Matt Prater, record holder of longest field goal in NFL history. (Getty Images)
On Sunday the 8th of December, 2013 Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater made NFL history. He made a 64-yard field goal in the final seconds of the 1st half in the Broncos game against the visiting the Tennessee Titans. The previous record was held by four players, each with 63-yard field goals. Those players he beat out for the record today were Tom Dempsey (1970), Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011) and David Ackers (2012). With this field goal Prater becomes just the 13th man to kick a +60-yard field goal in an NFL game.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 13, 1970, 1998, 2011, 2012, 2013, 63 yards, 64, 8, colorado, david ackers, december, Denver, denver broncos, field goal, history, jason elam, kicker, kickers 12, Matt Prater, NFL, November, players, record, sebastian janikowski, titans, tom dempsey, what date, who against, yards
The National Football League’s 48th season began on September 17th, 1967. It was the first season in the history of the NFL to have a playoff after the regular season had ended. The previous 34 seasons had only included one post season game which was the championship game consisting of two teams with the best record (the NFL champion was the team with the best record during the first 12 seasons of the NFL). The NFL expanded to 16 teams with the newest being the New Orleans Saints. This allowed for a post season that included a four team playoff for the championship. The 1967 season paved the way for the current 12 team playoff structure.
The first game of the playoffs took place on December 23 and pitted the Los Angeles Rams against Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. The game was played at County Stadium in Milwaukee, WI. The Rams drew first blood with the first touchdown of the game but would give up four consecutive touchdowns before the game was finished. The Packers would win by a score of 28-7. With that win the Packers were on their way to the NFL Championship Game.
The second playoff game took place at the Cotton bowl in Dalls, TX on December 24th. The teams competing for a trip to the NFL Championship game were the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys won the game in blowout fashion with the final score being 52-17. With that win the Cowboys would advance to what would become one of the greatest games in NFL history.
The Packers Bart Starr’s game winning QB sneak to win the “Ice Bowl” (Getty Images)
The NFL Championship Game was held at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI on December 31st. The game was dubbed “The Ice Bowl” due to its game time temperature of -15 F, the wind chill was -48 F. The Cowboys took on the Packers in this epic contest. This game was a brutal and very close game that went into halftime with the Packers leading 14-10. The Cowboys took the 17-14 lead with a 50-yard touchdown pass by running back Dan Reeves to wide receiver Lance Renzel in the 4th quarter. But the biggest play of the game would be one of it last plays. With just 4:50 remaining in the game the Packers quarterback Bart Starr led his team down the field, Starr would be the man that won the game for the Packers when he ran the ball into the end zone with just seconds remaining on the clock. The final score was Packers 21 and the Cowboys 17. To this day it is considered by many the greatest game and from what the players endured and the result on the field there is no arguing that.
The Packs would not only go down in history that year for winning the first ever NFL Playoffs but would also win another important game in their history. Two weeks after the NFL Championship game the Packers played the American Football League Champions the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. The Packers would be the victor in that contest as well and continued what is viewed now as a “Dynasty Team”.
The NFL took an important step in their history in 1967. A step that has lead to some of the most iconic games in the sports history. Who know the next great NFL Playoff game might be the next.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 16, 1967, 1968, 2, afl, bart starr, browns, championship, cleveland, cotton bowl, county stadium, dallas cowboys, Dan Reeves, expanded, expansion, first, greatest game, green bay packers, hall of fame, HOF, ice bowl, II, LA, lambeau field, Lance Renzel, los angeles, new orleans saints, NFL, playoff, playoffs, rams, season, super bowl, teams, texas, winner
In 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. It was a historic happening that changed professional sports forever. However Robinson was not the first African-American athlete to break the color barrier in American professional sports.
In 1946 a year before Jackie Robinson made history, four African-Americans became the first to play professional football. Those four players were Marion Motley, Bill Willis, Woody Strode and Kenny Washington. Both Motley and Willis signed with the Cleveland Browns who played in the All-American Football Conference. While Strode and Washington were signed by the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. Those four Men all made history that year but one man’s carrier would stand out more than all of the others, that man was Marion Motley.
Marion Motley (Getty Images)
Marion Motley was born in 1920 in Leesburg, GA. He grew up in Canton, Oh and was an excellent High School football player. He would play his college career as a Full Back at the South Carolina State and the University of Nevada, Reno. He entered the US Navy in 1944 during World War II before beginning his professional carrier with the Cleveland Browns.
