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.
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.
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.
LSU and Missouri have been together in the Southeastern Conference since 2012.
Yesterday was the first time the Bayou Bengals visited Columbia, and only the second time the purple Tigers and black Tigers faced off as conference opponents.
Blame one man. He resides in Tuscaloosa.
Nicholas Lou Saban, the head football coach at the University of Alabama, believes the world would stop spinning on its axis if the Crimson Tide did not play Tennessee every year.
Alabama and Tennessee have a rivalry which dates to 1901, less than two months after President William McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo. The Tide and Volunteers have played every year since 1930 except 1943, when neither school fielded a team during the height of World War II.
General Robert Neyland wanted Tennessee to play Alabama every year, knowing if the Volunteers defeated the Tide, Tennessee would be the undisputed king of southern football.
Bear Bryant, who played on a broken leg when Alabama won 25-0 in 1935 at Birmingham, considered Tennessee a bigger rival than Auburn. It was his trainer, Jim Goostree, who began the tradition of handing out victory cigars to players and coaches following victory in the series. Tennessee soon copied the tradition.
It is a vile and disgusting tradition. The Birmingham News’ website, AL.com, posts hundreds of photos of players and fans smoking cigars after a Crimson Tide victory over the Volunteers. They are glorifying a product which has killed tens of millions of Americans (although cigars have killed fewer than cigarettes). Memo to the women who smoke cigars: it doesn’t make you prettier. It makes you repulsive.
Nick Saban loves the cigars, given he once chain-smoked cigarettes. Unlike Bryant, he had the guts to give them up, but he still chews Red Man.
Alabama fans shouldn’t be lighting up cigars anyway. Tennessee is as impotent against Alabama these days as I am with the disgusting little thing between my legs. No reason to bother.
No wonder Saban wants to keep Tennessee on Alabama’s schedule permanently. He beats them all the time.
On the other hand, the world will not end if the Crimson Tide and Volunteers don’t play every year.
Conference realignment has cost us Maryland-Virginia, Maryland-North Carolina, Penn State-Pittsburgh, Nebraska-Oklahoma, Nebraska-Colorado, Nebraska-Missouri, Missouri-Kansas, Missouri-Oklahoma, Colorado-Oklahoma, Texas A&M-Baylor, Texas A&M-TCU, Texas A&M-Texas Tech, Arkansas-Texas, and the biggest of all, Texas-Texas A&M.
LSU and Tulane haven’t played since 2009. That sucks. Tulane bears some of the blame for demanding every other game be played in New Orleans, but LSU has a point by not wanting to give up a home game and play in a stadium which seats 30,000. Tulane blundered massively by leaving the SEC in 1966, but it could make up somewhat for it by playing every year in Baton Rouge and accepting a generous check from LSU. It really angers me LSU will play McNeese, Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, and now Southern and Grambling, but not Tulane.
Even within conferences, some rivalries aren’t played every year.
When the SEC split into divisions in 1992, it ended the yearly battle between Auburn and Tennessee. In 2002, Auburn’s yearly rivalry with Florida ended. LSU and Kentucky played every year from 1949 through 2001, but now don’t see each other but once every five or six years. Alabama and Georgia once played every year, but haven’t since Vince Dooley’s early days in Athens. LSU and Alabama was NOT a yearly rivalry until 1964. LSU and Auburn rarely played until they were thrown into the SEC West together. Same with Tennessee vs. Florida and Georgia in the East; Tennessee played Ole Miss every year before divisions.
The ACC stupidly divided the four North Carolina schools. This means North Carolina and Wake Forest don’t play every year, nor do Duke and North Carolina State. Last year, the Tar Heels and Demon Deacons played a game which didn’t count in the ACC standings just to play. Clemson also doesn’t play Duke, North Carolina and Virginia every year, while NC State and Wake Forest don’t see Virginia every year.
Before Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12, it stranded Oklahoma and Oklahoma State with the Texas schools, and refused to have even one cross-division rivalry which was played every year.
In the Big Ten, the Little Brown Jug isn’t contested between Minnesota and Michigan every year. Same with Illibuck, the turtle contested by Ohio State and Illinois. Fortunately, Iowa and Minnesota still battle every year for Floyd of Rosedale, the bronze pig which is bar none the best trophy in college sports.
Anyone who can read a map knows Missouri is farther west than 11 of the other 13 SEC schools. Only Arkansas and Texas A&M are west of Columbia.
Yet the SEC refused to consider moving one team out of the West to let the Big 12 expatriates join the same division.
Then-Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs repeatedly said he would gladly move to the East to allow Mizzou into the West, yet then-SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and league presidents refused.
The biggest reason was Saban’s bellyaching about the cherished Alabama-Tennessee rivalry. Such bellyaching was not as loud from Knoxville, although I’m certain some Volunteer fans want their team to play the Crimson Tide, even with the yearly slaughter.
If Auburn was moved to the East, the Tigers of the Plains would become the Crimson Tide’s permanent cross-division football opponent, meaning they couldn’t play the Volunteers every year. Tennessee probably would have picked up Mizzou or A&M as its permanent West rival.
There is no rule stating Alabama and Tennessee cannot play a game which wouldn’t count in the SEC standings. Bear Bryant did this vs. Ole Miss near the end of his tenure. Has nobody thought of this? I’m not just talking about the Crimson Tide and Volunteers. Everyone in the SEC could do this. It would be an easy way to schedule the required non-conference game vs. a Power Five team.
The above ideas are good, but definitely not the best.
I realize Tuscaloosa is farther west than Nashville, home to Vanderbilt. However, the SEC could fudge its geography just a little bit and make it all right.
Swap Mizzou and Vandy for Alabama and Auburn. There, problem solved. Alabama would have Auburn and Tennessee as division opponents, and playing Georgia and Florida would more than make up for not playing LSU every year.
Tennessee-Vanderbilt would become the lone cross-division game to be played every year, the same way Indiana-Purdue is the only one in the Big Ten. This would get teams into each stadium more frequently.
Your blogger would be pumped to see LSU and Mizzou play every year in football, baseball and softball, meaning the Bayou Bengals would be in Columbia every other year for those sports instead of once in a blue moon.
It just makes too much damned sense, so it will never happen.
Then again, Missouri sports teams have a history of being geographically misaligned.
The Cardinals played in the National League EAST from 1969-93, even though it was farther west than Atlanta and Cincinnati, which were in the West.
The Cardinals and Cubs raised holy hell when the National League wanted to align geographically when the two-divisiion format was approved for 1969. Both were afraid of (a) 27 games per year in California, which meant late start times for television, and (b) not playing in New York. NL president Bill Giles gave the Cardinals and Cubs what they wanted, giving the big “F YOU” to the Braves and Reds, which faced longer trips to California and later start times for their fans, since Atlanta and Cincinnati are on Eastern time.
Giles didn’t have the balls AL president Joe Cronin did. He told the White Sox flat out they were going into the West, and if they didn’t like it, tough shit. The Sox’ owners at the time wanted to be in the East, citing tradition, as five of the other six old-line AL teams were in that division (the exception was the second Senators franchise, the one which became the Rangers in 1972). The White Sox tried again to move to the East when the Senators’ relocation was approved, but the Brewers, who were originally the Seattle Pilots, were moved from West to East, trading places with the Senators/Rangers.
The AL should not have moved the Brewers. It short-circuited rivalries with the White Sox and Twins, and since the Cowboys were in the NFC East, and the Cardinals and Cubs were in the NL East, it wouldn’t have been too bad to keep the Rangers in the AL East.
