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Retro/Old School NFL thread

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
Am I the only person on this board that nerds out on old school NFL? I love to read about it, watch old games and videos/documentaries, and talk about the old school. I'm obsessed with 1988-1993 era but also quite fond of 1960's AFL and the early to mid-70's NFL. I figured I needed a thread to spew the random **** that comes to my head but feel free to join in post any pics, vids, whatever you want from any era of NFL history.

Just some questions to get some conversation started. We recently talked about Jack Pardee's 1979 NFL Coach Of The Year award in another thread and after looking into it I'm curious.

Why exactly did Jack Pardee win NFL Coach Of The Year in 1979?

I didn't start watching football until the early 90's so it was before my time. But looking at it now Pardee's Redskins missed the playoffs that year and finished 8-8 the year before so it's not like there was a big turn around. In fact, Pardee took over a Redskins team that hadn't had a losing season in almost a decade up to that point.

Meanwhile Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John Mckcay took his team to a division title in 1979, an expansion team that was 4 years old, a team that had won 7 total games in the previous three seasons(0-14 in 1976, 2-12 in 1977, 5-11 in 1978) and he took them to the NFC Championship Game in 1979. How in the hell did he not win Coach Of The Year?!
 

Double Barrel

Moderator / Admin
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Cool subject. I enjoy NFL history, as well.

I started reading one of a couple of books about the Houston Oilers recently. It's called Loser Takes All by Ed Fowler, who used to be a local sportswriter. It was released in 1997, and ol' Ed was apparently pretty bitter about the whole thing, especially since at that point the Oilers were already gone for Tennessee. I remember hearing Ed as one of the Three Amigos on Houston radio in the early '90's before there were dedicated sports talk radio stations.

The book makes me realize that not everything is as black and white as historical revisionists tend to portray. Yeah, there's no doubt that Bud Adams was a pain in the butt, but there's also shared blame for the local politicians, other sports owners (particularly Astros owners), local media, and the fans themselves.

Bud did not make that decision to move in a vacuum. He was basically told by everyone - fans, politicians, & media - that he was no longer welcomed in Houston. The city was obviously willing to build a new football stadium, but just not for Bud and the Houston Oilers.

While I greatly enjoy the sport of football as a fan, the business side of things truly emphasizes the point that it's an entertainment business and fans are just consumers and customers. Any "passion" we have for any of it is of our own making. These teams do not represent us as citizens any more than any other corporate brand represents us. Maybe it was different in the old days when my dad was a kid, and maybe even in the '70's during the magic times of Luv Ya Blue. But today? It's a product to be enjoyed like whipped cream.
 

Hookem Horns

Administrator
Staff member
BTW, McKay was a great HC and Doug Williams/McKay probably would have won a championship there if Hugh Culverhouse hadn't been that generations version of the McNairs.
Totally this. Everyone thinks of the Bucs as the worst expansion team ever and often forget that they made it to the NFC Championship game in just 3 years. I remember when the Texans started and someone saying that they hope the Texans don’t become like the Bucs. I said “you mean make it to the conference championship game in year three? I would take that.”. The Texans still haven’t gotten that far.

I grew up a fan of both the Bucs and Oilers. Bucs because of the uniforms and Doug Williams and the Oilers because of Houston and Earl. I almost had my dream Super Bowl in 1979. The Steelers and Rams ruined that for me.

BTW, speaking of vintage NFL, look what I came across today while moving some things ...

bucs.jpg

Does anyone know what this is?
 

Lucky

Moderator
Staff member
Totally this. Everyone thinks of the Bucs as the worst expansion team ever and often forget that they made it to the NFC Championship game in just 3 years. I remember when the Texans started and someone saying that they hope the Texans don’t become like the Bucs. I said “you mean make it to the conference championship game in year three? I would take that.”. The Texans still haven’t gotten that far.

I grew up a fan of both the Bucs and Oilers. Bucs because of the uniforms and Doug Williams and the Oilers because of Houston and Earl. I almost had my dream Super Bowl in 1979. The Steelers and Rams ruined that for me.

BTW, speaking of vintage NFL, look what I came across today while moving some things ...

View attachment 6008

Does anyone know what this is?
Pencil sharpener? Bottle of NFL licensed Old Spice?
 

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
How about some old school highlights of Dan Marino's arm. That arm was insane. Also the only QB to beat the 85 Bears.

It's interesting to look closer at how Marino never got back to a Super Bowl after the loss to San Fran in Super Bowl XIX. They choke at home against New England in the 85 playoffs then they go 4 years without even making the playoffs. Perhaps his best chance to get back was in 92, his last season with the Marks Brothers, they had a beaten up Bills team right where they wanted them in Miami in the AFC Championship Game but Buffalo beat the brakes off of them. I remember watching that game and seeing how frustrated Marino was after the game.

Got to wonder what 93 would have looked like had he not got hurt that year, the Dolphins went 9-7 without him and just barely missed the playoffs, who knows how those playoffs turn out with Marino's Dolphins in there at the #4 or even #3 seed.

94 was probably his last realistic shot at getting back to the Super Bowl, that was a good team. They lost to San Diego in one of the better playoff games I can remember watching as a kid, I believe the Dolphins blew a big lead then San Diego went on to upset Pittsburgh to win AFC Championship with Stan Humphries of all people playing QB.

This leads to a whole other rabbit hole of just how many playoff choke jobs Don Shula has endured as a head coach. If not for his 2 Super Bowls and the 17-0 season he would probably have the legacy of the biggest choke artist head coach in NFL history:

-1964 Colts dominated NFL that year got upset in NFL Championship Game loss to underdog Browns
-1967 Colts miss playoffs I believe even though they finish like 11-1-2 they lose a tie breaker to Rams in the finale
-1968 Colts win NFL Championship lose to Jets in Super Bowl III biggest upset of all time.
-1971 Dolphins lose Super Bowl VI to Dallas only team in Super Bowl history to never score a touchdown

Then they dominate 1972 undefeated and win back to back in 1973, easily one of the greatest teams of all time. But

-1974 Dolphins lose "Sea Of Hands" playoff game to Raiders which was dubbed Super Bowl 8.5 by the media
-1979 Dolphins upset at home in playoffs by Oilers
-1981 Dolphins lose the epic playoff game to the Kellen Winslow Chargers in overtime
-1982 Dolphins lose Super Bowl XVII to Redskins
-1983 Dolphins upset at home by Seahawks in playoffs(Miami was 12-4, Seattle 9-7)
-1984 Dolphins lose Super Bowl XIX to 49ers
-1985 Dolphins lose to Patriots at home in AFC Championship Game

-Miss Playoffs from 86 to 89 with the best QB in football

Then you got the playoff losses to Buffalo in 90 then the 92 AFC Championship Game in Miami then the upset loss to San Diego in 94. I think they lost to Buffalo again in 95 playoffs but can't remember if Shula was still coach or retired. There is a great episode of "Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame" on why Marino never won a title, they talk about all the running backs Miami could have drafted(but didn't) and how good Buffalo was that always seemed to stop Miami every year. Also some of the old Dolphins from the 17-0 team put a lot of the blame right on him, they rip him pretty hard on that episode saying he wasn't that good and he wasn't a winner, I found that interesting.
 

gwallaia

Moderator
Staff member
Meanwhile Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John Mckcay took his team to a division title in 1979, an expansion team that was 4 years old, a team that had won 7 total games in the previous three seasons(0-14 in 1976, 2-12 in 1977, 5-11 in 1978) and he took them to the NFC Championship Game in 1979. How in the hell did he not win Coach Of The Year?!
I am reminded of a John McKay post-game quote when asked by a reporter what he thought of his team's execution. He replied, "I'm all for it."
 

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
I rewatched the 1992 AFC Championship Game between the Dolphins vs Bills in Miami for the first time last night. What an interesting game to look back on now. Joe Robbie Stadium was packed with a hot crowd and man oh man were these fans in for a disappointment. You had to believe going into this that Miami had this game and were on to Super Bowl XXVII. Thurman Thomas was all banged up, Jim Kelly was all banged up and didn't even play in the Bills' playoff games that got them here(The Comeback, and their road upset over #1 seed Steelers).

The Bills always had Miami's number back in this era but this was finally Miami's chance to stick it to their rivals and get Marino back in the Super Bowl. And **** they choked this thing so ******* bad, the Bills just completely mollywhopped them. I forgot that Miami had Keith Jackson an awesome tight end, he got hurt in this game and I think that was a big factor. Bruce Smith was just amazing in this game, they fucked Marino up pretty good.

Moon gets a lot of flack for The Comeback around here but man I got to say this AFC Championship choke by Marino is quite a bit worse and more embarrassing imo. Moon shredded Buffalo in the first half of that game, it was on the road in Buffalo where the crowd was just completely ******* hostile and once the wheels started to fall off in that game with special teams mistakes and bad defensive coverage, missed calls by the refs(ole dude stepped out of bounds before that one TD), no way you can pin that all on Moon. Hell, even after all that when Houston was down 38-35 late in the game the drive by Moon in that setting to tie the game and put it into overtime was pretty great. Here with this AFC Championship Game Marino just puts on a stinker of a performance turning the ball over left and right, this game was pretty well over at the half. It was 26-3 at one point in the 4th quarter and you got to feel like this was one of the more embarrassing defeats that gets overlooked. If Moon is a loser because he never could get to an AFCCG then where does that put Marino, who did get to AFCCG and even a Super Bowl only to get smashed like this.

This sends me down the rabbit hole of what if Marino didn't break his leg in 93? I believe they beat Buffalo in Buffalo early that year before he broke his leg, they were pretty good that year even without him. Wonder if that injury doesn't happen does Miami beat Buffalo again and get the #1 seed? That injury really changed everything for 93 because if it doesn't happen that Dolphin team likely finishes with one of the top 3 records in the AFC that year and that shakes up that whole 93 playoff tournament.
 

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
Going down the rabbit hole of the Texans 2002 expansion draft, I finally found a full list of everyone that was available to us. I missed all of this in real time cus we didn’t have cable or internet so I had no idea who all we were able to choose from.

I learned a while back that we had a chance to get Willie Roaf. This blew my mind because Roaf was excellent. I finally found out that he actually failed a physical due to injury in 2001 so he was pulled from the expansion draft. So we pick Boselli, who passes the physical but never plays a down because of injuries. Roaf went on to be one of the best o linemen for the Chiefs for a few years there.

Also seen that Bruce Matthews was available? He retired after 2001, would he have played in 02 if we picked him?

There were a lot of old guys on there like Bruce that I had no idea we’re still in the NFL in 2002, like Bill Romanowski, Randall McDaniel, Michael Sinclair, George Teague, Mark Stepnoski, Jamal Anderson. So many of the names on that list were just done, coming off major injuries or too old to play in the NFL or both.

Jesse Armstead the linebacker from the Giants was available he would have been a solid pick he had a few good years left in him even though he retired after 04 I believe.

Willie Mcginnest was there and probably would have been a wise pick, he played until like 2010 I think, he won 2 more rings with New England in 2003-2004 then he played like 3 solid years with the Browns.

Reuben Droughns was one we missed, he was available with a $300,000 contract on the cheap and would end up being a pretty good back a few years later, 2004-2005 he had over 1,200 yards those years and averaged over 4 yards a carry. Seems like Dominick Davis was better though so I'd say it worked out for the best.

Aside from Sharper, Glenn, Gary Walker, and Coleman man it was slim pickings, holy hell. My conspiracy theory is that the NFL didn’t want us to be a good team. Looking at what we had available to build with in the beginning this team had no chance those early years, the small batch of good players we got were playing in the last 2-3 years of their primes by 2002.
 
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Hookem Horns

Administrator
Staff member
My conspiracy theory is that the NFL didn’t want us to be a good team. Looking at what we had available to build with in the beginning this team had no chance those early years, the small batch of good players we got were playing in the last 2-3 years of their primes by 2002.
I think that was a pretty well-known fact in response to both the Panthers and Jags making their conference championship games in their 2nd seasons. Man, all of those names bring back memories, not necessarily good ones. At least I got to meet a bunch of good people during those years.
 

edo783

Hall of Fame
The Roaf thing was a total hatchet job. We were going to pick him, but then he was taken off the table at the last minute for an 'injury' which stuck us with Bosellie, who never played a snap.
 

Texecutioner

Hall of Fame
Getting Roaf instead of Boselli could have changed the whole trajectory of this franchise. How did he end up in Kansas City? Was it a trade or was he a free agent?
We got him in that expansion draft from what I remember. I couldn't even tell you how that all worked out.
 

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
Got up this morning and watched a game from 1989 that I found to be pretty fascinating, it was the Green Bay Packers at the San Francisco 49ers(it's on Youtube, pretty bad video quality though). This 49ers team was 9-1 coming into this game and on their way to a 14-2 Super Bowl winning season(this was the year they destroyed the Broncos 55-10) with Montana having a record year as far as passer rating. Got to be one of(if not THE) greatest teams of all 100 years of NFL history.

The Packers were 5-5 going into this game and this was essentially do or die for them to get into the Wild Card spot. Biggest thing about them in 1989 was quarterback Don Majkowski, who had one of the all time great "One Hit Wonder" seasons that year. He was leading the NFL in passing yards and touchdown passes going into this game and he would finish with over 4,300 passing yards and something like 28 touchdown passes(I'm too lazy to look up the numbers), which was outstanding for 1989.

So the Packers end up taking down the 49ers 21-17 in San Francisco. What a fantastic game though, really was like a playoff game. Very hard hitting game. Montana was in prime form, I believe at one point in the third quarter he was something like 22 of 28 as far as completions go.

Packers defensive end Tim Harris was a god damn monster. You never hear much about him these days but when you look him up his numbers were outstanding, he was one of the best pass rushers of this era.

Biggest play of the game is late with Green Bay at like the 4 yard line about to score, San Fran intercepts Majkowski and runs it back like 96 yards for a pick six that would have sealed the win. The refs call it back on a penalty with a 49er d-lineman lining up in the Neutral Zone, you couldn't really tell from the camera angle on the replay if it was a good call or not. Shortly after that Majkowski runs in a score and Green Bay goes up 21-17. Montana took them down the field late with a chance to win it but Green Bay came up with what has to be one of the all time great underrated stops, being able to hold this 1989 49ers team from winning the game like they usually always did. Never really seen anyone put the hits on Jerry Rice like the Green Bay secondary did here, you RARELY ever seen Rice get hit clean in his career but Green Bay put it on him here.

The Packers go on to finish 10-6 but miss the playoffs while San Fran never loses again, finishing 14-2 and just eviscerating their playoff opponents en route to winning Super Bowl XXIV in the most dominant Super Bowl performance of all time.

Perhaps this Packer team was the reason why they added another Wild Card team in 1990? This has got to be one of the best teams to ever miss the playoffs. And you got to think this was the team that drafted Tony Mandarich in 1989 draft when they COULD have had Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, Deion among others.

Got to wonder how this Packer team would have done in those 1989 playoffs too. I seriously doubt they could have beaten San Fran at home again but they pulled it off here so you never know. I know Majkowski's numbers that year are pretty impressive, I can't remember exactly but I think he had something like 5 fourth quarter game winning drives, almost all of Green Bay's games that year came down to the last drive/play. Interesting stuff.
 

Texecutioner

Hall of Fame
Got up this morning and watched a game from 1989 that I found to be pretty fascinating, it was the Green Bay Packers at the San Francisco 49ers(it's on Youtube, pretty bad video quality though). This 49ers team was 9-1 coming into this game and on their way to a 14-2 Super Bowl winning season(this was the year they destroyed the Broncos 55-10) with Montana having a record year as far as passer rating. Got to be one of(if not THE) greatest teams of all 100 years of NFL history.

The Packers were 5-5 going into this game and this was essentially do or die for them to get into the Wild Card spot. Biggest thing about them in 1989 was quarterback Don Majkowski, who had one of the all time great "One Hit Wonder" seasons that year. He was leading the NFL in passing yards and touchdown passes going into this game and he would finish with over 4,300 passing yards and something like 28 touchdown passes(I'm too lazy to look up the numbers), which was outstanding for 1989.

So the Packers end up taking down the 49ers 21-17 in San Francisco. What a fantastic game though, really was like a playoff game. Very hard hitting game. Montana was in prime form, I believe at one point in the third quarter he was something like 22 of 28 as far as completions go.

Packers defensive end Tim Harris was a god damn monster. You never hear much about him these days but when you look him up his numbers were outstanding, he was one of the best pass rushers of this era.

Biggest play of the game is late with Green Bay at like the 4 yard line about to score, San Fran intercepts Majkowski and runs it back like 96 yards for a pick six that would have sealed the win. The refs call it back on a penalty with a 49er d-lineman lining up in the Neutral Zone, you couldn't really tell from the camera angle on the replay if it was a good call or not. Shortly after that Majkowski runs in a score and Green Bay goes up 21-17. Montana took them down the field late with a chance to win it but Green Bay came up with what has to be one of the all time great underrated stops, being able to hold this 1989 49ers team from winning the game like they usually always did. Never really seen anyone put the hits on Jerry Rice like the Green Bay secondary did here, you RARELY ever seen Rice get hit clean in his career but Green Bay put it on him here.

The Packers go on to finish 10-6 but miss the playoffs while San Fran never loses again, finishing 14-2 and just eviscerating their playoff opponents en route to winning Super Bowl XXIV in the most dominant Super Bowl performance of all time.

Perhaps this Packer team was the reason why they added another Wild Card team in 1990? This has got to be one of the best teams to ever miss the playoffs. And you got to think this was the team that drafted Tony Mandarich in 1989 draft when they COULD have had Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, Deion among others.

Got to wonder how this Packer team would have done in those 1989 playoffs too. I seriously doubt they could have beaten San Fran at home again but they pulled it off here so you never know. I know Majkowski's numbers that year are pretty impressive, I can't remember exactly but I think he had something like 5 fourth quarter game winning drives, almost all of Green Bay's games that year came down to the last drive/play. Interesting stuff.
I loved watching Don Majkowski back in the day. He was fun to watch.
 

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
I loved watching Don Majkowski back in the day. He was fun to watch.
He was just slightly before my time, I do remember having his football card though. Looking at his stats for 1989 he had 5 fourth quarter comebacks that year and 7 game winning drives. 4,318 passing yards with 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions along with 358 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. That was a pretty great "one hit wonder" season. I'm guessing injuries played a big part in his decline?
 

edo783

Hall of Fame
He was just slightly before my time, I do remember having his football card though. Looking at his stats for 1989 he had 5 fourth quarter comebacks that year and 7 game winning drives. 4,318 passing yards with 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions along with 358 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. That was a pretty great "one hit wonder" season. I'm guessing injuries played a big part in his decline?
That season was why he was called 'Magic man'.
 

Texecutioner

Hall of Fame
He was just slightly before my time, I do remember having his football card though. Looking at his stats for 1989 he had 5 fourth quarter comebacks that year and 7 game winning drives. 4,318 passing yards with 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions along with 358 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. That was a pretty great "one hit wonder" season. I'm guessing injuries played a big part in his decline?
Well 20 INT's is not something that could get glossed over. That is a lot of TO's. He also had Favre nipping at his heels and that was who came in and took his job if I'm not mistaken.
 

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
Well 20 INT's is not something that could get glossed over. That is a lot of TO's. He also had Favre nipping at his heels and that was who came in and took his job if I'm not mistaken.
Yeah that was a lot. I believe Farve threw 20+ interceptions about 3 or 4 times in his Packer career if I'm not mistaken though. NFL Films needs to make a docu about Majkowski's 89 season, it was a real anomaly, he threw for more yards and touchdowns than anyone in the NFL that year in a season that had Elway, Marino, Moon, Cunningham, Aikman, Kelly, Simms and Montana(the MVP that year, who Majkowski defeated head to head) and the game winning drives/fourth quarter comebacks stat is pretty wild. Really if Green Bay would have made the playoffs he probably should have been MVP for that year.

That list of QB's who weren't in the top tier is pretty short , particularly in the modern era.

Jim McMahan 85
Jeff Hostetler 90
Trent Dilfer 00
Brad Johnson 02
Joe Flacco 12
I would add Mark Rypien to that list, he had a great year for the 91 Skins and won MVP of the Super Bowl but who wouldn't have with that talent around him. That 91 Redskins defense was the real driving force behind that title and probably one of the more underrated defenses in NFL history. The next year Rypien was hot garbage with Brock Osweiler numbers(and that 92 Skins defense was legit, they still made it to the second round of playoffs and probably could have made it back to Super Bowl if they had even half decent QB that year) then he spent the rest of his career as a backup.
 
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ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
So I have a question for anyone who was around back then, why on earth did the Houston Oilers draft Jim Everett with their first pick(3rd overall) in the 1986 draft? This was just 2 years after signing Warren Moon to the biggest free agent contract in NFL history up to that point. I believe they ended up trading Everett because they couldn't get him signed? Seems like a big waste of time when they already had a QB they invested in with Moon, why wouldn't they have used that pick on something else? They could have drafted Leslie O'Neil, John L Williams, Will Wolford, Neal Anderson.

Were they already trying to give up on Moon?
 
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JB

Old Curmudgeon
Contributor's Club
So I have a question for anyone who was around back then, why on earth did the Houston Oilers draft Jim Everett with their first pick(3rd overall) in the 1986 draft? This was just 2 years after signing Warren Moon to the biggest free agent contract in NFL history up to that point. I believe they ended up trading Everett because they couldn't get him signed? Seems like a big waste of time when they already had a QB they invested in with Moon, why wouldn't they have used that pick on something else? They could have drafted Leslie O'Neil, John L Williams, Will Wolford, Neal Anderson.

Were they already trying to give up on Moon?
https://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/14/sports/sports-of-the-times-how-two-trades-rehorned-the-rams.html#:~:text=In the 1986 draft of,the Atlanta Falcons' offensive tackle.
 

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
Interesting that they drafted him for the sole purpose of trading him. Put into context that there was no free agency back then and that Oiler team needed a lot of help, they were bad. Who was the GM that did this?
 

JB

Old Curmudgeon
Contributor's Club
Interesting that they drafted him for the sole purpose of trading him. Put into context that there was no free agency back then and that Oiler team needed a lot of help, they were bad. Who was the GM that did this?
Ladd Herzeg/Mike Holovak
 


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