Marion Motley stood at 6’1” and weighed 240 pounds in his prime. Regarded as the first real power back in the NFL Motley punished opposing defenses, pummeling any defender that got in his way. Many who played during his time have regarded Motley as being the best football player they have ever seen. It has also been said that he was an even better player than the Hall Of Fame running back Jim Brown. Like brown he was an excellent back that could push for extra yards but he could block better than Brown, these skills made him a complete player.
Marion Motley played a total of 9 seasons from 1946-1955. During this time he amassed 4,720 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns. As a receiver he had 1,107 yards and caught 7 touchdown passes. Motley was a 1950 Pro Bowler as well as a champion with the legendary Cleveland Brown’s teams of 1946-1950. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1968, forever immortalized in his home of Canton,OH.
Marion Motley was one of the greatest football players of his era and quite possibly of all time. He endured the same hate and discrimination as Jackie Robinson and was able to prove that he belong with the best. He is a true American Hero and should be known and remembered by all sports fans.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1946, 1955, 1968, african american, america, Bill Willis, black, canton, cleveland browns, color barrier, first, first players, football, full back, hall of fame, jim brown, Kenny Washington, los angeles rams, Marion Motley, nevada, ohio, power back, Woody Strode
Future Hall Of Famer Peyton Manning added his name to another record in NFL history on September 5th, 2013. The Denver Broncos and Manning defeated the defending Champions the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 47-29 in Denver tonight. The most remarkable stat of all in the game was the number of touchdown passes Manning threw.
Quarterback Peyton Manning (Getty Images)
Peyton Manning threw 7 touchdown passes. The receivers on the other end of these TD’s were Demaryius Thomas (2), Wes Welker (2), Julius Thomas (2) and Andre Caldwell (1) . Five of the touchdowns came in the second half of this opening game.
With this feat Peyton Manning joins only five other QB’s who have thrown this many touchdowns in a single game. Some of those he now shares the record with are all time greats like Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp. Joe Kapp was the last to throw 7 TD’s in a single game in 1969. This is a truly amazing record and one that Manning will add to all of his other records to land him in Canton.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged #5, 1969, 7, Adrian Burk, Andre Caldwell, baltimore ravens, colorado, Demaryius Thomas, denver broncos, George Blanda, how many, Joe Kapp, Julius Thomas, last time, mile high, NFL, opening day, opening game, other players, passes, Peyton Manning, Sid Luckman, single game, touchdown, Wes Welker, whrecord, Y.A. Tittle
The tradition that is known as the NFL Draft came into existence in 1936. The first player ever taken in the NFL Draft was Running Back Jay Berwanger. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Berwanger, unfortunately he would never play a pro football game due to salary disputes with multiple teams
Since then the NFL Draft has involved thousands of players, many of which have gone on to become all time greats. Many more however went on to have careers that would earn them the dubious distinction of being called a “Draft Bust”. The most coveted position for any team is the first overall pick. The team that holds this position is usually in desperate need of a break out rookie that can turn their franchise around. There is only one chance for first overall greatness every year.
There have been only 77 men who can call themselves the first overall pick in the NFL draft. The positions picked the most may not surprise you but the positions that were picked the least might shock you.
The quarterback position has the title of the most popular first overall pick in draft history. Twenty seven QBs have been nabbed by teams with the most coveted draft spot. Ten of those twenty seven became pro bowl players, names like Eli Manning (2004), Peyton Manning (1998), Drew Bledsoe (1993) and Vinny Testaverde (1987) just to name a few. Only Troy Aikman (1989), John Elway (1983) and Terry Bradshaw (1970) had careers so great they were inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
Twenty five Running Backs have been picked first overall. Seven of them became Pro Bowlers including Bo Jackson (1986), Billy Sims (1980) and Tucker Frederickson (1965). The Running Backs hold the record of most Hall Of Fame inductees with five. Running Back Bill Dudley (1942) was the first player at any position drafted first overall to become a Hall Of Famer. The most recent Running Back to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame is Earl Campbell (1978) who was drafted by the Houston Oilers.
Defensive End’s have also been a very popular choice with eleven picked first overall. Defensive Ends Mario Williams (2006), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (1974), Dave Parks (1964) and Leon Hart (1950) were all voted to the Pro Bowl. Bruce Smith (1985) and Lee Roy Selmon (1976) were the only Defensive End’s to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
Positions that were drafted the least with the top pick are Defensive Tackle (4), Line Backer (3), Offensive Tackle (3), Center (2) and Wide Receiver (2). Eight different positions have all seen the top choice. Wide Receiver, Defensive Tackle and Line Backer are the only positions to never have a first overall player reach the Hall Of Fame.
