Saturday, January 11, 2014

Super Bowl III Observed

I'm observing Super Bowl III this weekend. The game, pitting the National Football League-champion Baltimore Colts and American Football League-champion New York Jets, was played in Miami on Jan. 12, 1969 (tomorrow, 45 years ago).

I've been reading about the 1968 professional-football season off and on over the past several months, and it has been a lot of fun. You might remember from last January's HP coverage that Super Bowl II was again won by the Green Bay Packers, this time over the Oakland Raiders. (Also, you might think that I would remember sitting down and doing this whole big, three-week-long observance of Super Bowl II just 12 months ago, and, in fact, I did remember it enough to look it up today in kicking off this weekend's fun. But I had forgotten stuff like posting pictures of my football-card Packers and Raiders and looking up the TV shows I might've watched over Super Bowl II weekend, and I had those same innovative ideas all anew again while I was still in bed this morning imagining how I might observe Super Bowl III weekend.)

Well, it has been a giant year of change in pro football in 1968--the Packers severely declined with Vince Lombardi off the sidelines, and, while the Raiders were great again, the Jets excelled on the strength of a maturing Joe Namath. The NFL Films episode recapping the 1968 season (5 stars, highly recommended), written by James Green, dubbed it "the year the game won." And Mike Rathet, writing the season review for the Super Bowl game program, opened, "The unusual aspect of pro football, vintage 1968, was that while the Play was still the thing, the Players on center stage weren't always the ones trumped in the Playbill." I don't know exactly what "the year the game won" or "the Play was still the thing" means, but I think those are the kinds of statements that writers write when they are in the midst of what feels like a tectonic shift in the history of whatever they're writing about. The ground underneath them is changing, but it hasn't yet settled down enough to make definitive statements about the new landscape.

Anyway, that's all I'm going to say for now. I'll continue in the comments. Here are some pictures and other stuff.


Here's how the NFL Eastern Conference Capitol Division came out.



Here's how the NFL Eastern Conference Century Division came out (that's my daughter's foot in front of fourth-place Pittsburgh's Andy Russell).



Here's how the NFL Western Conference Coastal Division came out.



Here's how the NFL Western Conference Central Division came out.



Here's how the AFL Eastern Division came out.



Here's how the AFL Western Division came out.



Here's the Jan. 6, 1969, Sports Illustrated recapping the NFL and AFL championships (Tex Maule has got this whole thing figured out).


Here's the Saturday, Jan. 11, 1969, Miami News previewing tomorrow's big game.



Here's the program for today's game.



Here are some great George Bartell paintings of the season's big stars. These appear on pages 44-47 of the game program.




Here are the lineups from the program (against an enticing Coca-Cola ad).





Here are the football cards I have for the Colts (that's our kitty, River).



Here are the football cards I have for the Jets.



Here's the "Tudor® Tru-action Electric football game" on which I might play a pretend version of Super Bowl III over the next few weeks (that's our Christmas 2013 tree; yeah, it's still up).



And here's the episode of The Hollywood Palace that aired on ABC on Saturday night, Jan. 10, 1969.



As always, Hooray for Christmas™, Hooray for Football™ and Hooray for TV™!

162 comments:

  1. If in 1968 you were expecting the Packers to slide, you were probably expecting the Cowboys to take their place at the top of the NFL, given that Dallas had lost to Green Bay in the last two league championships. And the Cowboys were awfully good--finishing 12-2 in the regular season and leading the league in points scored, yards gained, rushing yards allowed and quarterback sacks. Dallas allowed only two rushing touchdowns all season, and that was the fewest since 1927.

    As for the rest of the Capitol Division, ...

    -- The Giants won their first four games but then finished 7-7. The most maddening lost for New York fans was likely a 26-0 shellacking by the Colts, who were quarterbacked by Earl Morrall. The Giants had traded Morrall, Fran Tarkenton's reserve in New York, to Baltimore for a draft choice in the offseason.

    -- The Redskins (5-9) invested heavily in the player Coach Otto Graham identified as the quarterback to eventually take over for Sonny Jurgensen, sending a first-round draft choice to the Rams for Gary Beban, the former Heisman Trophy winner at UCLA. Jurgensen struggled with injuries and illness all season, and yet Beban spent most of the year on the inactive list and was eventually shifted to running back.

    -- The Eagles lost their first 11 games and were on their way to securing the first overall draft choice and the opportunity to draft O.J. Simpson. Then Philadelphia won two in a row before closing with a loss to finish 2-12. That dropped the Eagles to the No. 3 slot in the 1969 draft, where they selected defensive back Leroy Keyes from Purdue. Keyes played 48 games over five NFL seasons.

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  2. Why is the 1970 Super Bowl likely to be the last one?

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  3. That headline is strange. The story, by William H. Wallace of The New York Times, is about how different alignments are being considered for the new, merged pro-football world. Some owners, including Ralph Wilson in Baltimore and Paul Brown in Cincinnati, favor intermingling all of the AFL and NFL teams into new divisions based on geography; others want to maintain the basic AFL and NFL structures in order to preserve the familiar rivalries.

    Wallace writes, "If the identity of the two leagues is wiped out through a realignment then the Super Bowl contest would have a change in character. It would become merely a title game within a 26-team league." I think it's kind of a far reach from that paragraph to this headline.

    Also in that story, we learn that Pete Rozelle wants to get rid of Sunday-afternoon TV doubleheaders and instead have a Monday-night game.

    That story tucked in within the no-more-Super Bowl story, about Jets' Gerry Philbin, is a little spooky for this Evansville-native fan (who also lived in Louisville for a little bit and roots for UK) of the current-day Dolphins coached by Joe Philbin. "Dolphin fans should remember Philbin. He's the guy who sidelined two Miami quarterbacks--Bob Griese in 1967 with a shoulder injury and Rick Norton in December with a broken jaw."

    "Philbin." Griese of Evansville. Norton of Louisville and UK. That's a bad omen right there.

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  4. NFL Films did not initially fall in love with Namath, but Al Davis, John Madden, Bill Walsh, Sid Gillman and (especially) Willie Lanier were fans even when they were on the other side of the field or across the line of scrimmage from him.

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  5. The first quarterback selected in the 1968 pro-football draft (Jan. 29 and 30) had been Greg Landry by the Lions. The second was a guy from Tennessee State, Eldridge Dickey, setting him up to be pro football's first African American quarterback.

