one team in each conference gets a bye. The other six teams in each conference have to be dead tired after playing two playoff games following anywhere from six to ten regular season games without a rest.
Sure, the Packers have twice blown it after earning the bye in the NFC, and it didn’t help the Titans a year ago, but the Chiefs benefitted from it in 2020, coming back from the week off to take out the Browns and Bills before no-showing in Super Bowl LV.

I’m avoiding the NFL Network and ESPN this week. No need to ESPN on before Saturday at 1530 (3:30 p.m.), and then there’s Red Zone Sunday at 1200, but that’s it. No need to hear anything else from NFL media, which has forgotten about the 1,600 players who will suit up this weekend and focused on the one who almost lost his life. I understand the concern and desire to receive the latest news on Hamlin, but the games are the thing.

I’m fading. Seroquel does that to you. Time to get off the computer.

News cycle rinses, washes, repeats

Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who suffered cardiac arrest Monday on the field in Cincinnati, is still in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati hospital, but according to a family spokesman, is showing “sings of improvement”.

The House of Representatives still doesn’t have a speaker. Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, sex trafficker Matt Goetz and a few other jerks won’t support Kevin McCarthy, even when Dear Leader Trump asked them to support him.

Is the championship of the College Football Playoff still being played Monday? Apparently, only media outlets in Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth are focusing on something other than Hamlin in the world of sports. Wichita stations did not mention Hamlin tonight; it was all about basketball with the Jayhawks and Wildcats.

Maybe the House will have a speaker by this time tomorrow. I doubt it. Boebert, Gosar, Goetz and others like Chip Roy, Bob Good and others are dug in so hard they might as well be encased in concrete.
For once, Trump is right. It’s time to get to work in the House.

The NFL is scheduled to return to play Saturday. Maybe.

Thank God for streaming. Good night.

Comeback #874 (give or take)

I profusely apologize for not posting for almost four months. To summarize:

  • Arkansas was wonderful, even though LSU lost all three games that weekend. I was reminded how great northwest Arkansas was and still is. The Razorbacks still have the best stadium in college baseball, and it has only been improved since my previous visit in 2003.
  • The air conditioner in my car died AGAIN in May. It forced me to spend two nights in a Kansas City hotel in a terrible location with loud noise and outrageous prices (I had to use 51,000 Marriott points so I didn’t have to pay those outrageous prices–thank you NASCAR). I went to Des Moines and back to Kansas City after that was done. That was great. Then it all went to hell.
  • June was one of the worst months of my life, at least the first 24 days. I won’t go into detail.
  • July was hotter than fuck. I didn’t leave the 30-mile radius between Russell and Hays. I didn’t want to given the fucking terrible heat. Right now, Duluth is looking better and better. North Dakota will be too hot in 10 years. At least Duluth has the moderating influence of Lake Superior. I’ll trade minus-40 and six-foot snow drifts for Kansas heat. I lived in a sauna for 29 years and have lived in a blast furnace for 17. I have had enough.
  • August has been hotter than fuck, save for a brief reprieve Monday (the 8th). It looks like it will continue to be hotter than fuck until after Labor Day. I hope no high school football players die in this heat. If any do, then coaches had better own up to causing those deaths. Many high school coaches have big dicks and bigger assholes, and they aren’t afraid to show it.

9 August 1963 now turns out to be a dark day in American history for two reasons: the death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, son of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Onassis) and the birth of Whitney Houston.