Speaking of teams from Dallas and St. Louis, it was totally asinine the Cowboys and football Cardinals were in the NFC East. Those cities aren’t east of anything, except San Francisco and Los Angeles in the NFC.
Pete Rozelle wimped out when the AFL and NFL merged. Rather than unilaterally imposing an alignment on NFC owners, he allowed secretary Thelma Ekjer to blindly pick an alignment out of a vase. And wouldn’t you know, the only one with the Cowboys and Cardinals in the NFC East was picked.
Let’s see..the Cowboys in the East and the Falcons in the West. Brilliant.
Rozelle should have put the Cowboys in the West, then added either the Cardinals or Saints (probably the latter, since it would have preserved a Dallas-New Orleans rivalry, one Cowboys’ president Tex Schramm loved). The other should have gone into the Central with the Vikings, Bears and Packers, and the Lions would go into the East with the Falcons, Redskins, Eagles and Giants.
When the Rams moved to St. Louis, there was no problem for me with them staying in the West, although it would have been an ideal time to realign the NFC, with the 49ers, Rams, Cardinals, Cowboys and Saints in the West; the Falcons, Panthers, Redskins, Giants and Eagles in the East; and the Central staying the way it was. At the time, the AFC was too convoluted to try to redo the East and Central (the West was great the way it was).
I’m not giving up my hope LSU and Mizzou are more than occasional rivals. Sometimes the world actually works the way it should.
Until then, I’ll start saving up for tickets when the Bayou Bengals return to Columbia in 2023. And for LSU’s trip to Lexington next year.
My Thanksgiving wasn’t that bad. I’m not going to lie and say I was doing backflips, but no drama, no problems with social media, no hiding from the family for Thanksgiving lunch.
I highly recommend eating the large holiday meals (Thanksgiving and Christmas) for lunch instead of dinner. You can certainly sleep late and skip breakfast, and then you’re ready to roll. After, you have more time to digest the meal before going to bed. I’ve suffered enough indigestion and heartburn after large meals in the evening to keep Alka Seltzer in business.
I didn’t get out of the house from the time I got back from St. Peters last Wednesday through Tuesday. A blizzard hit Sunday, and we lost power in Russell from 0300 to 1200.
We had a very long power outage in the summer, and I thought I was going to die. It was 37 Celsius (98 F) that day and without any circulation, it was an oven.
I was just fine without heat, so no need to get out there. Besides, Interstate 70 was closed from WaKeeney to Junction City (280 km; 175 miles), and all the streets in Russell were snowpacked. I woke up in time to eat lunch with my parents; my mother cooked shrimp scampi, although my father and I said she didn’t have to, but I guess she was tired of turkey and the side dishes, so I don’t blame her for cooking.
I planned on going to Salina for 0900 to get my hair cut, but as I was on I-70 near Wilson, Frank texted me and told me he needed copy as soon as possible. Therefore, I pulled off at Chick-Fil-A on Ninth in front of the Mall, and worked for two hours. I had to buy breakfast and lunch there, simply because I felt I would have been squatting had I not at least bought something. I hadn’t had Chick-Fil-A for a while anyway, so it was a good change. I finally got my hair cut at 1130; Amber was training a new stylist, Morgan, and I tipped them both.
Snow is still all around Kansas City. North of the Missouri River, some areas got as much as 7 inches, and earlier this week, the Kansas City Star ran an article saying Kansas City was having much trouble plowing the streets, while the streets in Kansas and other municipalities in Missouri (Independence, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Liberty, Gladstone) were plowed. KCMO Public Schools were closed for three days this week! I would not want to burn snow days immediately after Thanksgiving, but it is what it is.
The Saints are ready to kick off vs. the Cowboys in Arlington. There are a lot of Cowboy haters in Kansas City, but I don’t see why. After all, had the Cowboys not forced Lamar Hunt and the Texans out of Dallas, would Kansas City have professional football? New Orleans was going to get the Texans at first, but Tulane said no way to using Tulane Stadium. That wasn’t the only problem; the other was Tulane Stadium was segregated, and blacks had to sit in a small section of the south end zone. It took the Louisiana Legislature, Governor John McKeithen, U.S. Senator Russell Long and U.S. Representative Hale Boggs to get the stadium desegregated AND for Tulane to relent and let the Saints use its stadium.
FYI, three years before the Saints played their first game, Tulane was approached about holding a rock concert in their stadium. One which would have drawn at least 85,000 spectators. The university told The Beatles to get bent, leaving the Fab Four to play at the smaller City Park (now Tad Gormley) Stadium, which seats only 26,000.
Bill Snyder is still the football coach of the Kansas State Wildcats. He is being a stubborn and ornery old man, much the way he was during his first tenure in Manhattan.
I am sick and tired of hearing about how great a man he is and how much he has done for Manhattan and the state of Kansas. Okay, he’s won a lot of football games. But he is more paranoid than Nick Saban can ever dream of being.
More on Snyder in another post. The Saints are ready to kick butt yet again.
Jim Garrett, the father of Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, died yesterday at age 87. Jim Garrett was a scout for the Cowboys when Jason was a backup quarterback for the team during their glory years, when Dallas won three Super Bowls in four seasons, led by Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and a stout defense which featured Darren Woodson and Russell Maryland.
Prior to joining the Cowboys as a scout near the end of Tom Landry’s 29-year tenure as coach, Jim was an assistant coach for three NFL teams, including a two-season stint in 1976 and ’77 under Hank Stram with the Saints. Garrett was New Orleans’ secondary coach and de facto defensive coordinator, although the title was not yet in vogue.
Below is a link to a NFL Films documentary documenting the Saints’ preparations for a November 1976 game vs. the Packers in Milwaukee, as well as footage of the game itself. Green Bay won 32-27. Garrett is featured at 23:10 and 31:48.
Garrett was one of two assistants on Stram’s Saints teams to earn a Super Bowl ring later in their NFL careers.
Like Garrett, John Beake did not earn his coaching on the field.
Beake, the running backs coach for Stram’s Saints, and mentor to the talented but troubled duo of “Thunder” (Tony Galbreath) and “Lightning” (Chuck Muncie), later became an administrator, and was the general maanger of the Broncos when they won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII in 1997 and ’98. Undoubtedly John Elway learned much from Beake before becoming Denver’s current GM.
In 1978, Garrett moved to Cleveland when Sam Rutigliano, the Saints’ receivers coach under Stram, became head coach of the Browns. He ended his NFL coaching career under a rookie coach named Marty Schottenheimer for the second half of the 1984 season.
Rutigliano’s Browns became famous as the “Kardiac Kids” in 1979 and ’80, winning hte AFC Central divison in the latter season before losing infamously in the playoffs to the Raiders, who won in Clevleand despite it being 1 degree (minus-18) at kickoff with a wind chill of minus-36 (minus-38). Just say “Red Right 88” in northeast Ohio and most will know what you mean.
Schottenheimer was named head coach of the Browns after Art Modell fired Rutigliano eight games into that season. Schottenheimer’s first game as an NFL head coach was a 16-14 loss to the Saints in Clevleand’s former home, Municipal Stadium. The winning points came on a 53-yard field goal by future Hall of Famer Morten Andersen.
In 1985, Garrett was named head coach at Columbia University, the Ivy League school in Manhattan. Garrett took over a team which went 0-10 in 1984 and led it to another 0-10 finish, extending what would become a 44-game losing streak, the longest in NCAA Division I at the time.
The elder Garrett was fired a few days after the conclusion of the 1985 season when allegations of player abuse surfaced, both physical and verbal. According to the New York Times, Garrett slapped one player across the breast plate of his shoulder pads and another on the back of his helmet. It was rough, yes, but nowhere near as bad as Mark Mangino many years later saying a player would “become an alcoholic like his father” and telling another “to go back to the hood and get shot with your homies”.Nor was it anywhere near as bad as Woody Hayes slugging Clemson middle guard Charlie Baumann in the 1978 Gator Bowl, the incident which ended Hayes’ 28-year tenure at Ohio State.
However, the Ivy League is not the SEC, and Columbia wasn’t willing to take the risk, so Garrett was dismissed. After being out of football in 1986, he was hired by Tex Schramm as a scout in Dallas, and stayed through the coaching tenures of Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey and Dave Campo, retiring in 2004, when Bill Parcells was in charge.
Columbia wasn’t Jim Garrett’s first coaching job in New York City. He was an assistant with the Giants under Alex Webester in the early 1970s.
Ironically, three of Garrett’s sons, Jason, Judd and Jim III, had all transferred from Princeton to Columbia to play for their dad. All three ended up going back to New Jersey, and Jason ended up becoming the Ivy League’s all-time most accurate passer, completing 66.5 percent of his throws.
However, Jason Garrett could not prevent the Tigers from losing 16-13 to Columbia in the Big Apple on October 8, 1988, allowing the Lions to snap their long losing streak. Colubmia is no longer associated with football futility; its 44-game losing streak was destroyed by Prairie View A&M, which lost 80 consecutive games from 1989 through September 1998.
Jim Garrett’s only professional head coaching gig came in the infamous World Football League, where he piloted the Houston Texans in 1974. These Texans wore green and gold, not the “battle red”, “liberty white” and “deep steel blue” of the NFL Texans, and played in the Astrodome, as bad a football stadium as one could find.
The Oilers and Astros both played to scores of empty seats in the Astrodome in those days, so you have to figure the Texans before family, friends and a few others who were totally clueless. Indeed they did, and before the season was over, the Texans moved to Shreveport and became the Shreveport Steamer. The Steamer became Louisiana’s second professional sports team at the time, only days before the Jazz began their maiden NBA season in the Big Easy.
Dallas hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since 1995, when Switzer’s Cowboys defeated Bill Cowher’s Steelers. In fact, Dallas hasn’t even played for an NFC championship since winning Super Bowl XXX. Too bad Jim Garrett, by all accounts a good guy, didn’t get to see his son reach the big game with the 2016 Cowboys, who went 13-3 in the regular season but choked in the playoffs vs. Green Bay.
Will the passing of his father spur Jason Garrett on to bigger and better things in 2018? It will be difficult given the reigning Super Bowl champion resides in the same division. Dallas should be better than the Giants and Redskins, but to say it will surpass the Eagles is a stretch no matter whom Philadelphia starts at quarterback. Even Ezekiel Elliott for 16 games isn’t going to make all the difference.
Yu Darvish signed with the Cubs. I’m shocked…NOT. Like the Brewers or the Twins had a chance against the Evil Empire junior grade. That groan you just heard came from Milwaukee and St. Louis, and smaller ones emanating from Los Angeles and Washington.
Manchester City beat Leicester City 5-1 to keep its stranglehold atop the Premier League. It was 1-1 at halftime, but Pep Guardiola’s club is simply too good. It would be fascinating to see this year’s City team play some of Sir Alex Ferguson’s best Manchester United clubs.
Elsewhere in the Prem, Tottenham beat Arsenal 1-0, Swansea continued its climb out of the drop zone by beating Burnley in Wales, Everton easily dispatched Crystal Palace, while Stoke and Brighton drew.
Tomorrow morning (noon in Britain) finds Bournemouth traveling to Huddersfield as the latter tries to battle its way out of the drop zone. The Cherries looked like they would have to battle the drop earlier in the year, but a 3-0 victory at Chelsea followed by a home decision over Stoke has pushed Eddie Howe’s club into the top half. It has to be troubling to Sunderland, Hull City, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Norwich City and the current stragglers in the Prem like West Bromwich Albion and Stoke that a club which plays in an 11,464-seat stadium can be in the top half of the league. Howe should be coaching an international team for those efforts.
Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium (Dean Court) is the Cameron Indoor Stadium of the Premier League. Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham may have the large, flashy stadiums, but Bournemouth has the atmosphere and the fans right on top, much the way Duke has it over North Carolina, Louisville, Syracuse and Virginia in ACC basketball.
In fact, all three matches tomorrow favor the away side. After Bournemouth-Huddersfield, it’s Manchester United at Newcastle and Liverpool at Southampton.
The Olympics are on. My mother is glued to the TV set. YAWN.
At least 58 college basketball games, give or take a few, are on today. That’s 58 more, give or take a few, than I’m watching.
Kinda bored. But it beats being out at an event which might cause trouble.
The selection: 1981 AFC divisional playoff, the “Epic in Miami” vs. the Chargers–yes, I can understand this selection somewhat, since the Dolphins lost 41-38 in overtime. However, Miami rallied from a 24-0 deficit despite having the woefully bad quarterback tandem of David Woodley and Don Strock (“WoodStrock”), scoring on the final play of the first half on a hook-and-ladder. Miami’s opportunity to win in regulation was foiled by Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow, who blocked Uwe von Schamman’s field goal attempt on the final play of the fourth quarter. San Diego won it late in overtime on Rolf Bernsichke’s three-pointer. Winslow caught 13 passes for 166 yards despite severe dehydration.
The Epic in Miami was heartbreaking, but not as soul-crushing as December 21, 1974.
The Dolphins were the two-time defending Super Bowl champions, looking to win their fourth consecutive AFC championship. Their first playoff opponent was the Raiders, who were steamrolled 27-10 in Miami in the previous year’s AFC championship game.
The general consensus among scribes who knew anything about professional football was the winner of Miami at Oakland would be awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy the evening of January 12 in New Orleans. The Steelers were formidable thanks to the Steel Curtain and Franco Harris, but the press was still not convinced Terry Bradshaw was starting quarterback material. The NFC’s best, the Rams and Vikings, had their flaws. The Cowboys were not in the playoffs for the only time between 1966 and 1983. The Redskins were too old and offensively ineffective. The Bills had O.J. Simpson and no defense. The Cardinals were in the playoffs for the first time since 1948.
Miami took charge on the opening kickoff when rookie Nat Moore returned it 89 yards for a touchdown, silencing the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders’ first drive ended on a Kenny Stabler interception, but they got it in gear the next time they had the ball and scored on a pass from the Snake to Charlie Smith. Miami took a 10-7 lead at halftime on a Garo Yepremian field goal.
In the third quarter, Stabler found Fred Biletnikoff in the right corner of the end zone for another TD, and the scoring would go back and forth throughout the second half. Oakland took a 21-19 lead in the fourth on a 75-yard bomb from Stabler to Cliff Branch, only to have that lead erased on Benny Malone’s 23-yard run with 2:08 to go.
The Raiders, who lost a 1972 divisional playoff game on Harris’ Immaculate Reception, looked like they would suffer heartbreak again.
Instead, Stabler showed why he was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1974, completing passes of 18 and 20 yards to Biletnikoff to help Oakland reach the Miami 8 with 35 seconds left.
Stabler rolled left and appeared to be caught from behind by Dolphins defensive end Vern Den Herder, but the Snake got the pass away. It fell into a crowd where Clarence Davis had to battle three Dolphins for the ball, but somehow Davis snatched the pigskin away from linebacker Mike Kolen and fell to the turf in front of back judge Ben Tompkins, who immediately signaled touchdown.
Griese and Miami got the ball back one more time, needing a field goal to win, but an interception preserved Oakland’s 28-26 victory.
Had the NFL adopted rules which gave home field advantage to the teams with the best record and not a predetermined formula in 1974, not 1975, this game would not have happened. Miami would have hosted Pittsburgh and Oakland would have welcomed Buffalo in the divisional round.
As it turned out, the Raiders did not win the Super Bowl. They didn’t make it to New Orleans, falling 24-13 to Pittsburgh in the AFC championship game at Oakland. Two weeks later, the Steelers beat the Vikings 16-6 for the first of four championships in six seasons. The Raiders’ title had to wait until 1976.
Miami is still in search of its first championship since 1973. The Dolphins lost Super Bowl XVII to the Redskins and XIX to the 49ers.
Honestly, none of Miami’s Super Bowl losses were surprising.
–In Super Bowl VI, the Cowboys had the experience from losing the previous year’s game to the Colts, while the Dolphins were in their fourth playoff game all-time.
–In Super Bowl XVII, the Dolphins had the league’s top defense, but they were well overmatched by the Redskins’ Hogs and John Riggins. Also, David Woodley and Don Strock had no business playing quarterback in a Super Bowl. Don Shula figured it out and drafted Dan Marino three months later.
–In Super Bowl XIX, Marino was coming off his record-setting regular season, but Joe Montana had a more balanced offense. San Francisco also had a far superior defense.
The selection: 1998 NFC championship game at home vs. Atlanta. The Vikings went 15-1 in the ’98 regular season, scoring a then-NFL record 556 points. Minnesota, led by MVP quarterback Randall Cunningham and dynamic receivers Cris Carter and rookie Randy Moss, simply shelled opposing defenses all season, save for a 27-24 loss at Tampa Bay in week nine.
Atlanta came into the game 14-2, but were in the NFC championship game for the first time. Minnesota led 27-20 in the final five minutes, only to see Gary Anderson miss a 39-yard field goal, his first miss of a field goal or extra point all season. The Falcons drove to the tying touchdown, and Morten Andersen kicked Atlanta to Super Bowl XXXIII in overtime.
Another case of very short-term memory by the author of this list.
All of the Vikings’ Super Bowl losses occurred prior to the 1977 season, so few people under 50 can remember any of them. Of those four losses, three cannot be considered soul-crushing.
The Vikings were underdogs in Super Bowl VIII vs. Miami. The Dolphins of 1973 were, to many, better than the undefeated 1972 team, because that year’s Miami squad played a tougher schedule and was more dominant in the playoffs, including the 24-7 pasting of the Vikings at Rice Stadium. Minnesota, on the other hand, played in a putrid division (nobody else in the NFC Central finished above .500) and were defeated by two of the best three teams on its regular season schedule, the Falcons and Bengals. The better tam won.
In Super Bowl IX vs. Pittsburgh, the Vikings had the experience edge, but the Steelers were the more talented team, except at quarterback, where Fran Tarkenton was far ahead of Terry Bradshaw at that time. Both teams had Hall of Fame defensive tackles (Joe Greene for Pittsburgh, Alan Page for Minnesota), but the Steelers had the better linebackers, led by Hall of Famers Jack Ham and Jack Lambert. Minnesota’s offense gained a mere 17 yards rushing and 119 total, and the Vikings’ only score came on a blocked punt. Better team won.
Oakland came into Super Bowl XI with very few players remaining from the Super Bowl II squad which lost to Vince Lombardi’s Packers but John Madden had much better offensive weapons, led by Stabler, Branch and Biletnikoff, plus tight end Dave Casper. By this time, many thought the Vikings were doomed to fail a fourth time, and sure enough, they were. Raiders win 32-14, and it wasn’t even that close, given Minnesota scored its second touchdown in the game’s final minute against Oakland’s scrubs. The Raiders proved they were the far superior team.
Super Bowl IV hurt for Minnesota. The Vikings came into Tulane Stadium as 14-point favorites over the Chiefs, the losers of Super Bowl I, and many felt the Jets’ victory over the Colts the previous year was a fluke, that the AFL was still the inferior league.
The lens of time, however, reveals this was not as big an “upset” as it was made out to be in 1970. The Chiefs had so many Hall of Famers on their defense–Bobby Bell, Curley Culp, Buck Buchanan, Willie Lanier (who wasn’t on the team in Super Bowl I) and Emmitt Thomas–and played enough “exotic” schemes (at least for 1969) that Minnesota was befuddled when Kansas City lined up. All Stram had to do was line up Culp or Buchanan over Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff (a future Hall of Famer) and Minnesota’s blocking schemes were blown up.
Offensively, Len Dawson was a much better quarterback than Joe Kapp. Stram devised plans to double team ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshall and throw outside to Otis Taylor, Frank Pitts and shifty halfback Mike Garrett, plus run traps and misdirection plays to fool Page, which happened often in the Chiefs’ 23-7 win.
Having studied the 1969 season statistics, Kansas City should have been favored, in my humble opinion.
However, the most soul-crushing playoff loss in Viking history occurred in Bloomington in the 1975 NFC divisional playoff vs. Dallas.
The Vikings came in 12-2, even though their schedule was pretty bad. Fran Tarkenton had the best year of his career and was the consensus choice as league MVP. Chuck Foreman scored 22 touchdowns, only one off the record set that season by O.J. The Purple People Eaters were at their suffocating best.
Dallas was the wild card team out of the NFC at 10-4, one game behind the Cardinals. The Cowboys missed the playoffs in 1974 by going 8-6, and many thought 1975 would be a “rebuilding” year. Bob Lilly, possibly the greatest defensive tackle who ever played the game, retired after ’74, while defensive teammates Lee Roy Jordan, Jethro Pugh, Larry Cole and Mel Renfro were aging. The offensive line was now without All-Pro guard John Niland and center Dave Manders. The running game was in flux, as Calvin Hill and Walt Garrison were gone, and Tony Dorsett was still two years away.
However, the Cowboys had Roger “The Dodger” Staubach, and that was enough to give Tom Landry’s team a fighting chance in any game.
Indeed, Staubach was never better than the afternoon of December 28, 1975 in Metropolitan Stadium.
With just over three minutes to play, Minnesota led 14-10 and had the ball. It looked like the Cowboys would once again come up short in their quest for their third NFC championship.
However, the Cowboys stopped the Vikings and got the ball back at their own 15 with just under two minutes left. Dallas survived a 4th-and-16 from its own 25 with a 25-yard pass from Staubach to Drew Pearson, a play where Minnesota believed Pearson was out of bounds when he caught the pass, but the officials ruled he was forced out by the Vikings’ Nate Wright.
One play later, Pearson and Wright jostled again as Staubach launched a high arching pass deep down the right sideline. The ball came down at the 4, where Pearson outfought Wright, made the catch and backed into the end zone.
The Vikings believed there was offensive pass interference. Page argued so much he was ejected. Tarkenton, whose father died watching the game back at his home in Georgia, came onto the field to berate an official, leading to Vikings fans throwing numerous objects onto the field. A whiskey bottle hit back judge Armen Terzian in the head, rendering him unconscious. (Terzian would become more infamous in 1978 when Chiefs coach Marv Levy called Terzian an “over-officious jerk” during a game in Buffalo.)
Dallas defeated Minnesota 17-14, then routed Los Angeles 37-7 in the NFC championship game, but fell 21-17 to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl X.
