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The 1967 NFL Playoffs “The Ice Bowl And The First Real Post Season”

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 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.

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A College Football Playoff Is No Longer A Dream

One of the biggest sports stories of the year and possibly the last decade happened today.  The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Presidential Oversight Commitee signed the documents that will remove the BCS System and put a 4 team tournament in its place.  It was the most hotly debated and demanded topic in the history of college football.  Even the President of the United States weighed in with his opinion on the subject.

The BCS is soon to be gone, good riddance.
(Photo by: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The BCS lasted for 14 years and was created to settle the controversy created by the bowl system that was formerly in place.  The previous system would have team play their final games of the season in bowl games that a lot of the times did not help their case for being #1 and National Champions.  The BCS was supposed to bring order by having the top 2 ranked teams battle it out to crown a National Champion.  It however created a lot of controversy instead.  There have been many teams over the years that have gone undefeated and still were out of the championship game.  There was also a lot of corruption with the BCS Executives taking advantage of the system and wrongly using money to fund parties and put in their wallets.  So the BCS can die a horrible death and rot as far as most football fans are concerned.

Up until now football was the only NCAA sport that did not have a tournament to crown it champion.  In fact the NCAA has not endorsed one single BCS champion as being their champion.

The 4 team tournament system will start in 2014.  That means that we will have two more BCS years but essentially the BCS is dead after that.  The fans of college football all breathed a sigh of relief today knowing that the end of a horrible system is soon to be gone.

The new tournament will be a breath of fresh air for college football.  I do however feel that the tournament should expand to at least 8 teams but hey you have to crawl before you walk.  At least they are giving it a go.  The tournament will mean more excitement and drama not only during the final games but during the season when teams will be fighting to get in.  Sure, there will still be some controversy about some teams not getting in but at least you will have a semifinal and a final to let the teams battle it out.  The way college football is set up with so many teams and many great ones will mean that only the best teams will play for the National Championship.

For decades the college football scene has needed a tournament and the fans have been demanding it.  For a very long time it appeared that we would never see a tournament in college football.  Now everyone can sleep easy knowing that the light is at the end of the tunnel.

Giancarlo Stanton Has Come Alive In May

Miami Marlins Right Fielder Giancarlo Stanton
(Getty Images)

The Miami Marlins are having a really good month of May.  Their record for this month so far is 18 wins and 8 loses.  The Marlins have shown themselves to be the contenders in the N.L. East many have thought they could be.  The Marlins have to give a lot of credit to Right Fielder Giancarlo Stanton (formerly known as Mike Stanton) for their success.

May has been a month where Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton solidified his place as a superstar after two incredible months of play.  Hamilton has soaked up most of the mainstream sports media’s attention.  Now their is another star to pay close attention to.

The Marlins and Stanton had a rough opening month of April.  The power  hitter had only one home run in April and it was at the end of the month.  Stanton was also having a hard time getting on base at times.  He has had 2 previous complete seasons in the bigs.  He increased almost all of his stats from his first season in his second season last year.  I have a feeling he can go even further this year.

Stanton celebrates his walk off grand slam on May 13th, 2012.
(Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

The most exciting event for the Marlins this month came just a week ago at their home stadium known as Marlins Park.  On Sunday, May 13th in the bottom of the 9th inning the Marlins were tied 4-4 with the New York Mets, Stanton came to the plate with the bases loaded.  Stanton did not disappoint,  he blasted a walk off grand slam to give the Fish a 8-4 victory.  In the very short history of Marlin Park this moment is the biggest ending to a game the team has seen.  The grand slam not only made Stanton look good, it showed that the Marlins are ready to battle it out with the teams in the really tough N.L. East.

Stanton was drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2007 June Draft.  He was one of their top prospects until he made his Major league debut in 2010.

Stanton has been awesome in May.  He hit 11 home runs and has hit 21 RBI’s this month alone.  He has a season batting average of .291 and hit a total of 12 dingers and totaled 36 RBI’s so far.  He is on pace to have one of his best seasons.

Giancarlo Stanton is a well rounded player with the potential to be a superstar the likes of Albert Pujols.  The question is not if he will reach his full potential but when.  Even the player he has been right now has been a huge benefit to the club.   Stanton is the future of the Marlins franchise and their future is really bright.

