RSS
 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

07 Jan

60fleertomoconnell

1960 Fleer football card of former pro football quarterback Tommy O’Connell, who had a brief pro career with 3 different teams. He played one season for the Chicago Bears in 1953, returned to join the Cleveland Browns for the 1956 and ’57 seasons, retired to become head coach at Drake University in ’59, then was lured back to play for the Buffalo Bills in the old AFL in 1960 and ’61. His best season was in ’57 when he replaced Otto Graham in Cleveland, led the Browns to the Eastern Division title and was named to the Pro Bowl. O’Connell, who died in 2014, was the father of former hockey player and general manager Mike O’Connell.

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Rex Upsets The Hoodie

27 Dec

On this, the final week of the National Football League’s regular season, two old rivals who date back to 1960 and the arrival of the American Football League square off – the New York Jets and New England Patriots. Our final Throwback Thursday post goes back to a divisional round playoff game these 2 franchises played on January 16, 2011. It was one of the few postseason setbacks the mighty Patriot dynasty suffered in the last 20 years, as the Jets and their bombastic coach, Rex Ryan, pulled off a 28-21 upset right in the Pats’ backyard at Gillette Stadium, where they’ve been practically unbeatable over the years. It was the game of a lifetime for Jet quarterback Mark Sanchez, at the time a bright, young prospect who was expected to become the team’s savior, the next Joe Namath. He threw for 3 touchdowns – to Ladanian Tomlinson, who was closing in on the end of his Hall of Fame career, to Braylon Edwards, another rising star at the time, and to Santonio Holmes, who would go on to have a memorable Super Bowl moment later in his career with Pittsburgh.

The real story of the game was Ryan’s Jet defense, which shut down the New England ground game and forced Pats’ QB Tom Brady to pass. Although that never turns out to be a negative result for the Patriots, on this day Brady, arguably the greatest signal caller of all time, couldn’t match Sanchez when it counted. New York sacked him 5 times and intercepted him once. Ryan, who had a habit of tweaking his nose at New England coach Bill Belichick, the dreaded evil genius in the hoodie, with lines like “I respect him but I’m not gonna kiss his Super Bowl rings”, was the surprise winner on this day. The Jets couldn’t sustain the success, however. They lost the AFC Championship game to Pittsburgh 24-19 the following week. Also, Sanchez regressed to the point where his Jet career ended with an embarrassing “butt fumble” play in later years, Tomlinson retired and both Holmes and Edwards became divas who were run out of New York for their attitudes, although Holmes, as previously noted, revived his career later on with the Steelers.

 

BradyGOAT

Tom Brady wasn’t the GOAT in the AFC Championship game for the 2010 season

(photo from NFL Memes)

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

27 Dec

ohiobobcats99now

Logo of a college football team that plays in the Mid-America Conference, the Ohio University Bobcats. The school’s program started in 1894 and claimed a small college national championship in 1960. Notable Bobcat alumni who have had careers in pro football include Vince Costello, Dave Zastudil, Chet Adams, Landon Cohen and current players Mike Mitchell and T.J. Carrie.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

27 Dec

2000bowmanbrady

This is a 2000 Bowman football card, the “rookie” card, of current New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady, who is arguably the most successful signal caller in NFL history. Of course, the means by which he and his team have achieved that success over the last almost 2 decades will always be under a cloud of suspicion. Nevertheless, Brady has had a long, storied career that is still ongoing. He is a five-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP, three-time NFL MVP and a 14 time Pro Bowler. He’s been a durable player over his 19 year career, missing only the entire 2008 season due to an Achilles injury.

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Dan Marino’s Demise

20 Dec

The 2018 season is winding down for the National Football League, and on this, the second-last week of that season, a pair of Florida-based teams meet on the schedule, the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. For this week’s Throwback Thursday feature, we’ll venture back to an AFC playoff game played between these 2 teams on January 15, 2000. This game would turn out to be the final one in the illustrious career of Miami quarterback Dan Marino, but on this day the Jaguars didn’t exactly give him a royal sendoff. Marino retired after this game holding most of the league’s passing records, but he certainly didn’t add anything positive to his resume in this contest. Coach Tom Coughlin’s Jaguars dominated the game from the opening kickoff. Mark Brunell threw a pair of touchdown passes, to Jimmy Smith and Fred Taylor, and Taylor added a 90 yard scoring run. The Jags’ defense got in the act, also, with Tony Brackens returning a fumble 16 yards for a TD. In what amounted to a complete steamroll, Jacksonville piled up a 41-0 first half lead before Marino salvaged a little pride with a touchdown toss to Orande Gadsden to cut the margin to 41-7 at the half.