A few of the players drafted in the last decade will more than likely find a home in the Hall Of Fame. As of now the first overall pick has only been a future Hall Of Famer twelve of the seventy seven times. Who knows, we might see the next great NFL player drafted with the first pick tonight in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1936, 1942, 1950, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1998, 1st pick, 2004, 2006, 77, best, bill dudley, billy sims, bo jackson, bruce smith, busts, dave parks, defensive, drew bledsoe, eagles, earl campbell, ed too tall jones, eli manning, first, greatest, hall of fame, hall of famer, history, in, Jay Berwanger, john elway, lee roy selmon, leon hart, mario williams, never played, offensive, overall, payton manning, pick, player, QB, quarterback, salary dispute, terry bradshaw, troy aikman, tucker frederickson, vinny testaverde, was, who
The first ever NFL Draft took place in 1936. That draft only consisted of 81 players. Four of those players would become Hall Of Famers. Since then the NFL has developed the draft into a giant event. Another one of the players selected in that draft, Paul “Bear” Bryant would later give up playing football to become a coach. He would become one of the greatest college football coaches ever while at the University of Alabama. There have been many great draft classes in the years since but they all pale in comparison to one in particular.
The 1983 NFL Draft took place on Arpil 26th and 27th of that year in New York City. It included twelves rounds and 335 players were selected. Over 30 of those players selected would go to the Pro Bowl. Eric Dickerson, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Dan Marino, Bruce Matthews, Darrell Green and Richard Dent who were all selected that day would later be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Other than all of the things I have mentioned the draft is remembered for another reason, the Quarterbacks.
This was the best draft class of quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. It also holds the record for most quarterbacks selected in the first round with six. Three of those six would make it into the Hall Of Fame. The standout quarterbacks of the class were by far John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.
John Elway (Getty Images)
John Elway was taken with the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts. He was eventually traded before the season to Denver due to his unwillingness to play for the Colts head coach Frank Kush. During his career he established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. When his career was over he won two Super Bowl Championships and was inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2004.
Jim Kelly (Getty Images)
With the fourteenth overall pick the Buffalo Bills selected Jim Kelly. Kelly played the season prior in the United States Football League after leaving the University Of Miami. Of the quarterbacks drafted that day Kelly made more Super Bowl appearances than any one else. Kelly lead the Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl from 1990 through 1993. Unfortunately the Bills never won any of those Super Bowls. Nonetheless Kelly proved himself to be a great quarterback and was Inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2002.
Dan Marino (Getty Images)
The final legendary quarterback taken in this draft was Dan Marino. He was projected to go early in the first round but fell back on a lot of teams boards due to reports of him using marijuana in college. The Miami Dolphins were willing to take a chance on this young man with a powerful arm and selected him with the twenty seventh overall pick. Marino played 17 season but only made one trip to the Super Bowl, the Dolphins lost that game to the San Fransisco 49ers. Marino did however finish career holding almost every quarterback record that existed. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2005.
An interesting note about this draft is all of the first round quarterbacks went to AFC teams. Also the three half Of Fame quarterbacks all played for only one team during their NFL career.
The Draft is such an intriguing event. Full of Pro Bowlers, Busts and Hall Of Famers. There will probably never be a quarterback class this good again. Some might argue that the 2012 class will stand the test of time but until it does the 1983 Draft will remain the best ever.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1936, 2002, 2004, 2005, alabama, bear, best, bills, Broncos, colts, dan marino, dolphins, draft, drafted, first, first round, greatest, hall of famers, jim kelly, john elway, legends, marijuana, Miami, NFL, paul bryant, picked, pitt, players, pro bowl, quarterback, super bowl, who was the best
The Super Bowl today will be the first to take place since 2centsworthofsports.com’s inception. I can think of no better way to celebrate that fact than to make the 1st ever Super Bowl prediction on the site. So here is who we have.
The Ravens winning 37-30 over the 49ers.
Tom Brady (Photo By Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft the New England Patriots select from Michigan, quarterback Tom Brady. Those words spoken by then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue would change the future of the the Patriots and the NFL. Tom Brady has gone on to have a great career and is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks of not only his era but in football history. Brady has led the Patriots to 5 Super Bowl appearances and 3 Championships. He is the biggest late round draft pick ever, being selected in the 6th round. But their were 6 QB’s selected before Brady. Here is a look at the six that came before Brady and the teams that missed out on greatness.
18th Overall Pick – Chad Pennington, New York Jets
Pennington was the most hyped QB going into the draft. Pennington had a solid college career with Marshall. Pennington retired after the 2010 season. He played for the Jets the majority of his career and played his final 3 season with the Miami Dolphins. Pennington would play in 4 post seasons and had a post season record of 2 wins and 4 loses. Pennington did make history during his career, holding the record for career passing percentage among QB’s with more than 1500 pass attempts at 66.0%.
No Quarterbacks Drafted
65th Overall Pick – Giovanni Carmazzi, San Francisco 49ers
Carmazzi played at Hofstra during his college years. He would never play in a regular season NGL game. Carmazzi finished his pro football career in the CFL in 2005.
75th Over All Pick – Chris Redman, Baltimore Ravens
Redman has played for the Ravens, Patriots, Titans and most recently the Falcons before his release in August of 2012. He was lucky enough to win a Super Bowl ring as a backup to Trent Dilfer on the 2000 Ravens championship team. Redman would best be described as a career back up QB.
No Quarterbacks Drafted
163rd Overall Pick – Tee Martin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tee Martin played only one game for the Steelers and never started a game in his career. He spent the 2002 season in NFL Europe playing for the Rhein Fire. In 2003 he signed with the Oakland Raiders for his final NFL season. Martin ended his professional career in 2005 as a part of the CFL. In total Martin played only 3 games in the NFL.
168th Overall Pick – Marc Bulger, New Orleans Saints
Marc Bulger was the only Pro Bowl QB selected before Tom Brady. In the first of his two Pro Bowl appearances Bulger won the MVP award in that game. He went on a crazy ride after the draft by signing with the Saints, Falcons and the Ravens before the 2000 season began. Bulger took over at QB for the Rams when Kurt Warner retired. Bulger retired in 2010 with the Ravens.
183 Overall Pick – Spergon Wynn, Cleveland Browns
Spergon Wynn spent his career as a back up QB. He played for 2 NFL teams and 4 CFL teams. Wynn retired from football in 2006.
The list QB’s selected before Tom Brady is pretty shocking. Only one of those players made it to a Pro Bowl. The majority were career back up QB’s and none of these players are still professionally active. There was a lot of belief that Brady’s frame was not built for the NFL which was the greatest ding against him. The Patriots saw something in Brady that no other team did and they were able to reap the benefits of that faith. When Tom Brady retires he will undoubtedly head to the Hall Of Fame and the history books. While all of the others before him are just history.
Posted in NFL, Sports History
Tagged 2000, 49ers, 6, browns, bust, busts, cfl, chad pennington, chris redman, doubters, giovanni carmazzi, great pick, hall of fame, jets, legend, marc bulger, miss, new england patriots, NFL, nfl draft, pro bowl, qbs, quaerterback, ravens, ring, saints, selected before, spergon wynn, steelers, super bowl, tee martin, tom bady, who did they select
Walter Payton was one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League. He retired after the 1987 season with the Chicago Bears. Payton finished his career with 110 rushing TD’s, 15 receiving TD’s and 16,726 rushing yards. He was also on one of the best bears teams ever, the 1985 Chicago Bears. The Bears won Super Bowl XX and cemented Payton’s place in the Hall Of Fame as a Super Bowl winner. There however is one thing missing from his career. Payton never scored during the only Super Bowl appearance and you might be suprised to find out it was no fault of his own.
Walter Payton in Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)
When the season began Head Coach Mike Ditka was very high on his 1st draft pick William “the refrigerator” Perry. Perry came into camp very unimpressive and was overweight at 380lbs. The Defensive coach Buddy Ryan was not impressed by Perry and did not want to play him. During the early part of the season Ditka got the idea to use Perry in offensive plays to block for Walter Payton. Perry sometimes even rushed with the ball himself. He was later put into the defense and played well. During the season Perry became an offensive gimmick. He was the funny fat guy that the fans cheered for. Perry almost overshadowed the rest of the team in popularity.
