Sunday, 3 February 2013

Superbowl XV

 Over the years that the Superbowl has been held, there have been some games of note and dominant teams. We all remember the Vince Lomabdri Packers or the Cowboys of the late 1960's under Tom Landry and the dominant 49ers of the 1970's with Bill Walsh.

 There have also been some memorable matches too, Superbawl iii; when Joe Namath "guaranteed" a NY Jets victory over the Baltimore Colts led by the great Johnny Unitas, and at a time when AFL teams were regarded as inferior. It was a drunken boast made to anger Colts fans in a bar, but at the end of the match the Jets did hold onto a 13-7 win.
"The Heidi bowl" (1968), so called because at this time games had a time slot and programmes had to start on time, with the Jets leading the Oakland and the game running late than expected NBC decided to run the game, causing the switchboard to get jammed with people asking for the film. The executives then switched to the film leaving viewers in the East to miss two vital TD's that turned the game around. This action led to companies making the decision that games should be televised in total.

 To win the bowl, you would assume that a reliable QB is essential. However, that is not always the case; a good example being when Oakland  Raiders beat The Eagles 27-10 in 1981, in New Orleans. The Raiders were wildcards and not expected to win. Their QB Jim Plunkett only got the starting role in the latter stages of the season, because the regular QB Dan Pastorini broke his leg against Kansas City. Plunkett had been dropped by New England and the 49ers in previous seasons with a bad record of lagging td's and rising interceptions. But the management had no faith in the back up Marc Wilson ( a feature that was to plague his  career) and third string QB Rusty Hilger was only a rookie. Three years later in Tampa, Jim led his team to a resounding 38 - 9 win over the Redskins. I remember this game for one reason, Marcus Allen the RB of the Raiders got caught between the Redskins safeties and his helmet flew off, at the time I thought he must be seriously hurt. Being the first time I had seen NFL on TV, I didn't realise the helmets had a strap release.

 On the subject of helmets, brings me to a real case of favourites. The heavily favoured Chicago Bears of 1986 were teamed against the wildcards from New England.
 Accidental touching of an opponents helmet incurs a 5-yd penalty. Deliberate "face-masking" SHOULD incur a 15-yd penalty. I emphasised the SHOULD, because William "The Fridge" Perry DT of the Bears was clearly seen on TV, not only hitting a face mask, but he pulled the player back from the goal line using it as a lever. But, though it was seen clearly, the umpires took no action against Perry or the Bears.

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