RSS
 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

26 Jan

Not a team logo, but a logo of a defunct college bowl game, the Bluebonnet Bowl. It was played in Houston at Rice Stadium from 1959 until 1967, the moved to the Astrodome where it was renamed the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. The game lasted into the mid-1980s but was discontinued due to poor ticket sales and lack of a corporate sponsor. Most years the game featured a team from the Southwest Conference against an at-large opponent, and 19 of the 29 games played featured a team from Texas.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

26 Jan

1973 Topps football card of former pro offensive tackle Donnie Green, who helped anchor the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line for 6 seasons and played a total of 8 years in the NFL. He was a member of the famed “Electric Company” line that opened holes for O.J. Simpson in his career. Green’s life was a struggle after his playing days ended. He battled drug abuse and ended up in a homeless shelter, where he worked as a night monitor. Green passed away in 2019 at the age of 71.

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Kelly’s Heroes

04 Jan

The final week of the 2023 NFL schedule takes place this week, and one marquee matchup features the Miami Dolphins taking on the Buffalo Bills. We’ll look back for this week’s Throwback Thursday post to a game played between these 2 AFC East rivals on September 10,1989 at what was then Joe Robbie Stadium. It was the opening day of the 1989 season and both teams had high expectations. Miami had dominated the Bills in the early part of the decade, winning 11 of 14 contests, but Buffalo rebounded when the Marv Levy/Jim Kelly era began with 4 straight wins.

Buffalo struck first with the only scoring in the opening quarter on a Scott Norwood field goal. Then the Dolphins took over the second quarter, scoring on a Troy Stradford 1 yard run and a Pete Stoyanovich field goal to lead 10-3 at the half. The Bills tied it up when fullback Larry Kinnebrew closed out a drive with a 2 yard TD plunge. Miami’s special teams then got into the fray, blocking a punt that Marc Logan picked up and took the remaining 2 yards into the end zone for a 17-10 advantage. Norwood cut it to 17-13 with another field goal to finish the third quarter scoring.

Dan Marino then made his presence felt, completing an 8 yard touchdown toss to Andre Brown, upping Miami’s lead to 24-13. The remainder of the game was a bit of a coming out party for Kelly as the quarterback and unquestioned leader of the Bills. He led one drive that culminated with him finding Flip Johnson on a 26 yard TD pass, then after the Bills’ defense held, he led another to the Dolphins’ 2 yard line with time running out. There were 2 seconds left on the clock, time for one last play. Kelly took the snap from center, dropped back to pass, then surprised everyone by running into the end zone for the winning touchdown to secure a 27-24 win. It was a great start to the Bills’ season as his teammates mobbed him in the end zone celebrating the daring play. That swashbuckling style would be a trademark of Kelly’s Hall of Fame career.

 

Jim Kelly, Dan Marino had many epic battles

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

04 Jan

This a very rare pennant featuring the logo of a football team that played in the Continental League from 1965 through 1969, the Orlando Panthers. They had a history playing in other cities and in various minor leagues before joining the COFL and settling in their home at the Tangerine Bowl. The league was trying to rival the NFL. Their first head coach in ’65 was Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren, and despite financial woes they were one of the league’s more successful teams, winning titles in 1967 and ’68.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

04 Jan

1986 Topps football card of former pro fullback Larry Kinnebrew, who enjoyed a 7 year career in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. A bruising 258 lb. runner, he was a clutch short yardage back and finished his career with 44 touchdowns. The Georgia native had issues with the law after his playing career ended, including a rape charge that was ultimately dismissed.

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: The Chiefs Get Complacent

28 Dec

In looking at the NFL’s schedule for this week, one matchup stands out. That is a meeting between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals. For our Throwback Thursday feature, we need only go back a couple of seasons, to the AFC Championship game for 2021, played at Arrowhead Stadium on January 30, 2022, between these 2 teams. The Chiefs were defending AFC champs, coming off a divisional round win in an epic game versus Buffalo, and were seeking their third consecutive trip to the Super Bowl. Cincinnati, behind their young quarterback Joe Burrow, was a bit of a surprise to reach this game. Kansas City, especially on offense, was on a roll having scored 42 points in each of their playoff victories, and entered the game favored to win.

It appeared it was going to be a mismatch as the much more seasoned Chiefs dominated most of the first half. Patrick Mahomes threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill to open the scoring, with the only other first quarter points coming on a Bengal field goal by Evan McPherson. The Chiefs then looked like they were on their way to a decisive win as Mahomes found his favorite target, tight end Travis Kelce, for a 5 yard touchdown, then tossed another, a 3 yarder to Mecole Hardman, to put his club up 21-3. K.C. drove down the field again and it looked like they were going to salt away this win early, but after failing to score on the first 3 downs, coach Andy Reid got a bit cocky and decided to go for the touchdown on fourth down instead of taking the sure points on a field goal. Cinci held, and it turned out to be a bit of a momentum shift. Burrow guided his team to a score before the half ended, hitting Samaje Perine with a 41 yard TD pass to cut the deficit to a more manageable 21-10.

