Tag Archives: New Orleans

How Mike Ditka Stole Super Bowl Glory From Walter Payton

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)

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)

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)

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.

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“Sunday Ready” Robert Griffin III Makes A Succesful Debut

It used to be that a new NFL quarterback had time to develop and flourish over multiple season, not anymore.  There are many teams each year that need solutions for their QB position woes.  They want it fast and the best way to go now is with a top ten QB, rather than the veteran back up or fallen starting QB.  It is easier to go with a new QB and take a chance at their future.  The old system of getting a veteran QB is going away because teams just don’t want to be stagnate anymore.  Players like Cam Newton have done great things to changes the way teams look at top pick QB’s.

RG3 celebrates his 88-yard TD pass.
(Getty Images)

 

In April the Washington Redskins went in the direction that most teams are going.  That direction is with a top pick QB to be the future of their franchise.  With the second pick in the first round of the NFL Draft the Redskins selected Robert Griffin III (RG3).  RG3 had an incredible final season at Baylor in 2011 and won the Heisman Trophy.  RG3 has drawn many comparisons to Cam Newton, in terms of both athleticism and potential.

On Sunday RG3 made his highly anticipated regular season debut.  He led his Redskins into New Orleans to face the Saints and one of the best QB’s in the league Drew Brees.  Griffin got off to a great start completing his first 7 passes for 123 yards.  One of those passes was an amazing 88 yard pass to Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon.  Garcon was able to make it into the end zone for Griffin’s 1st NFL touchdown pass, which came in the 1st quarter.  Griffin’s 2nd touchdown pass came in the second quarter, a 5 yard toss to Aldrick Robinson.  Going into half time the Redskins were beating the Saints by a score of 20-14.

In the second half of the game Griffin led the Redskins down the field in position for 3 made field goal attempts.  The Saints tried to comeback in the second half but with a just a field goal, two touchdown passes and a 2 point conversion it was just not enough.  The Redskins won the game by a score of 40-32.

Griffin had an outstanding debut with 320 yards passing, 42 yards rushing, 2 touchdown passes and no interceptions.  The Redskins might just be back in a big way.  Griffin met all the expectations of the Redskin fans and his team, can he keep it up?  That will be the fun thing to watch for this season.

More Allegations Against the Saints

More bad news about the Saints came out on Monday during ESPN’s “Outside The Lines”. The show reported that the Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis had his booth in the Super Dome wired. It was reported that during the years of 2002-2004 Loomis was able to hear the opposing teams transmissions. Supposedly the system was rendered inop in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

The Saints have claimed the allegations are false. It will be up to them to prove the media wrong.

This latest scandal involving the Saints is the worst thing that could happen to them right now. Even if these allegations are not true this is still a blow to the organization for the time being. Just a couple of months ago they were dealing with the “Bounty Gate” scandal.  The Saints are still dealing with the fallout from that scandal.  The Saints have

As you might remember the Patriots were involved in a scandal similar to this in 2008. It was reported the team had taping their opponents practicing for preparations against those teams. It was proven and was later forgotten. Now in 2012, many remember but no one really cares what the Patriots did back then.

I think this could blow over for the Saints. The question is, how will this story be followed up. depending on the coverage it gets and whether the allegations are true will determine how well this is remembered. I think when all is said and done we will look back and remember the “Bounty Gate” scandal and the fallout from it more than this situation.

Sean Payton’s Appeal Denied

On Monday NFL commissioner Roger Goodell denied New Orleans coach Sean Payton’s appeal to his suspension for one year. The suspension is coming from an investigation that found the some New Orleans Saints coach staff were paying money to their players for injuring the opposition. The suspension starts on 16 April and goes until after the Super Bowl. At that point Payton will be in consideration for reinstatement.

This suspension is totally justified by Goodell. I give him credit for setting the precedence for punishing such offenses. He needs to do things like this to keep the integrity of the game.

Some think the punishment is too harsh since he wasn’t found directly responsible. I think that is a bunch of crap. As a head coach he should be held accountable for the actions if those under his charge. This will definitely effect the Saints this year. I think they still have a strong chance of competing this year even without Payton at the helm.

The Saints are trying to secure Bill Parcells as their head coach in the mean time. I am not sure that will happen though. I think it could cause too much conflict, if Parcells does well and does not want to leave. Or even worse for Payton, they don’t want him back.

We will have to wait a few months to see how this season will be without Payton and even longer to see how the Saints deal with Payton. Well whatever happens to him I have no sympathy no matter what happens to his career. He should be held responsible.