William Perry (Getty Images)
The Bears made it through the season with a 15-1 record. They plowed through the divisional and championship games to make it to Super Bowl XX in New Orleans. Their challengers were the Cinderella team of that season, the New England Patriots. Nobody expected the Pats to make it as far as they did. They were the underdogs going into the title game. The Bears dominated the Pats on the defensive side of the ball. The Offense of the Bears was stifled a bit, although the score tells a different story. The Patriots based their defense around stopping Walter Payton. They did just that, Payton was held to 66 yards on 22 carries. Even with the lack of success Payton was still the Bears leading rusher in the game.
Mike Ditka made two decisions during that game that haunt him to this day. On the two opportunities where the Bears were close to the goal line and a rush for the touchdown seemed the best choice, Ditka chose William Perry and Quarterback Jim McMahon to make those TD’s. The most disappointing TD for Walter Payton was the Perry rush for the TD. Perry had been primarily a defensive player and a gimmicky running back. For Payton not to be allowed to gain the glory of scoring a TD in the biggest game of his career is a complete disgrace.
Mike Ditka after Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)
Walter Payton was always a stand up man and until the day he died he never openly questioned Mike Ditka for not letting him run in a TD in the Super Bowl. Ditka has come out in recent years an said if he could do it all over again he would have opted for Payton to get the Super Bowl glory. While Ditka can own up to his mistakes he will never be able to give those moments to the great Walter Payton.
Posted in NFL, Sports History
Tagged 1st, 20, 380, champion, defense, draft, final score, gimmick, glory, hall of fame, history, jim mcmahon, lbs, mike ditka, new england patriots, New Orleans, over weight, pats, pick, pounds, refrigerator, running back, stole, superbowl, superbowl shuffle, touchdown, walter payton, why did he not score, william perry, winner, xx, yards
Many modern football fans have never even heard the name Otto Graham. Decades before Bernie Kosar was taking the Browns through many playoff runs. Otto Graham was the best quarterback not only in Cleveland but in the NFL. Years before Jim Brown dominated teams, Otto Graham was dominating the league. Graham will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He was the 1st and possibly the biggest Cleveland sports star ever.
Otto Graham goes for a pass in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. (Getty Images)
Otto Graham started his professional career in Cleveland during the 1946 season. At the time the Browns played in the All American Football Conference (AAFC). In that season Graham lead the Browns to their 1st Championship and the team finished with a 12-2 record. The winning did not stop there. The Browns went on to win the 1947, 1948 and 1949 AAFC Championship prior to entering the NFL in 1950. During his first 4 seasons he played in 54 games and had 86 TD’s and 10,085 yards passing in total. Many people considered the AAFC to be the minor leagues so to speak. The Browns were not expected to be as dominant in the NFL.
The critics were completely wrong with their assumption. Graham had almost the same numbers in the NFL as he did in the AAFC. Graham would play in 72 games in the NFL and have 88 TD’s and 13,499 yards passing. Graham and the Browns made the Championship game from 1950 to 1955. In total Graham led the Browns to 10 straight championship games with them winning 7 of them. The only years during this period where they did not win a championship was 1951, 1952 and 1953. Their playoff record was 9-3 during those 10 seasons.
Otto Graham retired after the 1955 season. He retired with 174 TD’s and 23,584 yards passing. In his career Graham was a 5 time Pro Bowler and was a 7 time First Team All Pro. He was one of the first inductees into the Hall Of Fame in 1965.
Otto Graham’s Plaque (Getty Images)
Otto Graham was able to accomplish something that will never happen again by leading his team to 10 straight championship games. The only other player to come close was Jim Kelly with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills made it to the Super Bowl from 1990-1994 but never won any of those games.
There are many names that are discussed when talking about who was the greatest quarterback ever. Names like Dan Marino, John Elway, Johnny Unitas and Tom Brady but none of those players achieved the success that Graham was able to do. The only argument that any one might have against Graham would be that the playoffs were shorter with less games when he played. The fact of the matter is he still won those titles and in both leagues. The only reason that most people do not consider him the best is because they don’t know anything about him or what he did during his career.
As long as the stats and film are around no one can deny his greatness. For such a short career by today’s standards he really made an impact. Otto Graham passed away in 2003. He left a legacy that will never be forgotten, he will live forever in the Hall Of Fame.
Posted in NFL, Sports History
Tagged 10, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1965, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2003, 7, aafc, all american football conference, bernie kosar, best, browns, buffalo bills, championship, cleveland, dan marino, died, ever, games, greatest, hall of fame, hero, jim brown, jim kelly, john elway, NFL, one of, otto graham, passed away, playoffs, quarterback, record, star, straight, the, titles, tom brady