    The next quarterback picked, in the second round, was UCLA's Gary Beban, by the Rams in a pick acquired from New Orleans. Then two quarterbacks were selected at the end of the second round in a span of about five picks: Southern Methodist's Mike Livingston by the Chiefs and then Alabama's Ken Stabler by the Raiders.

    Interesting to imagine how the teams' 1970s would've been had those two picks been reversed--maybe no different at all. Also, it's so bizarre that Al Davis took quarterbacks in both of the first two rounds--and that, in 1968, one of them was a black guy from TSU and the other was a white guy from Alabama. Of course, it could've been that Davis always planned for Dickey to play at flanker--but still.

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  6. In the summer of 1968, I would've had a hard time resisting purchasing Jack Zanger's PRO FOOTBALL '68, published by Pocket Books of New York. Its cover price was only 65 cents. Also, the cover has a photograph of a big football helmet with "PRO FOOTBALL '68" printed on the side—the ear hole being in the loop of the six. There are two sections of action photographs, as well as little line sketches of each of the American and National Football League (AFL and NFL) coaches, and the first page promises the following:

    '68: over 300 player and coach biographies

    '68: preview--expert team-by-team analyses, rosters, depth charts

    '68: rookie roundup

    '68: official schedules

    Plus: 1967 preview, dramatic action photos, records, special features

    Authoritative, behind-the-scenes, complete, here's your own personal guarantee for a super season in '68!


    It's a very, very exciting presentation, and, so far, through the previews of the NFL Western Conference's Central Division teams, and I'd have to say that Zanger successfully delivered on the promises.

    Zanger forecasted the following order of finish in the Central: Packers, Lions, Bears and then Vikings. I think I would've expected the Gary Cuozzo acquisition might push Minnesota as high as second—though probably third, behind the newly Bill Munson-quarterbacked Detroit. I would not have see it with Chicago, sticking with Jack Concannon at quarterback and so heavily counting on Gale Sayers coming back from injury. Certainly, however, there's no way I would've foreseen any of these three teams overtaking Green Bay. The Packers were two-time Super Bowl champions, and it would've looked to me that the coaching of Phil Bengston, running of Jim Grabowski and linebacking of Fred Carr would continue the Vince Lombardi/Jim Taylor/Ray Nitschke legacy and keep Green Bay firing right into the 1970s.

    "The shuddering news from Green Bay," Zanger writes on Page 55, "is that the Packers are better than ever. Incredibly, the patched-up club that romped to a second consecutive Super Bowl triumph last January seems to have grown a tough new hide between seasons. It's hard to speculate on what it would take now to thwart the Pack from making it three in a row."

    In fact, Zanger doesn't even introduce the possibility that the move from Lombardi to Bengston at head coach would take the train off track. "It will seem strange this season not to see the familiar barrel-chested figure of Vince Lombardi stalking the sidelines" (Page 59) is as far as Zanger goes.

    A few things about Bengston:

    -- He chainsmokes during games.

    -- He was the last of Lombardi's original assistants from 1959.

    -- "It was Bengston who tooled the powerful Packer defenses that have been the backbone of their dynasty." (60)

    Zanger is enthusiastic about the way Green Bay's offensive skill positions is shaping up for 1968. Elijah Pitts and Jim Grabowski--"Vince Lombardi regards him as the best football player he ever coached" (61)--are back from injuries, and Travis Williams--"the most electrifying rookie to come along in years"--returns. All of this might encourage Bengston to shift fleet Donny Anderson to flanker, "where his speed could make him the most dangerous receiver in the league" (58). Third-year Don Horn has moved ahead of Zeke Bratkowski as Bart Starr's top reserve, which sets up an eventual handoff at that position. And Bengston is considering shifting his top draft choice, Texas-El Paso linebacker Fred Carr, to tight end.

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    1. Sorry ... it's Bengtson, not Bengston.

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  7. From the Tex Maule/Edwin Shrake preview of the NFL Central Division in the Sept. 16, 1968, Sports Illustrated: "The team Bengtson inherited may be the best of the long series of exemplary Packer clubs."

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    1. Yeah, I agree. His writing is very entertaining.

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  8. Green Bay opened the regular season with a solid win over hapless Philadelphia. But the alarms were sounding in Green Bay as early as Week 2. The Packers fell behind, 16-0, at half to visiting Minnesota. Green Bay got a touchdown to start the third quarter but missed the extra point (Don Chandler retired before the 1968 season). Deep in its own territory, Minnesota attempted a fourth-down-and-2-inches conversion early in the third quarter; Joe Kapp plowed forward. "The gamble was successful--just barely--and Minnesota went on to score, boosting its margin to 23-6," per the AP report. Kapp claims he made it; Bengtson was doubtful. Kapp: "You've got to have confidence in your defense to do something like that." The Vikings went on to a 26-13 victory and early lead in the NFL Central.

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  9. Green Bay lost again in Week 3, to Detroit. The Packers beat the Falcons, but then they lost to the Rams and tied the Lions, 14-14.

    Hope flickered in Week 7, as sore-armed Bart Starr eschewed long passes and mustered a 17-for-25 performance in a 28-17 win over the Cowboys. Dallas--losers to Green Bay in each of the previous two NFL championships--had still never beaten the Packers.

    But then came division losses to Chicago and Minnesota, and the Pack was done.

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    1. "Mathematically, we were still alive, barely alive," Jerry Kramer wrote in "Death By Inches," an excerpt from Jerry Kramer's Farewell to Football that was published in the Aug. 4, 1969, Sports Illustrated ...

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    2. Here's more Jerry Kramer from Page 59 of that SI (Warning: Explicit Language):

      ... With two games to go, Minnesota and Chicago were both 6-6, and we were 5-6-1. We all had tough games coming up. We were playing Baltimore, the Bears were playing Los Angeles and the Vikings were playing San Francisco. Baltimore had lost only one of its 12 games, but if we could beat them--we were playing them on Saturday in Green Bay--we'd still have a chance to capture our division.

      We didn't quit. We worked our butts off getting ready for the Colts. In recent years, we'd always been able to beat them when we had to. In the locker room before the game Bob Skoronski gave one of the most moving talks I'd ever heard from a teammate. His voice broke on every sentence, almost on every word. The words alone don't do justice to his feelings, but I recorded his talk: ...

