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
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 Packers 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
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
My friend George, who is the biggest Browns fan I know came to me with an idea for an article. The idea was to cover the negative history of sports teams in Cleveland. I took that Idea and turned it into what you are about to read. George, this is for you brother!
Cleveland has a history of bad luck and heartbreaking defeats when it comes to its sports franchises. From the “Fumble” to Lebron’s “Decision”. There have also been some incredible times for Cleveland’s sports franchises, however the bad far out way the good. Cleveland is a city that loves it’s sports, unfortunately sports gods do not care for Cleveland very much. I am going to take you on a trip through the history of Cleveland sports. So sit back, relax and revel in Cleveland’s sorrows.
Michael Jordan celebrating the “Shot”
The Cleveland Cavs have had many Horrible season. The team has held the franchise record for most loses in a season with 67, twice. The first came in their inaugural season of 1970-71 and the second during the 1981-82 season. The team made a strong run in 1989 only to fall hard to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The game became known for the “Shot”, it was the final game in round one of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The moment was considered one of the greatest clutch moments in the history of Michael Jordan’s career. It was one of the worst moments in history of the Cavileers. The Cavs have never won an NBA Title, not even with the great Lebron James. The team has only made one trip to the NBA Finals, in 2007 the Cavs were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in 4 games. The City has Lebron James to blame for one of their many horrible moments. In 2010 Lebron had an ESPN special live from a Boys and Girls Club in his home town of Akron, Oh. Many thought because of the location he would be announcing that he would be staying in Cleveland. He instead announced he would be taking his talents to South Beach and play for the Miami Heat. That infamous broadcast is known as the “Decision” The City was in an uproar and Lebron jerseys were quickly being thrown away and even burned in the streets of the City who’s heart he broke. The team followed up the “Decision” with one of the worst seasons in the history of the NBA. The team lost a record tying 26 games in a row in the 2010-11 season. The Cavs are 2 years removed from that fateful night and have never been able to get over it. The team may be destined to dwell in the sadness that is Cleveland sports forever.
The Indians lose to the Marlins in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series
The Indians are one of the teams that have been successful at times but have had more bad seasons than good ones. The team has two World Series Championships. The first came in 1920 and the most recent was back in 1948. The Indians have added to the cities history of heartbreak over the years. From 1960-1993 the team never made the playoffs and spent most of their seasons in last place. In 1995 the Indians were one of the best teams in the MLB, until they made it to the World Series and lost to the Braves in 6 games. The team made another trip to the World Series in 1997. The tribe lost the series to the Florida Marlins in a devastating late inning Game 7 affair in Miami. The team has been through countless rebuilding periods, all with no success. The team was even featured as lovable losers and misfits in the major motion picture “Major League”. The Indians are only second to one other team in the city of heart break, The Cleveland Browns.
The Browns Earnest Byner seconds after the “Fumble”
The city’s most devastating stories and moments have come from their football team, the Browns. The team had early success in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The Hall Of Fame Quarterback Otto Graham led the team to ten straight championship games with the Browns winning 7 of them. The team found great success with Hall Of Fame running back Jim Brown. Brown played with the team in the 60’s and 70’s and established himself as one of the best running backs in the history of the NFL. The 1980’s brought the team some success. Led by their young quarterback Bernie Kosar, the team made it to the AFC Championship game twice. Both meetings were against the rival Denver Broncos and their superstar QB John Elway. The first of those championship meetings came in the 1986 AFC Championship game. The Browns were leading the Broncos and had them pinned down on their own 2 yard line with 5 minutes and 11 seconds to play. John Elway was about to show the world that he was one of the best of that era with the “Drive”. Elway led his team all of the way down the field to score a touchdown and tie the game at 20-20. The damage had been done and Cleveland lost the game 23-20 in overtime. The “Drive” took place in Cleveland but that wasn’t the last quotable game to take place at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. In the 1987 AFC Championship Game the Broncos came into town again. This time the Browns dominated the Broncos for most of the game and looked to be the AFC Champions. Then the unthinkable happened again, this moment was to be known as the “Fumble”. With the game tied 30-30 Kosar and the Browns were on the Broncos 8 yard line with 1 minute and 12 seconds left on the clock. Kosar took the snap and handed the ball off to running back Earnest Byner for what looked like and open touchdown run. Out of nowhere came the Broncos defensive back Jeremiah Castille who stripped Byner of the ball. The Broncos took the intentional safety and ended up scoring a touchdown with less than a minute to play in the game. The Broncos defeated the Browns by a score of 38-33. The city of Cleveland has never fully recovered from the “Drive” or the “Fumble”. In 1995 The Browns played their final game in Cleveland before owner Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore to become the Ravens. Modell claimed that he moved the team because he was losing money and could not keep the team the city without a new stadium. He petitioned for a new stadium for years and saw a new ballpark go up and a new arena be constructed while he was left without tax payer support and a dilapidated stadium. The Browns would return in 1999 as an expansion team but still had rights to the history of the team unlike other cities who lost their teams and history like Houston. The “new” Browns have only made it to the playoffs once. There was hope for the team with new ownership to turn things around in 2012. The Browns were shut out of the playoffs for another season this year.
All of Cleveland’s major sports teams have gone through hardships. The Browns are by far Cleveland’s most heartbreaking team with a history that will not let the fans of Cleveland rest easy. Any time something goes well for any of their teams disappointment is sure to follow. Maybe one day the sports gods will treat the great fans of Cleveland to some success and happiness.
The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to become NBA Champions for the first time in their history. They also ended the decades long championship drought for the city of Cleveland. This event was aided by LeBron James returning to Cleveland in 2014.
Posted in MLB, NBA, NFL, sports
Tagged 1920, 1948, 1954, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2007, 26 games, afc championship, angry fans, atlanta braves, baseball, BASKETBALL, bernie kosar, broadcast, browns, burning, byner, cavaliers, cavs, championship, chicago bulls, cleveland, cleveland municipal stadium, espn, florida marlins, football, heartbreaking, history, indians, jacobs field, jerseys, jim brown, john elway, last place, lebron James, losers, loses in a row, losing, major league, michael jordan, moments, movie, nba finals, nfl title, otto graham, playoffs, record, sad, san antonio spurs, sports, the decision, the drive, the fumble, the gund arena, the shot, titles, trash, tv, winners, world series