The Jaguars didn’t let up in the second half, even though they replaced Brunell with backup QB Jay Fiedler. The second-stringer added 2 more touchdown throws and Chris Howard scored on a short run to continue the carnage. Miami coach Jimmy Johnson mercifully pulled Marino from the game in the second half and the Dolphins’ backup, a non-entity named Damon Huard, was subjected to the same abuse as the future Hall of Famer he replaced. After the wreckage was cleared, the result was a monumental one-sided blowout. On offense, the Jags wracked up 520 total yards. Taylor carried the ball 18 times for 135 yards and scored twice, on the long run and a pass. Smith, the team’s top receiver, grabbed 5 catches for 136 yards and 2 scores. The defense dominated also, holding Marino and company to a paltry 131 total yards. They also sacked the Miami QBs 5 times, held the Miami rushing attack to 21 yards on 18 carries, and forced 7 turnovers. The final result on the scoreboard was as bad as the difference in the statistics – Jacksonville 62, Miami 7.

To be fair, for the 1999 season at least, this wasn’t an evenly matched game before it even started. Jacksonville was one of the AFC’s strongest teams, entering this game having amassed a 14-2 regular season record, while Miami limped into the playoffs at 9-7. Still, with a Super Bowl-winning coach in Johnson and an all-time great passer in Marino leading the offense, a defeat this epic in scope was a total shock.

 

marinossayonara

For Dolphin QB Dan Marino, it wasn’t a pleasant goodbye

 

 

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

20 Dec

orlandoapollos

Not exactly a “classic”, this is the logo of a football team that hasn’t yet played a game, the Orlando Apollos of the new Alliance of American Football, a spring developmental league that begins play in 2019. They will be coached by Steve Spurrier, a legendary college coach in Florida. Some of the players secured so far to begin play in February are quarterbacks Garrett Gilbert and Stephen Morris, backs Ryan Green and Storm Johnson, and defenders Will Hill and Reggie Northrup.

 

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

20 Dec

98bowmanchrometaylor

1998 Bowman Chrome football card of former NFL running back Fred Taylor, who enjoyed a 13 year career in the league, mostly with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He remains one of the franchise’s most iconic players, and is a member of the 10,000+ rushing yards club among NFL all-time backs, despite being plagued by injuries throughout his career. Taylor’s most successful season was in 2007, when he was named to the Pro Bowl. His son Kelvin is currently a member of the new Alliance of American Football’s Orlando Apollos.

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Return of The Dutchman

13 Dec

The Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams meet on this week’s NFL schedule, and our Throwback Thursday feature for the week is a game played between these 2 franchises on November 22, 1959. The game is significant in that it was the first and only time that future Hall of Fame quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, a Ram star in the 1950s, played against his former club as a Philadelphia Eagle. He had led a powerful Ram attack for most of the decade, but decided to retire after the 1957 season. He later changed his mind, but the Rams had moved on and instead of bringing him back for the ’58 season, traded him to the Eagles. It wasn’t exactly a “return” for the player nicknamed “The Dutchman”, as the game was played at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field and not in L.A., and it also wasn’t exactly a triumphant display by Van Brocklin in the game either. The Eagles did win, 23-20, to improve their season record to 6-3, but it was a struggle against a Ram club that had won only 2 games all year. The Rams produced more offensive fireworks, as halfback Jon Arnett included an 80 yard run for a touchdown among his 108 yards rushing, while Ram QB Billy Wade fired a TD throw to Red Phillips.

Van Brocklin was efficient enough, completing 19 of 38 passes for 260 yards, spreading the ball around to all his favorite targets – Bobby Walston, Tommy McDonald and Pete Retzlaff among others, but the Eagle TDs came on a 3 yard run by Clarence Peaks and a defensive score on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Jerry Huth. You could actually make the argument that a more important contributor to the Philly win was another ex-Ram who had been exiled and found a home with the Eagles, kicker Paige Cothren, who booted 3 field goals, including a short 14 yarder in the final quarter which proved to be the game-winning points.

The Eagles did go on to finish the ’59 season in second place in the Eastern Division, a vast improvement over a 2 win record in 1958, then won the NFL championship in 1960 in The Dutchman’s final season. The Rams, meanwhile, didn’t win another game, finishing 2-10 after posting an 8-4 mark in ’58. That led to the departure of head coach Sid Gillman, who moved on to the American Football League’s Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers, where he was highly successful.

 

VanBrocklin,Norm6

QB Norm Van Brocklin, “The Dutchman”

 

 

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

13 Dec

bradley8911

Logo of a defunct college football program, the Bradley University Braves, which began in 1897 but was dropped as a sport in 1970. A few Braves’ alumni had careers in pro football, including Harry Jacobs, Dick Jameison, Ray Ramsey, Marcus Pollard (who played basketball at the school but went on to an NFL career) and Billy Stone, who was the school’s last head coach before the program was disbanded.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

13 Dec

58toppscothren

1958 Topps football card of former pro football fullback and kicker Paige Cothren, who had a short three year playing career in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. Used almost exclusively as a kicker, his career was pretty non-descript, but his life afterwards wasn’t. He joined the U.S. Army after retiring and reached the rank of captain, and was an accomplished author and pastor, and opened a pair of counseling centers for alcoholics and drug addicts. When the New Orleans Saints joined the NFL as an expansion team, their coach, former Ram teammate Tom Fears, signed Cothren as the franchise’s first player, even though he had been retired for over 6 years. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the team’s final cut as a kicker, but he continued to flourish in life outside of football.