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    3. ... "Fellas, I'm deeply emoitional. I really can't say much. These are the things that come to my mind today. We've dedicated a lot of games over the years to coaches and people. Today, fellas, there's a lot of guys who built the Packers to do what they are today who might be playing their last (home) game. I'm asking every guy here to go out and play their goddam level best for the guys who had a lot to do with the Green Bay Packers. Boys, we're wounded, but we're not dead. If you're gonna lay down and die out there you're going to do something I'm not going to do. Now let's go out there and keep our heads up and do something for the guys who've had a hell of a lot to do with making the Packers, the green-and-gold, what they are. A lot of guys have given a hell of a lot. Let's go out there and take it to somebody that's tried to take it away from us many, many times. We've had a hell of a lot of memories and a lot of fun, so let's go out there and take it to them. I apologize for my emotion, but that's the way I feel."

      I think everybody got a little choked up by Bob's speech, and then the coaches came into the meeting, and Phil told us to go out and block and tackle and if we blocked and tackled we could win the game. Phil is just not an overly emotional man. He's a beautiful man, fair , sensitive, intelligent, and he is a brilliant football man, but he is not an emotional man.

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  10. "An Empire Collapsed on Lambeau Field" was the headline on a Dec. 21 story in The Sporting News about the Week 13, 16-3 loss to Baltimore.

    "The future is clouded now, with the possibility of a spate of retirements contributing to the murkiness," Terry Bledsoe wrote.

    "... Now the team has to learn to live with its first record under .500 since 1958, and now the Packers will have to watch a Super Bowl game from the paying seats, or on television.

    "And what of Lombardi, who fulfilled his promise to leave the coaching of the team to Bengtson? 'It's premature to talk about the season,' he said.

    "'Call me next week and I'll be happy to get together with you. It isn't over yet.'"

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  11. The season closed with a road date to meet the Bears, who were still in contention for the division title. Both Chicago and Minnesota entered the final Sunday with 7-6 records, but the Bears had beaten the Vikings in both of their regular-season meetings.

    In Philadelphia, the Vikings fended off, 24-17. Then, per the AP, they retreated to a "clubhouse radio" to listen to the final moments of the Packers-Bears game at Soldier Field ...

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  12. Starr would miss his fourth game of the season in Chicago. (The 34-year-old quarterback missed parts of three others, including one in which he participated in only one play.)

    On the Saturday night before the Dec. 15 game in Chicago, Packers GM Lombardi activated Don Horn, Green Bay's first-round draft choice out of San Diego State in 1967, who had been released from the Army only nine days earlier. When starting quarterback Zeke Bratkowski was injured in the first quarter in Chicago, Packers coach Bengtson sent in Horn to try to rally Green Bay from a 10-7 deficit. ...

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  13. Ronnie Bull ran eight yards for a score to start the fourth quarter (Gale Sayers missed the season's last five games after leading the NFL in rushing through midseason), and Mac Percival's extra point made it 28-17.

    Percival added a 26-yard field goal, and it was 28-20.

    Then Jack Concannon threw 51 yards to Dick Gordon for a score, and Percival's PAT pulled the Bears to within 28-27 with 3:58 to go. ...

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  14. So, the Central ...

    Minnesota 8-6
    Chicago 7-7
    Green Bay 6-7-1
    Detroit 4-8-2

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  15. "(B)ut nobody expects the Packers to be losers long," wrote Coy Williams in the Green Bay season review in the Super Bowl III program. "Not when Lombardi is up there keeping an eye on things."

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  16. It was a rough season in Detroit, but Lem Barney had a good year. The second-year cornerback from Jackson State was named first-team All-Pro after intercepting seven more passes (he had 10, three returned for touchdowns, as a rookie in 1967) and collecting a league-leading five fumble recoveries. He also emerged as a top-flight kick and punt returner. And he sought and forged a friendship with Marvin Gaye. The results were spectacular.

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  17. Century Division:

    -- The Browns (10-4) lost two of their first three games but then benched quarterback Frank Ryan in favor of Bill Nelsen, an ex-Pittsburgh whom Blanton Collier had acquired in May 1968. "Nelsen has been described as a 'take charge guy,'" Coy Williams wrote on Page 96 of the Super Bowl III program. "He didn't have the best passing record, the most touchdowns nor the least interceptions. He just kept the Browns winning." With Nelsen taking charge and Leroy Kelly running for league bests of 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns, Cleveland reeled off eight straight wins after a 2-3 start. (I'm starting to believe Kelly was to Jim Brown as Steve Young was to Joe Montana, as outstanding is to miraculous.) The first of the victories in the run was 30-20 over Baltimore, the Colts' only NFL loss all year.

    -- The Cardinals (9-4-1) lost three of their first four games but beat Cleveland twice and closed with four consecutive victories. And that's a pretty remarkable finish to a season that started in the wake of this remarkable Jack Olsen story, sprawling across pages 22 through 37 of the July 29, 1968, Sports Illustrated: "... It will come as no surprise to astute pro-football fans that the Cardinals of St. Louis have had a racial problem. The lid blew off the simmering pot at the end of last season, and since then deep thinkers have been trying to figure out what is uniquely rotten about this team. They might have saved their energies. The Cardinals are working hard and fruitfully on their racial problems, and though the situation they have is probably slightly worse than that on any other NFL team, it is not so much worse that the rest can be sanctimonious about St. Louis. ..."

    -- "There was one dizzy afternoon in late October, after six games, when the Saints were in a three-way tie with Cleveland and St. Louis for leadership in the Century division," Coy Williams wrote on Page 109 of the Super Bowl III program. "But no one seriously expected New Orleans to be a title contender so soon. Sure enough, the club went into an extended skid, dropping seven games in a row before winning the finale." The second-year Saints finished 4-9-1, and, per the AP, made an offer to turn over the team to Vince Lombardi. He declined.

    -- "Anyone looking for a good long shot in the NFL should consider the Pittsburgh Steelers," read the Tex Maule/Edwin Shrake Century Division preview in the Sept. 16, 1968, Sports Illustrated. Coach Bill Austin, a former Lombardi assistant coach in Green Bay, never found the right recipe in Pittsburgh. The Steelers lost their first six. They beat the Eagles by 6-3, the Falcons by 41-21 and then tied the Cardinals at 28. That turned out to be the hot streak. Five losses ensued, and Austin was fired the day after the 2-11-1 finish.

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  18. Like the Saints, the Atlanta Falcons tried to lure Lombardi out of Green Bay. Like the Steelers, the Falcons hired a former Lombardi assistant coach. Like the Saints, Steelers and Packers, the Falcons finished out of the playoff running in 1968.