The Vikings are now two wins away from playing in Super Bowl LII in their own stadium. This list may need to be updated. But for now, Staubach’s Hail Mary trumps all else.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The selection: 2010 NFC wild card game at Seattle, where the defending Super Bowl champion Saints lost 41-36 to the Seahawks, who won the ridiculously weak NFC West with a 7-9 record. The game became famous (or infamous in Louisiana) for the “Beast Quake”, when Marshawn Lynch rumbled 67 yards for the game-clinching touchdown and prompted the crowd at CenturyLink Field to cheer so loud it registered on a seismograph at the University of Washington’s geology department.
Had to think about my hometown team long and hard with this one. Yes, losing to a 7-9 team in the playoffs was more annoying than soul-crushing. Saints fans, and many other football fans across the country, decried the fact a 12-4 team had to go on the road in the playoffs against a team with a losing record.
However, my choice for the Saints’ most soul-crushing playoff loss goes back to my youth. In fact, the 30-year anniversary of this game was just last Wednesday.
It was New Orleans’ very first NFL playoff game, the 1987 NFC wild card game at home vs. Minnesota.
From 1967 through 1986, the Saints posted exactly zero winning seasons. They went 8-8 in both 1979 and ’83 and were in position to make the playoffs going into December, but each time, New Orleans stumbled.
In 1979, the Saints were 7-6 and held a 35-14 lead in the third quarter against Oakland on Monday Night Football. Instead of clinching their first non-losing season in franchise history, the Saints imploded, giving up 28 unanswered points to the Raiders, who won 42-35. The next week, Dan Fouts came to the Superdome and carved up the Saints like a turkey in a 35-0 laugher, knocking New Orleans out of the playoffs. The Saints won their season finale in Los Angeles against the Rams in the Rams’ last home game at the Los Angeles Coliseum for almost 37 years. The next season, New Orleans lost their first 14 games and finished 1-15, but more importantly, introduced the world to the practice of wearing paper bags at games to hide their shame of supporting terrible teams.
Four years later, the Saints only needed to beat the Rams in the regular season finale to go to the playoffs. The Saints did not allow an offensive touchdown, but the Rams scored a safety, two touchdowns on interception and another TD on a punt return. Los Angeles’ only offensive points were Mike Lansford’s 42-yard field goal with two seconds left to give the Rams a 26-24 victory and leave New Orleans in the cold again.
In 1985, Tom Benson bought the Saints from original owner John Mecom, who made overtures to Jacksonville about moving the franchise there. It took intervention from Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards to force Mecom to sell to an owner who would keep the team in Louisiana.
Saints coach Bum Phillips, hired by Mecom in 1981, resigned with four games to go in 1985. Soon thereafter, Benson hired Jim Finks, the architect of championship teams in Minnesota and Chicago, as general manager. Finks then hired Jim Mora, who coached the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars to two United States Football League championships and one runner-up finish, as Phillips’ successor.
The Saints went 7-9 in Mora’s first season of 1986. The next season, New Orleans split their first two games, winning at home vs. Cleveland and losing at Philadelphia before NFL players went on strike. One game was cancelled, and three more were played with replacement players. The Saints went 2-1 in the replacement games before the regulars came back for the sixth game vs. San Francisco.
Morten Andersen, the future Hall of Fame kicker, made five field goals for the Saints, but his game-winning attempt was no good, allowing San Francisco to get out of the Big Easy with a 24-22 win.
After the game, Mora went nuclear. Two of the most famous lines ever uttered by an NFL coach were spewed in the Saints’ locker room:
- We’ve got a long way to go. We’re close, and close don’t mean shit (censored). And you can put that on TV for me.
- Could of, would of, should of…the good teams don’t say coulda, woulda, shoulda. They get it done, okay? I’m tired of saying coulda, woulda, shoulda.
Those statements lit a fire under the Saints, who won their next nine games, clinching the franchise’s first winning season and playoff berth. New Orleans’ 12-3 record was the second best in the NFL, trailing only San Francisco’s 13-2.
Minnesota, meanwhile, scraped into the playoffs at 8-7. The Vikings were all but eliminated from the postseason when they lost their regular season finale at home to the Redskins, but the next day, they were revived by the Cowboys, who beat the Cardinals in what would be the Cards’ final game representing St. Louis.
Saints fans had already booked reservations in Chicago, where the Saints would face the Bears in the divisional round if they beat the Vikings.
New Orleans started very well, recovering a fumble deep in Minnesota territory on the Vikings’ first possession and converting it into a touchdown pass from Bobby Hebert to Eric Martin.
After forcing the Vikings to punt on their second drive, the tide turned sharply against the Black and Gold.
The Saints fumbled the punt, and Minnesota converted it into a field goal. When the Saints punted after their next possession, Anthony Carter, the Vikings’ All-Pro receiver, returned it 84 yards for a touchdown, and Minnesota was ahead to stay.
Any faint hope the Saints had of a comeback died on the final play of the first half when Wade Wilson completed a 44-yard Hail Mary to Hassan Jones, making it 31-10.
Final: Vikings 44, Saints 10.
New Orleans would not win its first playoff game until 2000, when it beat the defending champion Rams. And of course, 2009 was nirvana for the Saints and their long-suffering fans, thanks to Breesus and victory in Super Bowl XLIV.
The Saints and Vikings meet again next Sunday. Minnesota won in the regular season opener at U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of the rematch, as well as Super Bowl LII.
Okay enough for tonight. More later in the week.
Today, CBS Sports’ website listed the most “soul-crushing” playoff loss for each NFL franchise.
The list is beyond stupid, and incredibly short-sighted.
All of the losses listed occurred in my lifetime, which means the person or people who put it together can’t remember anything beyond 10 minutes ago, the same way people claim Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback (or NFL player) who ever lived and Bill Belichcik is the greatest NFL coach (if not all of professional sports) who ever lived.
Here is the link to the list:
Here are my BIG problems with the list, starting with five teams:
The selection: 2010 NFC championship game vs. Green Bay
How the heck can a playoff game involving JAY CUTLER be a soul-crushing loss? The fact the Bears got to within one win of Super Bowl XLV with Cutler is a miracle in and of itself, just as reaching Super Bowl XLI with Rex (Wrecks) Grossman is just as miraculous.
My choice: 1942 NFL championship. The Bears came in as two-time defending champions. Their opponents, the Washington REDSKINS, lost to Chicago in the previous two NFL championship games by the combined margin of 110-9. The Bears won 73-0 at Washington in 1940 and 37-9 at Wrigley Field one year later.
Instead of a three-peat, the REDSKINS pulled off a 14-6 stunner at Griffith Stadium, Washington’s last championship until John Riggins, Joe Theismann and the Hogs helped Joe Gibbs win the first of his three Super Bowls in 1982.
Losing the 1934 NFL championship game after going undefeated in the regular season hurt. So did losing 47-7 to the Giants in 1956. As for post-George Halas playoff losses, the divisional round flameout in 1986 vs. the Redskins at home one year after rolling through the NFL and squashing the Patriots in Super Bowl XX is a much better choice than 2010.
The selection: 2014 NFC divisional playoff at Green Bay, the game where Dez Bryant apparently caught the game-winning touchdown pass, only to be overruled by replay.
Apparently, the Cowboys’ 29 seasons under Tom Landry never existed, and the Cowboys did not lose three Super Bowls in the 1970s.
In fact, the Cowboys did lose three Super Bowls in the 1970s, and the combined margin of those defeats was ELEVEN points. ELEVEN. To lose games by 3, 4 and 4 points has to be soul-crushing, right? RIGHT?
