There's a big game this weekend. Did you guys forget about that? As tough as it is to watch this game without our Colts taking part, it does give us time to sit back and think about the good (and some not so good) times past.
Obviously, the last Super Bowl was not the finish we hoped for. He-who's-name-shall-not-be-mentioned (Hank Baskett) and that stupid Tracy Porter interception (HUGE uncalled block in the back on that play) that keeps showing up on NFL Network ads piss me off more than I can ever say.
Most of us will remember fondly that rainy evening in Miami from 4 years ago yesterday. The beautiful deep ball to Reggie and the Hayden Pick-6 (that made us pay him WAY too much money) are the things I remember most from that game. I had the misfortune of being surrounded by Bears fans that night. Terrible luck!
One Championship that few of us will remember but all should is the first Championship win by our franchise. Let's look at it after the jump.
"The Greatest Game Ever Played" was the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants. As one of the first games televised nationally (on NBC), it was the jumping off point for the popularity JUGGERNAUT that is the NFL today. Let's look at some of the unique things that made this game truly unforgettable.
- In a season where the most prolific passer (Billy Wade, Los Angeles Rams) averaged under 240 yards per game (2,875 over 12 games) Johnny Unitas looked like a current NFL QB. 26/40, 349 yrds, 1 TD, 1 INT. Just for comparison, Peyton averaged just under 300 yards per game this season.
- Raymond Berry had one of the best ALL-TIME games for a receiver in Championship history. 12 receptions (still a record) 187 yards and 1 TD. Again, realize that this was in a time when passing WAS NOT the main more of moving down the field.
- The birth of the "Two-Minute Drill." What Peyton has mastered, Johnny began. With just over 2 minutes left and down by a score, Unitas took over at his own 14 (sound familiar?) and led his team to the Giants 13 for the game tying field goal.
- The first meaningful game decided in overtime. It had to start somewhere, and this was it. There was no mandated second possession and, in fact, the players didn't know what was going to happen when regulation ended with the teams tied.
- Hall of Famers GALORE! In this one game there were 17 Hall of Fame members that were involved in the game. The Giants had future coaching legends Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry as Offensive and Defensive Coordinator respectively, Frank Gifford as their leading rusher and Broadcasting Legend Pat Summerall (not in the HoF) as their kicker. The Colts featured the aforementioned Unitas and Berry as well as Gino Marchetti on the D-Line, Lenny Moore who was both a runner and receiver and Weeb Ewbank at Head Coach.
So as we prepare to watch a game that involves two very storied franchises, remember that the team you love has a history we should celebrate.
For those of you that need a pick me up because I reminded you that the Colts aren't in the Super Bowl this year, this clip always makes me smile!