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  19. Per Wikipedia, the story goes that the Falcons sought Lombardi as their first coach in their expansion season of 1966. Rejected, Atlanta ended up bringing in Norb Hecker because Lombardi did not recommend him for the job. (Check out the Wikipedia link.) After accumulating but four wins over its first two seasons, Atlanta's 1968 prospects appeared extraordinarily bleak. The top three Falcons running backs in 1967 had been starting halfback Junior Coffey, starting fullback Tom Moore and reserve Ronnie Rector. Coffey was injured during the 1968 training camp and lost for the season; Moore retired, and Rector was killed in an motorcycle accident. And the running back that Atlanta drafted highest in 1968, Jim Hagle of Southern Methodist, failed to even make the team. The quarterback that Atlanta brought in from Minnesota to back up and presumably challenge starter Randy Johnson--1963 Rose Bowl MVP Ron Vander Kelen of Wisconsin--also failed to make the final cut. Tommy McDonald, an eventual Hall-of-Famer who had started at flanker in 1967, also was waived Sept. 10, just four days before the regular season. (McDonald ended up latching on with the Century-champion Browns for the 1968 season.)

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  20. The Falcons' first three games were at Minnesota (an eventual division champion), at home against Baltimore (the eventual NFL champion) and at San Francisco (which would go 7-6-1). Atlanta lost all three games, and Hecker was fired.

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  21. In came former Vikings coach Norm Van Brocklin. After a Week 4, 37-7 shellacking by the defending-champion Packers, Atlanta then hosted the 4-0 Giants.

    There exists some dynamite NFL Films footage of this game that is, sadly, no longer available at YouTube. In it, Van Brocklin is shown urging his troops to engage in "none of that harried high-school stuff," and commentator Pat Summerall praises his fellow former NFL standout for keenly comprehending the game "as only one who has played the game can." The Falcons upset the Giants and Fran Tarkenton, the quarterback with whom Van Brocklin had feuded in Minnesota, 24-21.

    The following week, the Falcons surged to a 14-0 second-quarter lead at Los Angeles--but fell, 27-14. Only once more would Atlanta win the rest of the 1968 season for a 2-12 finish.

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  22. Norb Hecker, incidentally, ended up linking up with Bill Walsh. He followed Walsh from Stanford to the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he won four Super Bowl rings as coach of linebackers and defensive backs. He coached a year in Amsterdam in the World League of American Football. He was married to the same woman for 46 years. Walsh ended up speaking at his 2004 memorial service, and his obituary appeared in USA Today. That's a heck of a successful life right there.

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  23. Incidentally, I should note that I understand NFL Films' vigorous policing of the Internet for infringement of its copyright; if I had produced and owned such fantastic and valuable stuff, I'd probably be pretty protective of it, too. That said, I really do wish they would loosen up on that stuff, because it sure would be fun to have more affordable access to more of their stuff. Here's an email I sent out to them a little bit ago ...

    Date: January 19, 2014 11:54:48 PM CST
    To: licensing@nfl.com
    Subject: Game of the Week broadcasts, 1965-86

    Hi. Please consider substantially reducing the cost of the http://www.nflfilms.com/specialorders/gameOfTheWeek.php programs from $50 per episode. Better yet, please consider making them available for viewing on your web site or YouTube. So many of us who are actually old enough to remember these games would love to see them again, but the $50-per-show price is prohibitive. Thanks.

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  24. In PRO FOOTBALL '68, Jack Zanger wrote on Page 130 that new 49ers coach Dick "Nolan will probably settle his quarrelsome quarterback situation by installing confident George Mira in the regular spot ahead of John Brodie, the rich but inconsistent 12-year veteran. Steve Spurrier, the headlined Heisman Trophy winner of 1966, would like the starting job too, but Mira outranks him in poise and experience."

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  25. Through 1967, John Brodie had played 11 NFL seasons, and one of them, 1965, was truly outstanding. Fortunately for him, it came at the height of the AFL's daring talent siege reportedly championed by Al Davis. In what Sports Illustrated labeled "The Fabulous Brodie Caper," Brodie and his representatives converted a huge offer from the AFL's Houston Oilers into an unprecedented contract from his old team, the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. Tex Maule, for example, thought it was madness, and, from there, "the million-dollar quarterback" narrative wrote itself.

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  26. In Open Field--"Pro football's most controversial quarterback tells it all"--John Brodie (with James D. Houston) wrote on pages 122 through 124, "You can't play very good football when you're hating the fans, and not communicating with the coaches, and uptight about the young quarterback who's gunning for your job, and letting the defensive linemen call your bluff. ... There are a lot of reasons not to like football. One of them, for the player, is being overwhelmed by it, as I almost was in 1967."

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  27. Another thing that was going on in this period with Brodie is that he went to work fixing his marriage. Pages 110-112:

    ... Sue and I were going through a pretty rough time in our marriage. We just weren't getting along. The problem clearly was not outside. It was inside. It was in the spring of 1966 that for the first time I felt a powerful need to look inside myself, to somehow get far enough outside of my own self-preoccupation to see what was really going on inside.

    I didn't know where to start. I just felt the need. I was looking for answers before I even knew what the questions were. Some friends told us about a seminar down in Monterey, a kind of encounter group, which sounded interesting. Sue and I had never been involved in anything like that. It wasn't the sort of thing football players bothered with. But we decided to try it. We had to start somewhere. If we hadn't tried this seminar we would have stumbled into another one with a similar goal--which was basically to start people understanding themselves a little better. Programs were popping up all over California. ...

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  28. Brodie tells about a frustrating but really exercise that involved working a T-square puzzle with his wife:

    ... That was actually an exercise in noncommunication. It exposed a weakness but didn't go much farther. What I gained was a lot of awareness about what I did not know, which in some ways left me worse off than before.

    But this one weekend also opened my eyes to several things: the need for better communication, my own general lack of awareness, and the need for a shift in my relationships with other people. Until then I had been too much preoccupied with appearances, with how I looked in public, what I wore, the kind of attention I could draw to myself, the stories I could tell in a bar or around a dinner table, and with being one of the guys. These things were of supreme importance to me. I aspired to be what I thought was an interesting person. After that seminar, although I had a long way to go, I began to see the value in being an interested person. It was a step. ...