The Cowboys forced SEVEN turnovers vs. the Colts in Super Bowl V. The Cowboys’ defense was so good that day that linebacker Chuck Howley was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, the ONLY player to ever earn the honor while playing for the LOSING team. Howley intercepted two passes, one of those in the end zone when the Colts were driving for the tying touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Dallas led 13-6 at halftime after knocking the great Johnny Unitas out of the game with injured ribs, but the Cowboys could not handle success. They fumbled at the Baltimore goal line early in the third quarter, and in the fourth, Craig Morton (Roger Staubach was strictly a spectator) was intercepted twice, once by Rick Volk to set up the tying touchdown, and the second by Mike Curtis which led to Jim O’Brien’s game-winning 32-yard field goal with five seconds left. Soul-crushing? For the time being, it was, but the Cowboys bounced back by demolishing the Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI.
Super Bowl X was a tough loss for the Cowboys, but I don’t consider it to be soul-crushing. Dallas was a substantial underdog to the defending champion Steelers, and Dallas led most of the game until Pittsburgh dominated the fourth quarter, scoring what turned out to be the winning points on a 64-yard touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw to Lynn Swann on a play where Dallas defensive tackle Larry Cole gave Bradshaw a concussion. The Cowboys didn’t quit, though, cutting the margin to 21-17 on a touchdown pass from Staubach to Percy Howard (the only catch of his NFL career) and then driving into Steeler territory in the final seconds before Staubach was intercepted by Glen Edwards.
Super Bowl XIII? Soul-crushing to the extreme. Jackie Smith’s dropped pass. The phantom pass interference call against Benny Barnes when Swann was too clumsy to get out of his way. Umpire Art Demmas throwing a block on Charlie Waters which allowed Franco Harris to score a touchdown. Randy White fumbling a botched kickoff and leading to the score which made it 35-17. Dallas scoring twice in the final eight minutes before finally running out of time.
Yet HOW the HELL is the 2014 divisional game vs. Green Bay more soul-crushing that Super Bowls V and XIII, or the 1994 NFC championship game which ended Dallas’ bid for a three-peat?
The selection: 2012 AFC divisional playoff loss to the Ravens, after giving up a 70-yard TD pass to Jacoby Jones to tie the game, then losing in double overtime.
Have the Broncos not lost FIVE Super Bowls? Yes, they have. Three of them–XII vs. Dallas, XXI vs. the Giants and XXIV vs. San Francisco–had Denver as huge underdogs. I’ll give the Broncos a pass.
The other two? Not so much.
In Super Bowl XXII, the Broncos were favored over the Redskins, albeit by a field goal or less in most sports books. The teams were thought to be evenly matched, except at quarterback, where Denver had John Elway, who was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1987, while the Redskins had finally settled on Buccaneers and USFL alum Doug Williams in the playoffs after Gibbs vacillated between Williams and Jay Schroeder throughout the 12 games played by union players. (One game was canceled due to a players’ strike, and three others were played using replacement players, although several union players crossed picket lines. Nobody on the Redskins did.)
Although Washington still had several players who were on the Super Bowl XVII winning (and XVIII losing–more on that later) squad, the Redskins’ quarterback quandary led many to believe the third time would be the charm for the Broncos, who were one year removed from a 39-20 pasting by the Giants in the big game.
It started so well for the Broncos, who led 10-0 by the middle of the first quarter. Through the first 21 Super Bowls, no team had overcome a deficit of more than seven points to win.
Then the second quarter arrived, and the Redskins morphed into the greatest offensive juggernaut the NFL has ever seen.
Williams threw FOUR touchdown passes in the period, and Timmy Smith ran for a 58-yard touchdown on his way to a then-Super Bowl record 204 yards rushing. By the end of the onslaught, it was 35-10, and Marion Barry announced the plans for the Redskins’ victory parade later that week during halftime.
Final: 42-10. Denver was crushed even worse in XXIV (55-10), and Elway was branded a loser despite his impressive resume. In the final two years of his career, Elway redeemed himself with victories over the Packers and Falcons in XXXII and XXXIII.
Following the win over Atlanta, Denver didn’t get back to the Super Bowl until it faced Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII, the first Super Bowl to be played outdoors in a temperate climate, at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
It was expected to be one of the greatest Super Bowls ever, with the Seahawks’ league-leading defense, “The Legion of Boom”, facing Peyton Manning, who came to the Broncos in 2012 following 13 seasons with the Colts. Manning led the Broncos to the highest scoring season in NFL history, threw 55 touchdown passes, and won his fifth NFL MVP award.
On the first play from scrimmage, the expected great game turned into a great stinker, at least as for the Broncos.
That play saw Denver center Manny Ramirez (not the famous baseball player) snap the ball wide of Manning. The pigskin rolled into the end zone, where Knoshon Moreno had to bat it over the end line for a safety to avoid yielding a touchdown.
Manning later threw a pick-six to Malcolm Smith, and Denver looked as outclassed as Elway’s teams were by the Giants, Redskins and 49ers.
Seattle won 43-8. Manning and Denver won Super Bowl 50 two years later, but Broncos fans still cringe when mentioning the Seahawks and that game.
Now tell me how a playoff game in an early round is more soul-crushing than losing two Super Bowls in which the Broncos were favored, or at worst an even-money bet?
The selection: 2014 NFC wild card game at Dallas, which the Lions lost 24-20. In the game, a defensive pass interfernce penalty was not called against the Cowboys with Detroit leading 20-17. Had the Lions gained the automatic first down, they very well may have run the clock out.
Okay, the Lions have been mostly wretched for the last 60 years. Not much playoff history to go on. But I can cite some games which far outweigh the above:
- 1970 NFC divisional playoff at Dallas–in the lowest scoring playoff game in professional football history, the Cowboys prevailed 5-0 at the Cotton Bowl. Detroit, which came in riding a five-game winning streak, reached the Dallas 29 in the final minute, but Greg Landry’s last pass was intercepted by Mel Renfro at the 11.
- 1983 NFC divisional playoff at San Francisco–the Lions had a chance to reach the NFC championship game, but usually reliable kicker Eddie Murray missed a 47-yard field goal in the final minute, allowing the 49ers to escape 24-23.
- 1991 NFC championship at Washington–the Lions enjoyed a spectacular regular season, thanks to the prolific running of Barry Sanders, but the Redskins rolled 41-10 on their way to crushing the Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.
- 1993 NFC wild card vs. Green Bay–the Lions lost 28-24 on a last-minute touchdown pass from Brett Favre (WHO?) to Sterling Sharpe. Detroit has not hosted a playoff game since.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
The selection: 2003 NFC divisional playoff at Philadelphia, when the Eagles converted a 4th-and-26 en route to the tying touchdown. Favre threw an interception in overtime, and the Eagles converted it into the game winning field goal.
Right city, wrong year in this case.
Try the 1960 NFL championship game.
In Vince Lombardi’s second season as Packers coach, Green Bay had gone from 1-10-1 in 1958 to 8-4 and the NFL Western Division championship, earning it the right to play the Eagles at Franklin Field for the league title. There was no Super Bowl in this era, so it was all or nothing on the day after Christmas.
The Eagles, led by quarterback Norm Van Brocklin and “Concrete Charlie” Chuck Bednarik, the NFL’s last two-way player (center and middle linebacker), trailed 6-0 early in the second quarter before gaining the lead on a touchdown pass from Van Brocklin to Tommy McDonald. A field goal later in the period sent Philly to the locker room ahead by four.
The score stayed that way until early in the final stanza, when Bart Starr hit Max McGee (already establishing himself as a big-time performer in big-time games) from 7 yards out to make it 13-10 Packers. The Eagles regained the lead with 5:21 to go on a 5-yard run by Ted Dean, leaving Green Bay plenty of time to win.
The Packers reached the Eagle 22 in the final seconds with no timeouts. Starr found Jimmy Taylor on a flare pass, but he was tripped up by rookie Bobby Jackson then pounded to the ground by Bednarik at the 10 as the final seconds bled away. The gun sounded, and Bednarik growled to Taylor, “You can get up now. This game is over!”.
Philadelphia hasn’t won a title since, losing in Super Bowls XV and XXXIX. The Packers would fare much better, winning five NFL championships and Super Bowls I and II under Lombardi. Green Bay added titles in XXXI and XLV later.
Part two includes: someone forgot the Colts once played in Baltimore and a certain guarantee; the longest NFL game ever; and “The Greatest Game Ever Played”.
I have never seen Buffalo Wild Wings–at least store #0296, the one I frequent in Kansas City–this dead at 5:30 pm on an NFL Sunday. There are plenty of open seats at the bar, plenty of open seats in tables surrounding the bar, and quite a few tables available in the dining room.
I atributed today’s small crowd to three factors:
- The Chiefs played Thursday. That took away a lot of the crowd. The noon games, especially Broncos-Titans, drew a decent crowd, but certainly nowhere near as stuffed as it would have been had the Chiefs played. I didn’t mind.
- The weather was nasty. No snow, but a light drizzle made the roads slick. Combined with the cold, but not frigid, temperatures, definitely kept some away.
- Christmas is in two weeks. Probably a lot of people shopping.
There were a pair of Dolphins fans sitting to my right at the bar while their team hosted the Cardinals. I made sure to keep my love for the Cards quiet. Nonetheless, I was dismayed to see Arizona lose.
The Cardinals lost 26-23, thanks in large part to one missed extra point by kicker Chandler Catanzaro, and a second which was not only blocked, but returned by Miami for two points. Had those plays not occurred, and assuming Catanzaro would have gone 3-for-3 on extra points, the field goal the Dolphins kicked on the last play of regulation would have only sent the game to overtime tied at 24-24. Just another bad day in a lost season for the Cardinals, who are now 5-7-1. The last time the Cardinals were 5-7-1 was 1983, when they were in St. Louis. That year, the Cards beat the Giants, Raiders and Eagles in their last three games to pull out a winning record. I don’t see it happening, even though the Saints and Rams are quite winnable games, and the Seahawks haven’t been world beaters against Arizona, especially in Seattle, where the Cards have won two of the last three meetings.
Of course, nobody in Kansas City cares much about the Cardinals. All they care about is the Chiefs, and many I’m sure have already made reservations to be in Houston February 5 for Super Bowl LI. I can only imagine if the Super Bowl is the Chiefs, who began life as the Dallas Texans in 1960 before moving to Kansas City after three seasons, and the Cowboys, who forced the late Lamar Hunt’s team out of north Texas. Of course, the fans from Houston who attend will certainly root for the Chiefs, since Houston HATES anything and everything about Dallas. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Cowboys, the Rangers, the Mavericks, the Stars, FC Dallas, TCU, SMU…even Dallas high schools are scorned in Space City.
I’m leaving Buffalo Wild Wings before 6:30. This is my sixth day here, and considering I’ve spent a ton of time on this barstool, I don’t feel guilty. I need to get some work done at the hotel. I’m coming back tomorrow to see Tori and play The Pulse, the weekly 30-question sports quiz, at 7:30. I have to leave at 8:30 to get more work done.
Robb and Dawn weren’t able to come today because they were busy making Christmas candy, but hopefully they’ll show up Tuesday. I’m leaving Wednesday to go back to Russell, because I’ve got four appointments in Hays Thursday, then I go to Norton Friday.
There’s a new Hallmark Channel movie at 7 tonight. Bonnie Somerville, whom I recall fondly from her five-episode stint as Rachel Hoffman on The O.C., is starring. I was able to purchase two of the three Christmas movies starring Alicia Witt on iTunes, but “I’m Not Ready For Christmas” is not available. And it isn’t on DVD, either.
Right now, I am the only customer at the bar at Buffalo Wild Wings. Geez. Talk about dead!
Here I go again. I promise to post every day, then I get lazy. Now I’m really getting lazy. This is why I almost never make resolutions when the calendar changes, even something as innocuous as promising to post to this blog every day.
Today is the 40th anniversary of one of the best Super Bowls played. Super Bowl X matched the Dallas Cowboys, winners of Super Bowl VI and losers of Super Bowl V, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the defending world champions.
The Cowboys entered the 1975 season in a situation they had not found themselves in since 1966-entering a new season after failing to qualify for the playoffs the previous year. The 1974 Cowboys were plagued by injuries and started 1-4, falling far behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Redskins in the NFC East race.
Dallas did have a memorable game in 1974. Clint Longley came off the bench early in the third quarter of the Thanksgiving Day game vs. the Redskins to take over at quarterback for Roger Staubach, who suffered a concussion on a hit by Diron Talbert. Longley brought the Cowboys back from a 17-3 halftime deficit to win 24-23 on a 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson in the final minute. The comeback was not enough to get the Cowboys into the playoffs, as they finished 8-6, losing their regular season finale at Oakland.
Not much was expected of the 1975 Cowboys. Bob Lilly, Mr. Cowboy himself and the game’s best defensive tackle, retired after 14 seasons. Fullback Walt Garrison was gone. So was free safety Cornell Green. Calvin Hill had defected to the World Football League. Many of the veteran core of Super Bowls V and VI who remained–Mel Renfro, Lee Roy Jordan, Ralph Neely–had grown old. Roger Staubach was only in his seventh season in the league, but he was already 32.
What the experts forgot when picking the Cowboys to finish far behind the Cardinals and Redskins in the NFC East was the mind of Tom Landry.
Landry resurrected the shotgun formation for 1975, giving Staubach a clear look at the opposing defense, as well as more time to find receivers coming open late. He could also use his mobility farther back in the pocket and open up other opportunities on the edges.
The 1975 Cowboys opened with victories over two playoff teams of 1974, the Rams and Cardinals, beating the latter 37-31 in overtime. Dallas went on to a 10-4 record and the NFC wild card, joining the Cardinals, Vikings and Rams in the postseason.
The Cowboys were decided underdogs in the NFC semifinals at Minnesota, but Dallas prevailed 17-14 on Roger Staubach’s long touchdown pass to Drew Pearson in the game’s final minute. The pass became known as the Hail Mary when Staubach described the play as such in postgame interviews.
No such dramatics were needed in the NFC championship game. The Cowboys went to Los Angeles and crushed the Rams 37-7.
The Steelers had no hangover from their 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX, going 12-2 during the 1975 regular season. Pittsburgh easily squashed the resurgent Baltimore Colts in its first playoff game, then outlasted the hated Oakland Raiders 16-10 in the AFC championship game. Oakland reached the Steelers’ 23-yard line in the waning seconds, but time ran out before Cliff Branch could get out of bounds, sending Pittsburgh to Miami.
The headlines off the field were much more intriguing than those on the field heading into Super Bowl X.
There was a massive ticket scam, and hundreds of people spent hundreds of dollars only to be forced to watch the game in a hotel instead of the Orange Bowl.
For those who had tickets, it wasn’t much more pleasant. South Florida was hit with an unusual cold spell, closing hotel pools and leaving many unprepared tourists shivering in shorts and no coats when temperatures plunged into the low 50s. It was 57 degrees at kickoff, 13 degrees cooler than the last Super Bowl played in Miami (Super Bowl V), but still 11 degrees warmer than it was at kickoff for Super Bowl IX in New Orleans’ Tulane Stadium.
Figuring they had nothing to lose and needed to pull out all the stops to beat the Steelers, the Cowboys wasted no time in fooling the Steelers.
Preston Pearson, who played for the Steelers in Super Bowl IX before being waived in training camp in July 1975, just in front of his own goal line. At the 9, he handed the ball to rookie linebacker Thomas (Hollywood) Henderson, who came speeding around left end and brought the pigskin all the way to the Steeler 44. Although Dallas didn’t score on its opening possession, it soon would have the ball deeper in Pittsburgh territory when a poor snap to punter Bobby Walden forced him to eat the ball at his own 29.
On the Cowboys’ first play of their second possession, Staubach found Drew Pearson streaking right to left across the Steeler secondary. Pearson caught Staubach’s pass in stride and raced to the game’s first touchdown.
Pittsburgh responded with a touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw to Randy Grossman out of a three tight-end formation which had Dallas’ defense bunched up to stop Franco Harris. .The Steelers moved into Dallas territory on a spectacular pass from Bradshaw to Lynn Swann down the right sideline. Swann had to make a leaping catch AND get both feet inbounds. It was simply sensational, but Swann was far from done.
Trailing 10-7 in the second quarter, Swann made a diving catch over the Cowboys’ Mark Washington, but the Steelers could not capitalize, and Dallas led 10-7 at halftime.
The Steelers’ Roy Gerela missed two field goals during the scoreless interregnum. Each time, Cowboys safety Clioff Harris taunted Gerela, but after the second miss, Pittsburgh middle linebacker Jack Lambert threw Harris to the ground like a rag doll. Fortunately for both teams, referee Norm Schachter–officiating his third Super Bowl and his final NFL game–and his crew were able to keep calm, and nobody was ejected.
It was still 10-7 early in the fourth quarter when Pittsburgh turned the tide in its favor.
In Super Bowl IX, Walden had a punt blocked in the fourth quarter which resulted in the lone Minnesota touchdown when Terry Brown recovered in the end zone.
This time, the Steelers blocked the punt. Reserve running back Reggie Harrison busted through the Cowboys’ protection and swatted Mitch Hoopes’ punt back over his head and out of the end zone for a safety. Not only was Pittsburgh now within a point, it would get the ball back on the free kick.
The Steelers scored a field goal off the free kick to take the lead for the first time, 12-10, and soon had the ball back when Mike Wagner intercepted Stabuach deep in Dallas territory. Another field goal by Gerela made it 15-10.
On Pittsburgh’s next possession, Bradshaw threw deep downfield to Swann, who torched Mark Washington for a 64-yard touchdown. Gerela missed the extra point, but it was still 21-10, and without the 2-point conversion, the Cowboys needed two touchodwns to win with only 3:02 to go.
Bradshaw did not see what happened downfield. Just after he launched the pass, he was knocked out cold by Cowboys defensive end Larry Cole. Had that hit occurred in today’s NFL, Cole would have been penalized and likely faced a hefty fine, since he drove his helmet into Bradshaw’s. In 1975, nobody cared that Cole used his helmet; the concern was more for Bradshaw, who was out of the game.
Dallas got the first touchdown it needed on a 34-yard strike from Staubach to Percy Howard. It turned out to be the only catch of Howard’s professional career.
Pittsburgh guard Gerry Mullins recovered Toni Fritsch’s onside kick, but the Steelers did not gain a first down on three attempts, leaving it fourth-and-8. Instead of punting, Chuck Noll called for another running play, not worried that he would leave the Cowboys a shorter field. He was worried to death about a bad snap to Walden in punt formation, knowing a fumble would leave Dallas inside the Pittsburgh 30.
Noll’s strategy didn’t bite the Steelers. On the last play of the game, Glen Edwards intercepted Staubach’s attempted Hail Mary in the end zone. Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17.
After years of boring blowouts, Super Bowl X had all the drama the Super Bowl was supposed to embody. The Cowboys may have lost, but nobody would dare call them losers.
Two interesting facts from Super Bowl X:
- Many scenes for the movie Black Sunday were filmed in Miami during the game. The plot revolved around a deranged former pilot hijacking the Goodyear blimp and using it as a weapon of mass destruction.
- This was the first Super Bowl where Pat Summerall called play-by-play. His analyst, Tom Brookshier, left the booth in the fourth quarter in anticipation of the trophy presentation in the winning locker room. Hank Stram, who at the time was not coaching, took Brookshier’s place for the final period. Two days later, Stram would be named coach of the Saints. By 1978, Stram would become a full-time broadcaster.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of…SUPER BOWL NONE. No Super Bowl has ever been contested on January 19, and none will, unless there is a radical change in the NFL calendar.
The NFL playoffs for the 2015 season began at 3:20 p.m. Central Time today. The Chiefs are kicking the crap out of the Texans, who are getting absolutely shitty quarterback play from Brian Hoyer, who has thrown three interceptions and fumbled. It frankly should be a lot worse than 20-0.
The Houston Cougars, who went 13-1 and won the Peach Bowl under first year coach Tom Herman, would have put up a better fight today than the Texans. The Cougars’ quarterback, Greg Ward Jr., could have used his athleticism to make plays out of the pocket, and Herman would not have put Ward in bad situations the way Bill O’Brien has done with Hoyer.
Houston has never experienced a Super Bowl, whether it be with the Oilers from 1966 (the first season of the Super Bowl) through 1996, or the Texans since 2002. Guess what? It won’t happen until Houston finds a quarterback. Save for a couple of decent seasons from Matt Schaub with the Texans, the last time a Houston NFL team had a strong quarterback was Warren Moon with the 1993 Oilers.
Speaking of the 1993 Oilers, the Chiefs are one quarter away from winning their first playoff game since winning 28-20 over the Oilers at the Astrodome in that season’s AFC divisional round. Houston started 1-4 in 1993, but won its last 11 regular season games, and many experts believed the Oilers would win the AFC and prevent football fans everywhere the misery of the Buffalo Bills losing in the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive season.
Instead, the Chiefs came to Houston and rode the right arm of some guy named Joe Montana to advance to the AFC championship game for the first time since Kansas City won Super Bowl IV in January 1970.
The Chiefs are still looking for their first trip to the championship game since defeating the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans. Kansas City lost the 1993 AFC championship game at Buffalo, with Montana exiting in the second quarter due to a concussion after a hard hit by Bruce Smith. The Bills won 30-13, and would lose Super Bowl XXVIII by the exact same score to the Dallas Cowboys. Unlike Super Bowl XXVII, when Buffalo turned it over nine times in losing 52-17, the Bills led 13-6 at halftime, only to squander the lead early in the third quarter when the Cowboys’ James Washington returned a Thurman Thomas fumble for a touchdown.
The Bills have won ONE playoff game since Super Bowl XXVIII. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999, when they were eliminated by the Tennessee Titans in the wild card round by the Music City Miracle.
Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson resigned two months after Super Bowl XXVIII. Barry Switzer came in and led the Cowboys to victory over the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, but Dallas has won just two playoff games since, and has yet to return to the NFC championship game.
The Chiefs now await the outcome of tonight’s Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game to see where they play next. If the Steelers win, Kansas City is on its way to New England to face Tom Brady and the Patriots. If the Bengals win, the Chiefs are in Denver for a third meeting with the Broncos. The last thing I would want as a coach is facing Brady and Belichick in Foxborough. No way.
Kansas City fans, do NOT wave Terrible Towels. You want the Bengals to win.