Josh Hamilton After 40 Games

The Texas Rangers have played 40 games so far this season. They hold a record of 25 wins and 15 losses. The team is 5 games ahead of the second place team in the A.L. West. The real story this season for the Rangers is their main star Josh Hamilton and his hot streak, or should we call it the beginning of a hot season.

The Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton
(Getty Images)

Josh Hamilton has a .392 batting average, 18 home runs, 45 RBI’s, 33 runs and 3 stolen bases. Of the 40 games the Rangers have played this season Hamilton has played 37 of those games. Hamilton is on pace for 72 home runs, 180 RBI’s, 132 runs and 12 stolen bases. He has already hit 4 home runs in one game this season. Now I don’t need to tell you that it would be one of the best seasons we have ever seen. It should be noted however, Hamilton has never hit more than 32 home runs in one season, but at the same time he has never been this hot.

The big stat that has everyone’s attention are the amount of home runs he has complied so far. His home run hitting this season has reminded me a lot of Ken Griffey Jr.’s record pace in the 1994 season. However Griffey’s season ended in June when the players went on strike. Hamilton will not have anything other than an injury to hold him back this particular season. His pace is impressive but would not be a record. However if he could have hot streaks from time to time, he could very well take the home run record of 73 held by Barry Bonds in 2001.

If Josh Hamilton could take the home run record it would be an incredible thing to happen to Major League Baseball. We all know how tainted the record held by Barry Bonds is after the truth about him taking Performance Enhancing Drugs came out a few years ago. Hamilton would clean up the record having played in an era with stricter testing and a lower tolerance of P.E.D.’s. Hamilton also would be a great story of a man who has battled demons and while he will never be clear of them, made things right and triumphed over them.

Hamilton has had a crazy last 13 years. He was drafted 1st overall in the 1999 June MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He struggled with a drug addiction and alcoholism. Hmilton never fully adapted to the system in order to become a Major League star. The Rays gave him numerous chance but had no choice but to let him go after 4 years of working with him. Hamilton battled his demons and came back to baseball in the Independent League and later got a contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. He played so well that year that he was signed by the Texas Rangers in 2008. He had an incredible showing in the 2008 MLB Home Run Derby and caught the attention of the sports world. Hamilton has developed into a superstar and is the face of the Rangers Franchise.

The season is only 1/4 complete though. He could calm down, or he could keep going. He is the heart of this team and I feel how Josh Hamilton goes so does the team. The team has made the World Series the last 2 seasons. I totally believe they could make another appearance this year and actually win the championship this time.

Josh Hamilton is what is good about baseball right now. He is a man that has fallen down numerous times, picked himself up every time and succeeded. He will continue to garner attention this year from all baseball fans. I believe the baseball world will rally behind him and if he is close to breaking Barry Bonds’ record near the end of the season and push him to breaking it. Hamilton is already a hero but he could become the single season home run hero by the end of the summer.

Dolphins QB!

With Peyton Manning being officially released by the Colts today and the possibility they might go after him I thought I would address the subject of the Dolphins QB spot. Let’s start with Matt Moore, replace him! While he did okay for the most part he is no long term QB for the Dolphins. I as a fan am tired of the revolving QB door since Dan Marino retired after the 2000 season. We have had the likes of Chad Pennington, Cleo Lemon and John Beck to name a few. I am sick of it! Find a new long term QB now Miami!

Let me touch on the Manning possibility now. No one can deny how great of a QB Manning is but with his age, and injury issues I don’t see him as a long term fix. I feel the dolphins need and have needed a long term fixture at the QB position in order to be consistently successful again.

That brings me to Robert Griffin III or RG3, which could be a possibility if the dolphins traded up from their 8th pick over all to the 2nd pick held by the Rams who have shown interest in trading it for the “right deal”. I think the dolphins should trade for the pick and bank the filigree on that kid. He is the complete football player like we have never seen before. He looks like he could be even greater than Cam Newton was this past season.

But there is a problem with the RG3 scenario that I have laid out. In order to get that pick from the Rams, the dolphins would have to do something they have never been comfortable doing before and that is to trade a few first round pick possibly 3 to make a deal come to life. I think they need to take a chance and pull the trigger o. This one. If there ever was a time to make a trade to move up in the draft it would be now.

We will have to see what happens in the next month with the Manning situation to get an indication as to which way the dolphins might go. I feel that the only real option us to get RG3. Not any other free agent not even Manning. The dolphins have been dragging their feet for too long and the fan wants to see it end immediately!