Patrick Kennedy died only 39 hours after his premature birth. His lungs were grossly underdeveloped and caused death from hyaline membrane disease, now known as infant respiratory distress.
It was Jacqueline’s THIRD failed pregnancy. She miscarried in 1955 and gave birth to a stillborn girl in 1956. Somehow, she had two successful pregnancies which produced Caroline in 1957 and John Jr. in 1960. JFK Jr. was born 16 days after his father was declared victor over Richard Nixon in the presidential election, a victory which was possibly tainted by electoral fraud committed by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, which tilted the Illinois vote towards the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts.
There is one reason and one reason alone why Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis had THREE failed pregnancies.
She smoked like a fucking chimney. THREE packs a day. THREE.
Anyone who tries to rationalize otherwise is stupid and nothing more than an apologist for the tobacco industry and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, who KILLED three children with the most vile habit one can acquire.
I despise tobacco and all of its iterations. At least people who chew tobacco are only harming themselves, not counting the disgusting spittle they produce.
Smoking tobacco harms EVERYONE around them. It is especially harmful for an unborn baby.
Nicotine addiction is worse than heroin. At least you’re only killing yourself with heroin.
I should know. I will never, EVER forgive my mother for continuing to smoke while she was pregnant with me in 1976.
Jacqueline Bouvier Onassis Kennedy and all those who pregnant women smoked before Surgeon General Luther Terry released his report in January 1964 had a weak excuse, but an excuse nonetheless. It doesn’t absolve them. It only makes it very sad nobody thought to link disgusting tobacco to severe health risks before 1964.
However, JFK’s wife should have known better after her miscarriage, her stillbirth and the difficult pregnancies which produced the two children who lived. She should have done everything she could have to quit for Patrick’s sake. But because she refused and had to have her three packs a day, Patrick was alive for only 39 horrifying hours.
Rosemary Bernadette Liuzza Steinle has NO FUCKING EXCUSE. The report was issued TWELVE YEARS before she got pregnant. She was in her second semester of college when it was released, and nearly seven years before she married my father, who smoked heavily for 30 years before somehow quitting cold turkey in September 1985. Not only was my mother smoking like a clueless bitch, she was breathing in my dumbass father’s second-hand smoke.
I will never, ever forgive my parents for that. It is why I have autism. I will believe that until I die.
I’m amazed Caroline Kennedy has never had serious health issues because of her mother’s nicotine habit. We won’t know about JFK Jr., because he was too stupid to realize he should not have been flying the night of 16 July 1999.

Whitney Houston has been dead for ten years. Yet twice a year, hundreds of millions of Americans worship her performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXV in January 1991.
I do not. I do not think it was a good rendition. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.
Whitney Houston was an overrated crack whore who stayed with fellow crack whore and abusive asshole Bobby Brown. She had ONE good song, her first big hit, “How Will I Know”. Every other Houston song makes my ears bleed, especially “I Will Always Love You”.
Let me repeat: I DON’T CARE FOR EVERY WHITNEY HOUSTON SONG EXCEPT ONE. I HATE HER RENDITION OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SUPER BOWL XXV.
The best rendition of the national anthem at the Super Bowl was Herb Alpert’s prior to Super Bowl XXII in 1988. Why? It was only played on the trumpet and not sung. Tommy Loy did a great trumpet rendition of the anthem at Super Bowl V in 1971. It’s on YouTube if you want to see.
The best rendition with words? Neil Diamond, Super Bowl XXI. Short and sweet. Sixty-one seconds. I’m a little biased because I love Neil, and I am so happy I got to see it live as a 10-year old.
I will never watch Super Bowl XXV. I don’t want to see that national anthem performance again as long as I live. Also, I am tired of experts proclaiming it the greatest Super Bowl ever. It was overrated. The Bills turned out to be raging frauds. The Giants were the better team, and the better team won. The Bills played a shit schedule, thanks to getting two games apiece vs. the Patriots, Jets and Colts. The Giants had two games against the Redskins and Eagles, plus two vs. the 49ers. Buffalo lost. They should have lost.

There is a little good news. The three crybabies of LIV golf–Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and some other jerkwad–were denied in their quest to play in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, which start Thursday.
Gooch, Swafford and the third jerkwad took the Saudi money. They can’t double dip. Why don’t you tour Graceland while you’re in Memphis boys?

That’s it. I feel my blood pressure rising. I can’t take it anymore. The sooner I stop thinking about Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Whitney Houston, the better.

Ghosts of inauguration days past

Joseph R. Biden assumed the presidency at 11:00 Central Standard Time (12:00 EST) today. He becomes the 45th man to hold the office (Grover Cleveland was elected to two non-consecutive terms, and he is counted both 22nd and 24th; don’t ask me why), and oddly enough, the first from the nation’s first state, Delaware, which joined the union 7 December 1787, a few days before neighboring Pennsylvania.
He is the second Roman Catholic president after John F. Kennedy; coincidentally, Biden and several top-ranking governmental officials attended a prayer service at St. Matthew’s Cathedral this morning, the same cathedral where Kennedy’s requiem mass was conducted by Cardinal Richard Cushing 25 November 1963, approximately 70 hours after he was shot to death (supposedly by Lee Harvey Oswald) on Elm Street in Dallas.
I watched ZERO of Biden’s inauguration. I was somewhere between Hays and Russell when the oath was administered by Chief Justice John Roberts. I had ZERO desire to watch, and I will not be searching the Internet to watch it.
I didn’t vote for Biden. I didn’t vote for his predecessor either. It’s so sad Biden was the best the Democratic Party could offer, but he was more palatable than the Democratic candidate of 2016. Had Biden said something before the Democratic National Convention, he could have saved the country from Hillary AND Trump. Too late.