Slowly but surely the Bengals clawed their way back into the game in the second half. Another field goal and a short 2 yard Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase touchdown pass cut the Chiefs’ lead to 21-19, and when Burrow connected with Trent Taylor for a successful 2 point conversion, the game was tied. The Arrowhead crowd watched in shock as the Bengals finally took the lead in the fourth quarter with another field goal, but breathed a sigh of relief as Mahomes and company, shut out for the entire second half, regrouped to get a tying three-pointer from Harrison Butker as time expired to force overtime. For the second week in a row the Chiefs won the OT coin toss and took the ball. After leading an amazing game-winning drive against the Bills, Mahomes would get another chance to shine. It wasn’t to be this week, however. Mahomes was intercepted by Vonn Bell on the third play from scrimmage, setting up McPherson for the winning field goal and an improbable 27-24 Cincinnati win. The young Bengals had calmly overcome an 18 point deficit, taking advantage of some complacency and perhaps outright cockiness, of the Chiefs.

 

McPherson celebrates the winning kick

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

28 Dec

Logo of a pro football team that began life in the old American Football League, the Cincinnati Bengals. Founded in 1967 by legendary coach Paul Brown, they first played in the AFL in the ’68 season, and although they won only 3 games, they boasted the AFL’s Rookie of The Year in halfback Paul Robinson. Brown built the Bengals into a winner rather quickly, as they won the AFC Central Division title in their third year of existence, and their first in the newly merged NFL. Players on those early Cincinnati teams included Robinson, Lemar Parrish, Ken Riley, Bill Bergey, Bob Trumpy and future Bengal head coach Sam Wyche.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

28 Dec

2021 Panini Prestige football card of pro placekicker Evan McPherson, who is a current member of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. Drafted in 2021, he had a terrific rookie year, and during his team’s playoff run that year he tied a league record for most postseason field goals made, and set a record for most made without a miss. Nicknamed “Money Mac”, he set a franchise record for the longest field goal made with a 59 yarder.

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Ellison Sets The Record

21 Dec

The Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints face off on this week’s NFL schedule, and for this week’s Throwback Thursday feature we will time travel back to a game played on December 5, 1971 between these franchises when an NFL record was set by an unlikely player. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was the site of the contest, with the Rams trying to keep pace for the division lead in the NFC West with the 49ers and Falcons, while the Saints were mired in the division basement. The unlikely player in question was Rams’ running back Willie Ellison, who had spent the first part of his career as a backup, but emerged as the Rams’ top back in ’71.

Ellison started what would turn out to be his record-breaking day by scampering 80 yards for the game’s first touchdown. L.A. expanded their lead to 14-0 when quarterback Roman Gabriel threw a 37 yard scoring pass to Jack Snow. The Saints’ QB, Edd Hargett, cut the lead in half with a 25 yard TD toss to Danny Abramowicz, but any good feeling the Saints got from that evaporated quickly when the Roadrunner, Travis Williams, a former Lombardi Packer and one of the NFL’s most feared return men of the era, ran back the ensuing kickoff 105 yards to the end zone. The Rams continued the onslaught in the second quarter. Larry Smith, who had been the team’s lead back before being upstaged by Ellison, contributed a 5 yard touchdown run, and Gabriel connected with ex-Dallas Cowboy Lance Rentzel for an 8 yard score, upping the lead to 35-7 at the half.

The Saints came out determined in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 35-21 on a pair of 1 yard jaunts from Bob Gresham and Hargett. Los Angeles retaliated to open the fourth quarter with a 39 yard touchdown connection from Gabriel and Rentzel. Gresham scored again from a yard out and the Rams added a late field goal to finish off an important  45-28 victory that kept their division title hopes alive.

Ellison was the story of the day, however. He finished the game with 247 yards rushing on 26 carries, breaking the NFL record of 237 previously held by Jim Brown, and also the overall mark of 243 that had been set in the AFL by the man some considered to be the Jim Brown of the AFL, Cookie Gilchrist. The ’71 season turned out to be the high point of Ellison’s career. He made his first and only Pro Bowl, and after one more year in L.A. finished up his playing days for 2 more seasons in Kansas City. The Rams fell short of the division title also, eventually finishing second behind San Francisco.

 

Willie Ellison on his record-breaking day

 

 

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

21 Dec

It’s December, and we’re headed into prime college bowl game season, so this is not a team logo, but the logo of a bowl game, courtesy of SportsLogos.Net, the Pop Tarts Bowl. Played annually in Orlando, Florida, the game has existed since 1990 under different sponsorships, most recently the Cheez-It Bowl. 2023 is the first year under the Pop Tarts name. The game has conference tie-ins with the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference.