The NFL playoffs are upon us, and I thought I'd pair my Wild Card round picks with one of my favorite time wasters: Dumpster diving into You Tube looking for some sweet vintage NFL content. Let's see what we can find!
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans.
The Colts were once in Baltimore, kids. The Texans were an expansion team awarded to Houston after their beloved Oilers moved in 1997. Fun fact: For two years they were the Tennessee Oilers. Our own Eddie George was actually part of the final team to play in Houston and the first in Tennessee. Here's proof!
Anyway let's see what else we can find....
Look what we have here! Monday Night Football November 1, 1976. Houston Oilers at Baltimore Colts!
The Oilers had some dudes! Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and stalwart Ken Burrough at wide receiver. Curley Culp and Elvin Bethea on the d-line. How did this team go 5-9?! Bum Phillips was the damned head coach! I don't get it.
Perhaps my memory was clouded by all those awesome White Shoes TD dances. We used to pretend we were him on the playground.
On the other hand this was a damned good Colts club. 11-3 on the year. Sadly they were creamed in the divisional round against the Steelers that year.
At any rate Bert Jones was on point with a 60% completion rate paired with 24 touchdowns and only 9 picks. Lydell Mitchell was a baller with his 1,200 yards on the nose paired with 60 catches for 555 yards. A truly underappreciated player of his era.
Final score on 11/1/76: Colts 38 Oilers 14
My 2019 pick: Indianapolis Colts 27 Houston Texans 24
Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys
Sorry, there's only one highlight. January 2007... playoffs... Ah shit!
As a life long Seahawk fan this is one of my favorite memories. Hardy har har har. As you can see Jason Garrett was not actually the coach. It was Bill Parcells. Weird right! It seems like Garrett took over in like 1996.
This year? I can't go against Russell Wilson in this spot. He’s been dropping dimes all season!
My 2019 pick: Seattle Seahawks 30 Dallas Cowboys 27
Sunday January 6, 2019
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens
Well it shouldn't be difficult to find the San Diego Chargers facing the Baltimore Colts.
Damn! We're back in 1981 and dumpy Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Look! The baseball infield is still there! That was a real NFL field kids.
In 1981 we were at the height of Don Coryel's famed high flying Chargers offense with the great Dan Fouts at the helm. They weren't all pass though. Chuck Muncie rushed for over 1,100 yards and James Brooks over 500.
The story of this team though would be told in the playoffs. The divisional round will always be remembered for Kellen Winslow and the "Epic In Miami." Playing hurt Winslow caught 13 for 166 and a touchdown in San Diego's 41-38 overtime win. Truly one of the NFL's all time great games.
Of course the following week San Diego would have to contest the AFC Championship game in Cincinnati... The infamous “Freezer Bowl” game. The Chargers went from 76 degrees in Miami to -9 and a stunning -59 windchill a week later in the Queen City. They didn't stand a chance. Has any club ever had a weirder two game run in the playoffs? I don't think so. Hey it was sunny that day!
Imagine how hard that carpet at Riverfront Stadium was! How tough were all these motherfuckers. Did anyone die? Possibly. It was a long time ago.
Final score that day: Bengals 27 Chargers 7
My 2019 pick: Baltimore Ravens 21 Los Angeles Chargers 13
Sunday January 6, 2019
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
When you talk about these two in the playoffs you can only reference one game, and it was 30 years ago this past New Year's Eve. THE FOG BOWL!
It was a strange day indeed. Warm and cold air colliding in a 15 block area around Soldier Field created a thick fog beginning in the second quarter. Players complained they couldn't see the sidelines. It was so bad CBS had to rely on sideline cameras so we could see anything! I'm looking at the one hour thirty six minute mark right now. I have no idea what’s going on.
Buckeye Mike Tomczak was at the helm for the Bears. He had a really terrible day, but so did Randall Cunningham for the Eagles. The Bears would do enough in a 20-12 win.
This Sunday's forecast? Clouds and 39.
My 2019 pick: Chicago Bears 20 Philadelphia Eagles 9