As I cruised Interstate 70 towards Shawnee and then Leawood, I thought about where I have been for past inaugurations.
Since 1937, presidential inaugurations are held every four years on 20 January. Previously, 4 March was the date, but after a tortuous lame duck period following FDR’s election in 1932 and the end of Herbert Hoover’s presidency, Congress passed and the states ratified the 20th Amendment, moving the inauguration date ahead 42 days, while setting the meeting date of the new Congress to 3 January or thereabouts.
Why 20 January is used, I’ll never know. New Year’s Day sounds like a fine time to do it, but anyone and everyone involved with college football would raise hell. It would not be too hard to move back bowl games to 2 January every four years.
Better yet, why not inaugrate the new president as soon as possible? The 4 March date was designed to give newly elected House members and newly elected or appointed Senators enough time to get from their homes to Washington in the era before air travel.
The electoral votes can be counted by 1 December, and the new president can take office on 15 December. This way, you don’t have to go through the crap that Trump put the country through.

Kansas City reminds me I was in town four years ago when Trump was inaugurated. Larry and I were playing trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa, trying to avert our eyes from the big screen. We told Tori, the regular daytime bartender, to mute the sound and let me play the jukebox. She had no objections. Later that day, Robb and Dawn came in (they were still married and everything looked good for them), and they were despondent. Both of them were Bernie Sanders supporters in the primary and they absolutely loathed Trump. Three days after his election, I brought them some beer to help them drown their sorrows.

For both of Obama’s inaugurations (2009 and 2013), I was working at home. I recall being in my bathroom at 11:00 in 2009. I did not watch either ceremony.

I also did not watch either of George W. Bush’s inaugurals. In 2005, I was at work at Delgado Community College, and in 2001, I was at Lee High in Baton Rouge covering the annual Lee High (now Louisiana Classics) wrestling tournament for The Advocate.

I was in LSU’s sports information office the day of Bill Clinton’s second inaugural in 1997. Since it was Martin Luther King Jr. day, not everyone showed up; the only others there were Kent Lowe, Michael Bonnette and Jim Kleinpeter. Lowe and Bonnette were the media relatoins contacts for the men’ s and women’s basketball teams, respectively, at the time, and Kleinpeter was LSU’s beat writer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. We went to lunch that day at Pizza Hut just south of the LSU campus.
Lowe is still in his position, Bonnette was promoted to the top spot in 2000 and still holds it, and Kleinpeter is now covering LSU’s women’s basketball for The Adovcate.
I was a junior at Brother Martin High the day of Clinton’s first inaugural in 1993. Since it was my lunch period, I did not have to watch, and I didn’t. Lucky for me, my social studies class was my first of the day and ended at 08:55.

I was in seventh grade at Arabi Park Middle when George H.W. Bush was inaugurated in 1989. It was cold and rainy that Friday. There was a “Mardi Gras Ball” that evening and a dance afterwards. A very awkward pre-teen evening for Foots, who was still three years away from receiving the nickname.
The next evening, I had to march with the band in the Krewe of Saturn parade in Kenner, which is on the opposite side of the New Orleans metro area from Arabi.
Super Bowl XXIII was that Sunday; I watched every play of the 49ers’ thrilling victory over the Bengals, which wasn’t cemented until Joe Montana hit John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining to cap a 92-yard drive. Cincinnati has yet to recover.
Four days after the elder Bush took the oath, serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison just after 06:00 CST, ending his reign of terror for good. Bundy was officially executed for murdering 12-year old Kimberly Leach in Lake City in February 1978, but he also raped and murdered Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy in the Chi Omega house at Florida State hours before Super Bowl XII, and killed at least 40 women in the western United States from 1974-77.