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  29. So, as Brodie felt the pressure to perform up to his giant contract and simultaneously concentrated more on being a better husband, his statistics in 1966 and '67 regressed to their pre-1965 levels. The 49ers went .500 both seasons, and they changed coaches. Brodie didn't much know the new guy, Dick Nolan, who had been one of Tom Landry's assistant coaches at Dallas the previous six years. Page 127 of Open Field:

    ... On the day he first asked me to come into his office, I didn't know where he stood in his thinking about the team, or about me, and I didn't much care. All I really wanted from this interview was a chance to explain why I wanted out. ...

    When I first walked into his office that day he seemed unnecessarily gruff, short, remote. It put me a little off balance.

    He was talking to an assistant coach. Without looking up or saying hello, he said, "I'll be with you in a minute," which sounded to me like I'll get to you when I call for you.

    I wasn't in a very charitable mood to begin with. This pissed me off. His next line didn't improve my outlook. When the assistant coach left, Nolan said, "You want to talk to me?" ...

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  30. But the meeting got better. Brodie writes than Nolan assured him that he would get an equal opportunity to prove himself alongside Mira and Spurrier in the 1968 training camp and exhibition season. Page 130:

    ... Nolan proved to be a man of his word. I hustled my tail off in training camp. During the exhibition games, Mira, Spurrier, and I all put in equal time. When the season opened, whatever Dick's evaluation methods were, I got the nod.

    It turned out to be a very rewarding year for me. We had a fine new receiver, Clifton McNeil, acquired in a trade from Cleveland, who caught seventy-one balls that season to lead the NFL in 1968. For the team it was a transition year, a building year. We finished third. We played good offense. And I had proven to myself that I could still play top football. Nolan had agreed to judge only my ability to play the position, and I had done a good job. ...

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  31. Brodie threw and completed more passes for more yards than any quarterback in the NFL. In a 28-13, Week 3 win over Atlanta, Brodie completed 17 of 20 passes. "It was unfortunate," Coy Williams wrote in his 49ers-season review for the Super Bowl III game program, "that Brodie and the 49ers had to compete in the same division as the mighty Baltimore and Los Angeles clubs. The best he could get in four meetings with these powerhouses was one time and three losses. The 49ers finished with a 7-6-1 record."

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  32. Sue was still with his when his improved play and foray into Scientology got him on the cover of a 1971 SI for a Robert F. Jones feature titled, "The Prime of Mr. John Brodie."

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  33. It might be telling that it's Brodie's daughter and not his wife who was quoted in this 2012 story about his ongoing recovery.

    But, whatever. Maybe Sue was just out at the store when the reporter came by. I'm hoping Mr. and Mrs. Brodie are getting ready to kick back on the couch at home in La Quinta tomorrow afternoon and root together against the hated Seahawks in tomorrow's Super Bowl XLVIII.

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  34. The Rams went 10-3-1 and finished second in the Western Conference's Coastal Division. In Week 12, Los Angeles was 10-2 after whipping Minnesota, 31-3; Baltimore was 11-1. In Week 13, the Colts would be playing Saturday, Dec. 7, at defending Super Bowl-champion Green Bay, and the Rams would be hosting Chicago on Sunday, Dec. 8. Then the Colts and Rams would finish the regular season on Sunday, Dec. 15, with a game in Los Angeles.

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  35. In 1967, both Baltimore and Los Angeles had finished with 11-1-2 records, and the Rams won the tiebreaker to go to the playoffs. So, going into Week 13, you had to feel pretty good about your chances again in 1968 if you were an L.A. fan. The first 11 minutes of this shows four of the 1968 Rams' wins, and they look great.

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  36. But Week 13 1968 was a very bad weekend for Rams fans. On Saturday, the Colts went into Lambeau Field and downed the champs, 16-3. And, on Sunday, the Bears came to Los Angeles and won, 17-16.

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  37. The Sporting News reported that 5 seconds remained when the Rams' three-down possession ended. Commissioner Pete Rozelle suspended Norm Schachter's six-man officiating crew for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs. The entire team of officials was held responsible for the error, TSN reported, because each member of the crew is required to count plays. "Each of the six uses the same method--a rubber band which is moved progressively on one hand from the index finger (first down) to the middle finger (second) then the ring finger (third) and finally the little finger (fourth down)."

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  38. Finally, with the Coastal Division clinched, the Colts went to Los Angeles in Week 16 and won, 28-24, to complete a 13-1 regular season.

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    Replies
    1. Also, the Rams fired Coach George Allen on the day after Christmas, but then they kissed and made up about two weeks later.

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  39. This is a special Comments Flow! Edition of an HP Special Report ... Getting ahead of my plan here, but here's a two-hour video of NBC's original broadcast of Super Bowl III. Go get your Gowdy on while you can.

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  40. The Jets and Colts who come out for the coin toss are Nos. 24 (Johnny Sample) and 12 (Joe Namath) for New York and Nos. 43 (Lenny Lyles), 19 (John Unitas) and 25 (Alex Hawkins) for Baltimore.

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  41. The Super Bowl videos have been taken down.

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  42. And now the "Vault" link to the Jan. 6, 1969, Sports Illustrated goes to an ad for "The Bleacher Report."

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  43. In the Jan. 7, 1969, Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville, there was an AP report that Joe Namath said at least four four AFL quarterbacks were better passers than the Colts’ Earl Morrall: himself, Daryle LaMonica of Oakland, John Hadl of Kansas City and Bob Griese of Miami. He wes also reported to have added that his own backup, Babe Parilli, might have fared better with the Colts than did Morrall.

    In the same story for the AP, Ralph Bernstein reported that Don Shula shrugged off Baltimore’s being an 18-point favorite. “We were favored to beat the Browns in 1964 for the championship and lost.”

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  44. That same day, the AP had a story about the AFL's Eastern Division All-Stars, and it appears that Oilers coach Wally Lemm got to pick his team for the Jan. 19 game in Jacksonville, Fla. His quarterback choices were Griese and Namath. The Western Division quarterbacks were San Diego's Hadl and Kansas City's Len Dawson.

    I should've noticed in that previous AP report that the Chargers' Hadl was mistakenly listed as playing for the Chiefs. Either that, or the Chiefs' Dawson was mistakenly listed as Hadl. It makes me wonder which one of those two guys Namath thought was better than Morrall.

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  45. “The big question in the game is defense,” wrote Ralph Bernstein in the AP preview that appeared in the Jan. 11 Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville. “The Jets don’t appear to match the Colts in this department, which could be the story of the game."

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  46. My daughter's foot and our kitty cat, River, have grown mightily in the last 12 months. Thank you, Lord!

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  47. The Jets are going to win this game. I’ve been trying to figure out when 46-year-old me on Jan. 12, 1969, would’ve decided that was going to happen. Certainly it wasn’t at kickoff.

    Wikipedia’s game summary is, not surprisingly, fantastic.

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  48. One of the first striking things for me about the Wikipedia summary is that Preston Pearson is one of the Colts' captains. What a career that guy had, playing in Super Bowl III with the Colts, IX with the Steelers and X, XII and XXIII with the Cowboys.

    The other captains are Lenny Lyles and Johnny Unitas (both of the University of Louisville) for the Colts and Joe Namath and Johnny Sample for the Jets. To the extent that Namath was nervous coming out for the coin toss with his old idol, Unitas, on the other side, he sure seemed to pull himself together pretty quickly.

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  49. There are a couple of bad early signs for the Colts.

    One, the Jets immediately come out running at the right side of Baltimore's defense, and this is going to turn out to be an effective strategy throughout the game. On the first two plays from scrimmage, Namath hands off to Matt Snell, who runs behind Winston Hill blocking Ordell Braase.

    "Ewbank’s gameplan was to run away from Smith and at the right side of the Colts line, where defensive end Ordell Braase was matched up with Hill, the Jets left tackle," says The Jets Blog. "Five years earlier, Hill had been an eleventh round draft pick of the Colts and had been cut after having been tormented by Braase in practice."

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  50. On the other hand, in the wake of such exposure, Hill is going to be voted to four straight Pro Bowls. And Snell's going to finish with 121 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries (along with four receptions for 40 yards)--plus, he's going to become famous enough to get some Miller Lite action after his playing career.

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  51. The other thing that happens in the game's opening possession is that the Colts are going to lose a safety, All-Pro Rick Volk, on a helmet-to-helmet collision with Snell. Says Wikipedia, "Volk was rushed to the hospital after he went into convulsions. He was put in the intensive care ward for two days and moved to a regular room on the Tuesday after the game."

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  52. So, just a few plays into the game, there's an indication that Weeb Ewbank has recognized a significant weakness in Baltimore's defense to exploit, and the Colts have lost one of their star performers in the secondary. And Joe Namath hasn't even yet thrown a pass.

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  53. There's no way, of course, that I would've decided that quickly that the Colts were in trouble, though. In fact, when the Jets punt the ball to Baltimore, and the Colts come out with the following plays ...

    -- Earl Morrall, 19-yard completion to John Mackey
    -- Tom Matte, 10-yard sweep
    -- Jerry Hill, 7-yard sweep
    -- Matte, 1-yard run
    -- Hill, 5-yard run
    -- Hill, run for loss of 3
    -- Morrall, pass incomplete to Jimmy Orr
    -- Morrall, 15-yard pass to Tom Mitchell on third-and-13 to the New York 19

    ... I would be certain that Baltimore was going to run away with this thing.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, cool ... Jerry Hill, the Colts' fullback, played six-man football in high school in Wyoming.

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    2. Tom Mitchell couldn't cut it with the Raiders, Curt Gowdy says.

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  54. But then came three incompletions, and Colts kicker Lou Michaels (of the University of Kentucky) missed a 27-yard field-goal try.

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  55. Baltimore again threatened to score late in the first quarter. David Lee sent a 51-yard punt to the New York 4. After a pass from Namath, George Sauer was tackled by Lyles and fumbled at the 12. Linebacker Ron Porter recovered. After the Jets' Gerry Philbin stopped Hill for a loss of one yard on first down, the quarter ended with the Colts facing second-and-11 at the New York 13. The score remained 0-0.

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  56. Matte swept seven yards to the New York 6 on second down, but then, in the end zone, the Jets' Randy Beverly fielded a high-flying ricochet pass from Morrall off Mitchell's shoulder pads.

    With 14:09 to play in the first half, I would not yet have decided the Colts were in trouble; I would've thought New York was fortunate to not be behind by a couple of touchdowns.

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  57. But then the Jets strike. From the 20, after the interception touchback, four straight Snell runs into the "spongy right side of the Colt defense," Steve Sabol calls it in his The World Championship of Professional Football production for NFL Films, go for one, seven, six and 12 yards. Then New York goes pass, pass, pass, pass, run, pass and run to the Baltimore 4. With 9:03 to play in the first half, Snell goes back into, Sabol calls it, "the sagging right side of the Colt line," and the result is a four-yard scoring run: 7-0, Jets.

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    Replies
    1. An expert drive. I've always figured that picking Namath as MVP was jive--that it should've been Snell. Snell is great so far in this game, but one thing that I haven't given enough credit to is that Namath was calling his own plays. He had the Colts' great defense totally off balance through this 80-year-old drive.

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  58. Colt opportunities continue to fizzle almost as soon as they flare:

    -- Morrall throws to Matte for 30 and into Jet territory, but the drive stalls and Michaels again misses a field goal (this time from 46 yards).

    -- Matte gallops 58 yards around right end, only to be chased down at the New York 16 by Jet Bill Baird, scampering from the opposite side of the field. And then Sample intercepts Morrall at the 2.

    -- Finally, there's the famous Morrall flea-flicker interception where he throws across the field for Hill (and is picked off by Jim Hudson) instead of toward wide-open Jimmy Orr on his own left side of the field--to whom Morrall had completed a touchdown pass on the same play in a game earlier that same season. Morrall died last year at age 79, and that play figured prominently in every obituary written about that guy.

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    Replies
    1. Gowdy immediately identifies Orr as wide open in the end zone as the play develops--even before Morrall throws the ball. That's bizarre.

      "You never know about sports," Gowdy says as goes to the half.

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  59. Morrall's third interception was the last play of the first half. The underdogs still lead, 7-0, and I am at least starting to wonder what the heck is going on with the Colts.

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    Replies
    1. The Jets finished with 337 yards; the Colts finished with 324 yards. But the Jets had only 1 turnover (a lost fumble), while the Colts had 5 turnovers (one lost fumble and FOUR interceptions).

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  60. Replies
    1. There is no NBC commentary over the band's performance. This is not at all like Bob Costas's (stellar) ushering us through the Olympics opening ceremonies. This is like Curt and Al cracked open the window at the front of the press box, pointed the microphone toward the field and stepped out for a couple of hot dogs.

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    2. "God's work must truly be our own," FAMU's PA announcer says as the band stands in a giant "USA" and closes out a medley that includes "We Shall Overcome." Then he invites the Orange Bowl crowd to sing along with the chorus of the closing number, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

      Everything about 1969 is fascinating.

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    3. And now here's Bob Hope. He tells the sideline reporter at the end of the interview, "See you in the desert." Billy Casper is going to win the 1969 Bob Hope Classic in Rancho Mirage, California.

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  61. Replies
    1. Rick Volk is back in the game in the third quarter.

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    2. Gowdy points out that Bubba Smith has played in only two losing games in the last four years.

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    3. On a third-and-24 from the Baltimore 25, Colt defensive back Jerry Logan is unable to control the ball after slipping into position to intercept a Joe Namath pass into the flats. There was plenty of open field ahead of him, but, instead of Baltimore drawing even on an interception return, New York goes on to extend its lead to 10-0 as Jim Turner comes on for a field goal (the first make by either kicker in four tries).

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    4. As Baltimore punts to close the ensuing, meek possession, Gowdy wonders whether we'll see Unitas instead of Morrall when the Colts next get the ball.

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    5. SPORT Magazine picks the MVP. I'm pretty sure Dick Schaap was the SPORT editor at this time.

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    6. Babe Parilli comes on to replace Namath on a third-and-9 from the Baltimore 24 after Namath injures his throwing hand. His pass in incomplete, and then Parilli stays in to hold for Jim Turner's second field goal. It's now 13-0, New York.

      My dad loved Babe Parilli.

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  62. With the Jets ahead 13-0, Baltimore coach Don Shula benched Earl Morrall (six-of-17 passing for 71 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions) in favor of John Unitas. And, for sure, I would've been expecting Unitas to come in and lead a comeback. "Namath didn't put the Colts away when he had the chance," I would be thinking to myself.

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    Replies
    1. Misfire by Unitas on third-and-5 throw toward open Jimmy Orr ... "the ball wobbled out there," Gowdy says.

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    2. OK, at this point, Colts fans must've been truly distraught. Namath has been fantastic. Snell has been fantastic. Don Maynard hasn't even caught a pass. The Jets' offensive line has been fantastic. The Jets' defense has been fantastic. Jim Turner has made two throws in a row. Even Johnny Unitas appears to be of no help today.

      And now Namath's back from his injury.

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  63. I think Sabol was a little too hard on himself.

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  64. John Unitas did lead a 14-play, 80-yard drive to get Baltimore to within 16-7 with 3:19 to play. And then, after Tom Mitchell recovered Lou Michaels's onside kick, Unitas did complete three straight passes--six yards to Willie Richardson, 14 to Jimmy Orr, five back to Richardson and out of bounds--to get the Colts down to the New York 19 with somewhere between 3:14 and 2:21 to play. It appears in the movie that Sabol did show different angles of those three catches multiple times to heighten the sense of pursuit, and certainly language like "one last moment for the master" at least threatens to be over the top.

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    Replies
    1. I think Sabol's apology is justified. I've seen this film a bunch of times, and for years I thought the Colts made the score 16-7 with about 8 minutes left. In fact, as you say, there was only 3:19 left.

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  65. But down nine points with two-and-a-half minutes to go at the New York 19, having just recovered one onside kick, certainly I would've absolutely thought the Colts were still in contention.

    The really odd thing to me is, after three straight incompletions, facing fourth-and-5 at the same New York 19 with 2:21 to play, Don Shula elects to keep Unitas on the field instead of having Michaels try a 36-yard field goal that could've gotten the Colts within six points.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that strike me as nuts. But Michaels had already missed two field goals in the game, and maybe Shula had given up on him.

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    2. Shula had benched Morrall. He had benched cornerback Lenny Lyles, who kept getting beaten by George Sauer. And now he had basically benched Michaels, his kicker.

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  66. Oh, and the Colts still had three timeouts. Had Michaels hit the field goal, Baltimore could've kicked the ball deep and sent what many at the time considered the best defense ever formulated out to try to stop New York on three downs, calling timeout after each play, and perhaps force a punt even before the two-minute warning.

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  67. New York took over with 2:21 to play, and, this time, the Jets went right at the vaunted Bubba Smith/Billy Ray Smith, left side of the Colt defense:

    NY 20 1–10 Snell 1 run right (Bubba Smith). Baltimore–first time out.
    NY 21 2–9 Snell 6 run right (Logan). Two–Minute Warning.
    NY 27 3–3 Snell 4 run right (Gaubatz). Baltimore–second time out (1:54).
    NY 31 1–10 Snell 2 run right tackle (Boyd).
    NY 33 2–8 New York penalized 5 for delay of game.
    NY 28 2–13 Snell 1 run right (B.R. Smith).

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  68. Replies
    1. Gowdy says Namath "just about played a perfect game," and I now agree. Even his misses were important--deep tries that kept Baltimore from figuring out that Maynard was hurt and packing in the defenders around the line. His play calling was outstanding, and I don't think there was a single play where he appeared to hurry and flub, for example, a dump-off pass to a back. Definitely the most valuable player.

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  69. Because I'm such a big Shula fan, I find this game so fascinating with regard to his decision making later in the Dolphins. Did he think he made a mistake in not going with Unitas this whole game, leading him to play Bob Griese instead of Earl Morrall in 1973 against Washington? Having decided to not send out Michaels for the field-goal try after two misses here, what was he thinking after he sent out Garo Yepremian late against Washington and saw a block get turned into a Redskins touchdown? And, later, how much of his experience around Unitas and Joe Namath influenced his interest in Dan Marino after plodding along with David Woodley and Don Strock?

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  70. Unitas attended (since-closed) Saint Justin's School in Pittsburgh. Namath went to Beaver Falls, Pa., High. Marino went to Pittsburgh's Central Catholic High. Time-traveling Shula could scouted all three of them in about a two-hour drive.

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  71. One of the odd things about this game is that, for as much of a milestone, passing-of-the-torch game this was in pro-football history, it was Unitas and the Colts who ended up winning a future Super Bowl. (Even Morrall and Shula, of course, went on to win two with the Dolphins.) Namath, however, never again started a game and beat a team with a winning record.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah he was definitely a shooting star.

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    2. Tom Seaver and the Mets never won another World Series.

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  72. On Saturday, January 18, 1969, the number-5 UK Wildcats went to Knoxville and squeezed out a 69-66 victory over the Big Orange. It may not seem like that big a deal, but it was UK's first victory in Knoxville since February 29, 1964, when the Cats won 42-38. In fact, before this game, UT Coach Ray Mears had a record of 7-5 against the Big Blue.

    This was UK's 1000th win in school history, and made them the first team to reach that mark. Their record went to 11-2 overall, and 5-0 in the SEC.

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  73. After a week off, UK (still ranked number 5) came back for games at LSU and Alabama. On Saturday, January 25, 1969, Pete Maravich went for 52 points (on 20-48 shooting) and 11 rebounds against the Cats, but UK won 108-96. This was a breakneck game -- the two teams combined to take 182 field goals.

    On Monday, January 27, 1969, UK went to Alabama for two firsts: it was their first game in Coleman Coliseum and their first game against new Alabama coach C.M. Newton. Alabama's slow-paced attack gave UK all sorts of trouble, and the Cats had to go to overtime before pulling out an 83-70.

    After that win, UK was 13-2 overall, and 7-0 in the SEC.

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  74. UK was really good in 1968-69. I had no sense of that when I was growing up.

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    Replies
    1. The saga of UK basketball from 1966 to 1970 is really underrated in terms of how stressful it must have been to the fan base -- especially if you consider the success that UCLA and Western were having at that same time, and the fact that Rupp's career was certainly coming to an end.

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  75. Finally, I so love the NFL Films production on the 1968 season, NFL 68: The Year of the Game, written by James Green, that last year I typed out the whole script. I recommend reading the following while listening to this YouTube playlist of Basil Kirchin and other music, much of which was used in the movie. For example, "March of the Defiant Ones" plays during the highlights of the Colts' win over Cleveland in the NFL championship. Toward the end of the playlist, there are several songs that are used in Steve Sabol's Super Bowl III movie, not the James Green 1968-season film--but you'll be done reading the script by then, anyway.

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    1. The National Football League begins, steeping in honeysuckle and hot summer to sweeten an appetite for impact.

      Pro football requires a quick head for technique, and it favors fast-flying hands and feet for execution But the essential demand is a stomach for the game. Winning is gut pride.

      During the preseason, pride goes and comes in many ways--before the fall.

      From the top, it looks executive and slick, but it's more. The game has soul. ...

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    2. The Redskins often seem like roustabouts at a carnival, setting up around hip-slinging Sonny Jurgensen.

      Fran Tarkenton is more exotic. When he scrambles, the New York Giants look like Roseland in a discotheque. ... They won their third game in a row and earned a murmur of title talk long absent from the big town.

      The Packers were manhandled in the Central Division. ... The Bears beat the Vikings twice. The Vikings beat the Lions twice. The Lions beat the Bears twice.

      In the fifth week, a joker turned up in the NFL deal. The title-bound Vikings breezed into New Orleans and got freeze-dried for fools. ...

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    3. The Saints were fully competitive after just two years in the league.

      When Norm Van Brocklin and Fran Tarkenton were together in Minnesota, Van Brocklin remarked that Tarkenton won games he shouldn't win--but he lost too many games he shouldn't lose. This Sunday, Tarkenton was working for Allie Sherman and the Giants, and Van Brocklin was the new head coach in Atlanta. True to form, according to Norm Van Brocklin, Tarkenton served up Atlanta's first victory. It was a good ol' day in Dixie, and it was a good ol' day when Norm Van Brocklin plucked an eye from the hated Chicago Bears, winning another game.

      At the other end of the Coastal Division, the 49ers, the Rams and the Baltimore Colts were picking over a long, dried-up bone of contention. In 1967, a record of 11 wins, one loss and two ties earned for the Baltimore Colts an entire season's worth of agony and frustration. Consequently, in 1968, the Colts quickly picked up that old dry bone and beat the Rams over the heads with it. And then they laid waste to the rest of the NFL, like Samson among the Philistines. ...

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    4. The Dallas Cowboys came on technically charged and balanced, like a clock, making time on a championship. They were the flashiest piece of work in the game.

      Some folks believe that the Pack has already been back--that the ghost of the Green Bay Packers returned and did their thing to Dallas. Spooked or flat beaten, the Cowboys got their clock cleaned. And when they came to play Cleveland for the honor in the East, they had no time left.

      The St. Louis Cardinals beat Cleveland twice, but in the year of the game, they forgot to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

      The Browns began badly. For five weeks, they were not related to the proud tradition of Cleveland Browns. And suddenly, they got well against Baltimore, dishing up the Colts' only defeat of the NFL season.

      At the half, Cleveland was forcing the play, but Dallas had countered sharply, mastering the advantage every time the charging Browns let slip a mistake. According to Bobby Layne, there are no losers--but time runs out. ...

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    5. Good morning, Mr. Phelps. The Philadelphia Eagles had a conspicuous wealth of potential-All-Pro talent. Your job, Jim, if you should accept it, is to explain to the people in Philadelphia why this team will self destruct in five seconds. Mission: Impossible.

      {I think I missed some of James Green's script here. There's an interview with Tom Woodeshick's wife, and, at some point, John Facenda says over it that the Eagle running back is a "game, tough player." But I don't have any more of that line, before picking back up the script with ...}

      Primitive people sing the poetry of this charmed life, in songs about lovers and hunters. We are hunters. If you think we are after meat, you are wrong. Meat is at the butcher's. We are hunters. Do not trample the furrow, little gazzelle. I am ready to show you the way you do not know. ...

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    6. The Western Conference playoff was never in real doubt. At one point, the incredible Colt defense did not permit a touchdown through four games of the season.

      After the rape of Cleveland, Baltimore was an overwhelming champion--certainly as great as any legendary champions in the rich lore of pro football. And all that remained was a cherry picking of the semi-interesting Super Bowl. ...

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    7. And, suddenly, as comedian Mort Sahl said of another matter, millions of people found themselves like a girl unexpectedly pregnant, trying to fall in love quickly. ...

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    8. {Finally, interrupting this coarse, PG-13 commentary, NFL Films runs almost three full minutes of wordless clips of the Jets' upset of the Colts, before James Green caps the movie with ...}

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    9. It's difficult to explain to the people in Baltimore that this is the year the game won.

      And then the movie ends brilliantly with the sound of a gong.

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