I woke up in the dark the morning of Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration.
Reagan was officially inaugurated for a second term on 20 January 1985, but since 20 January was a Sunday that year (it was again in 2013), Dutch took the oath privately in the East Room of the White House at 11:00 CST, and the public ceremony was held the next day.
Super Bowl XIX was 20 January 1985. To celebrate Reagan’s second term, the man who played George Gipp on the silver screen was asked to toss the coin prior to the Dolphins meeting the 49ers at Stanford. There was a satellite hookup between the locales, and Reagan tossed the coin in the East Room when prompted by referee Pat Haggerty.
It was bitterly cold in most of the country that Super Sunday. It was chilly and foggy in Stanford, a fitting backdrop for the Dolphin defense, which was shredded for 537 yards by Joe Montana, Roger Craig, Dwight Clark and company. Dan Marino was pounded by a San Francisco defense spearheaded by future Hall of Famers Fred Dean and Ronnie Lott, and the 49ers rolled 38-16. Little did anyone know Marino would never return to gridiron football’s biggest stage.
Temperatures below minus-7 Celsius (20 F) are as rare in New Orleans as sightings of Haley’s Comet and four-leaf clovers, but lo and behold, it dipped to minus-10 C (14 F) in the early hours of 21 January 1985. The power at 224 Jaguar Drive went out, as it did for tens of thousands across south Louisiana.
The cold hit the Air Products and Chemicals plant at the northeast edge of New Orleans hard, and my dad had to go out there to check it out only a couple of hours after the Super Bowl ended.
Fortunately for my brother, mother and I, we had a way to keep warm.
My mother’s close friend, Wanda Pattison, had a gas furnace at her residence in Chalmettte, about 15 minutes from our house. We went there to keep warm, and the electricity came on just in time to see Reagan take the oath from Chief Justice Warren Burger.
It was so cold in Washington–minus-15 C (5 F)–the ceremony was moved from the West Front of the Captiol into the rotunda, the first time in memory the ceremony was held indoors. It should have been held indoors today.
U.S. Representative Gillis Long from Louisiana died the previous day, and Reagan asked for a moment of silence in his memory. Long represented the former Eighth District, which stretched from Alexandria south and east along the Mississippi River to St. John the Baptist Parish, from 1973-84, and previously in 1963 and ’64. Gillis was a cousin of legendary brothers Huey and Earl Long, and secured funding for an important Hansen’s Disesase research center in Iberville Parish about 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Baton Rouge; the center now bears his name.
Gillis ran for Governor of Louisiana in 1963 and again in 1971. He was third in the Democratic primary each time, with John McKeithen winning the former election and Edwin Edwards the latter.

I was not old enough to remember Reagan’s first inauguration in 1981, although I have watched it on YouTube. That day, the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran since 4 November 1979 were freed. Reagan announced it during his inaugural speech, and Jimmy Carter went to Germany to meet the freed men.

Speaking of Carter, of course I can’t remember his inauguration in 1977. It was my 99th day in this life.

If you have read to this point, I thank you. If not, I don’t blame you. I’m going full Porky Pig…THAT’S ALL FOLKS! (at least for now)

Buffalo stampedes ahead

The Buffalo Bills will be among the last eight NFL teams left following their 27-24 victory over the Colts today in western New York to open the NFL playoffs.
It’s the Bills’ first playoff victory since 30 December 1995, when they defeated the Dolphins 37-22 at home.
Chiefs fans were ardently rooting for the Colts, who would have come to Kansas City had they won. Instead, either the Ravens-Titans winner or the Browns (if they defeat the Steelers) are coming to Arrowhead. The Bills will host either the Ravens-Titans winner or the Steelers.

Just how long ago was the 1995 NFL season?
Buffalo’s coach was Marv Levy, who led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990-93 (all losses), but was on the downside of his coaching career, which ended after the 1997 season. Still, getting any team to four consecutive Super Bowls, especially one as downtrodden as the Bills were prior to his arrival during the 1986 season, is worthy of his bust in Canton.
How bad were the Bills before Levy?
Between 1966, the year after Buffalo won its second conseuctive AFL championship, and 1985, the Bills played in five playoff games, winning one, the 1981 AFC wild card vs. the Jets.
The Bills went 1-13 in 1968 and again in 1971, 2-12 in 1977, and 2-14 in 1984 and ‘85.
I’ll never forget the 1984 Bills started 0-11, then somehow beat the Cowboys 14-3 at home. I watched the game with my brother at my maternal grandmother’s shotgun home in the Algiers section of New Orleans, and couldn’t believe it when Greg Bell ran 85 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. By time we got home, the Bills sealed what likely was the Cowboys’ most embarrassing loss in franchise history at that time.

Miami’s coach the penultimate day of 1995? Donald Francis Shula.
Shula, who passed away last May at 90, coached his final game that day, ending a 33-year career which began with seven seasons in Baltimore and continued with 26 more in Miami. Shula coached Johnny Unitas at the beginning of his career and Dan Marino in the end, with Earl Morrall, Bob Griese, Don Strock and David Woodley in between.
The Dolphins needed to defeat the Rams in St. Louis on the final day of the regular season to qualify. It was Shula’s 347th and final win. Hopefully, his record for coaching is not broken by the jerk in New England.

Some of the rookies who debuted in 1995: Hall of Famers Curtis Martin, Terrell Davis, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks; Tony Boselli, who would have been in the Hall of Fame if not for injuries; servicable quarterback Kerry Collins; workout warrior Mike Mamula; and lesser lights Blake Brockermeier, Dave Wohlabaugh, Brendan Stai and Tyrone Poole.
Levy and Shula were not the only long-tenured coaches. Jim E. Mora was in his 10th season with the Saints. Marty Schottenheimer was in his seventh with the Chiefs. Ted Marchibroda was in the fourth season of his second tenure with the Colts. Bill Cowher (Steelers) and Mike Holmgren (Packers) were each in the fourth season. BIll Parcells was in his third with the Patriots, and Dan Reeves his third with the Giants.
Buddy Ryan was coaching his second, and last, season in Arizona. He was fired 12 hours after the Cardinals lost the last regular season to the Cowboys on Christmas night. The mastermind of the 1985 Bears’ 46 Defense never returned to football. Ryan passed away in 2018, but his legacy is far from dead, thanks to sons Rex and Rob.
The biggest news of the 1995 NFL season was the debut of the Panthers and Jaguars, the NFL’s first expansion teams since the Buccaneers and Seahawks of 1976.
The Rams played their first season in St. Louis under new coach Rich Brooks, fresh off leading Oregon to the Rose Bowl. Contiuining the tradition of losing football in the Gateway City established by the Cardinals from 1960-87, the Rams went 7-9, their sixth of nine consecutive losing seasons.
The Raiders played in Oakland for the first time since 1981 and collapsed down the stretch, losing their last six to finish 8-8.
The Browns were playing their 50th—and final—season at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium (aka The Mistake by the Lake (Erie)). that November, Art Modell shocked the sports world by annoucning the Browns were moving to Baltimore for 1996. Eventually, Modell had to leave the Browns’ name, colors and history behind, and the franchise was renamed the Baltimore Ravens. The new Browns debuted in 1999 in what is now First Energy Stadium.

The Bills’ quest for their fifth Super Bowl berth died in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers prevailed 40-21 in the first AFC divisional playoff. The next day, the Steelers were gifted home field for the AFC championship when the Colts, led by Jim Harbaugh, downed the Chiefs 10-7 at frigid Arrowhead.
Pittsburgh survived Indianapolis 20-16, but only after Aaron Bailey lost possession of Harbaugh’s Hail Mary when he hit the ground in the back right corner of the end zone on the game’s final play.
The Steelers fought the Cowboys tooth-and-nail in Super Bowl XXX, but two pathetic throws by Neil O’Donnell resulted in two interceptions by Larry Brown, and Dallas won 27-17. No wonder Pittsburgh didn’t return to the Super Bowl until Cowher and the Rooneys drafted Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.

Buffalo needed something good to happen. The Sabres have been wretched for more than a decade. The Braves left when I was 18 months old, and the NBA will NEVER come back. The city has struggled economically for as long as I’ve lived. New York’s governors have favored the Big Apple for far, far, FAR too long at the expense of the rest of the state. And of course, there’s always the snow.
Maybe this will help the push for a downtown stadium, something Terry and Kim Pegula stress is vital for the Bills to survive. I can’t blame them, because the stadium in Orchard Park is older than me, opening with the double murderer’s 2,003-yard season of 1973.

I wouldn’t mind living in Buffalo. I’d trade the snowy winters for cooler summers, although the humidity would be more than Kansas.
I’d better enjoy these zero-degree days (Celsius, of course) while I can. The mercury will shoot above 20 soon enough and have me in shorts for seven months.