The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame Induction brought hundreds to the Governor’s Ballroom at the Austin Hilton. Inductees included four football players: Cotton Davidson of Baylor University, Eric Metcalf of the University of Texas, Bill Montgomery of Arkansas, and Dan Irons of Texas Tech. Other inductees included baseball’s Jose Cruz, Jr. of Rice University and Lance Brown of TCU,  track stars Carol Lewis from the University of Houston and Curtis Mills of Texas A&M, and basketball standout Rick Herrscher of SMU. The attendees included many outstanding athletes supporting their family members, teammates, and friends. Among them were Carl Lewis, Earl Campbell, Nolan Ryan, and Jose Cruz, Sr. Cotton Davidson. Cotton Davidson quarterbacked a highly-ranked Baylor squad in the early 1950s, persuading Weeb Ewbank to make him the Baltimore Colts’ first-round draft choice in 1954. Davidson described the Southwest Conference as a family. He said the closely-knit geographical region led to players playing against each other in high school, then becoming […]

Remembering Chuck Bednarik

Chuck Bednarik is recognized as the last full-time 2 way player in the NFL. He excelled at both center and linebacker.He made a championship saving tackle of fellow Hall of Famer Jim Taylor at the end of the 1960 NFL Championship. Sonny Jurgensen and Al Wistert both fondly remembered Bednarik in The Game before the Money.  Jurgensen said Chuck gave him a valuable piece of advice as a rookie. Bednarik told Jurgensen to put his helmet on running to the locker room after Jurgensen quarterbacked the Eagles to a home victory in his first home start. The Philly fans started throwing full cans of beer at the players. “What happens if I lose a game?” Sonny joked. Many others fondly remember Bednarik in this excellent video we found on YouTube. They include Hall of Famers Sam Huff, Bobby Mitchell, and Tommy McDonald.     ORDER THE GAME BEFORE THE MONEY ON AMAZON (ALSO ON KINDLE) ORDER THE GAME BEFORE THE MONEY […]

BREAKING NEWS – Charles Haley Profile on Pro Football Hall of Fame Website

The Pro Football Hall of Fame now has a Charles Haley “members” profile up. The site usually only profiles Hall of Fame inductees. Is it a good bet that Haley will be announced tomorrow at the Super Bowl? I’ll search for others on the Hall of Fame ballot and post updates!!! UPDATE: Morten Andersen does not have a profile. Here’s the link to Haley’s Hall of Fame profile. Like football history? Check out The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL.    

This Might Surprise You: What Was the World Like Last Time Your Team Won a Title? Part 2

This is part 2 in a series. Knowing how much I love history, my wife bought me a birthday card listing facts about the year I was born. I started wondering what was happening the last time certain teams won a championship. Let’s find out, and I hope you have as much fun reading this as I had researching. We started with the NFC East and NFC North Divisions. We cover the rest of the NFC here. Not too many championship rings in this bunch, San Francisco 49ers not withstanding. NFC SOUTH ATLANTA FLACONS – The Falcons franchise debuted in 1966, with first-overall draft pick Tommy Nobis from Texas leading the charge. The Falcons continue searching for their first championship nearly 50 years later. The team showed promise during the Steve Bartkowski and Alfred Jenkins years, but the Cowboys, Rams, and Vikings always proved better. Atlanta’s lone Super Bowl appearance was against the Broncos in Super Bowl 33 on January 31, […]

Discussing Concussions and Other Brain Injuries with NFL Players

The Game before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL introduced me to dozens of former NFL players. Many interviewed for the book, and I became acquainted with several others. Knowing that, people often ask me about concussions and the potential consequences of playing in the NFL. As stated in the book’s Afterword, the seriousness of some situations is quite real. Much of the book covers players’ golden moments, so I’m not claiming to be an expert. I have no medical experience, and I’m in no position to make claims or suggest solutions. My objective here is to discuss what I’ve personally seen and heard, and to inform readers about a couple of websites retired players frequent for information. This post isn’t meant to induce controversy. I discussed head injuries with several players. Buddy Lex, the man who set the NCAA single-season touchdown pass record in 1949, spoke about his college teammate Lou Creekmur in The Game before […]

QB Reality – Why Most Teams Stand No Chance

UPDATED: Super Bowl 48 was a bit of an anomaly. Maybe. We’ll see if Russell Wilson wins another Super Bowl, which he’s already in position to do. Stark reality looms for teams without a quarterback sporting a championship ring: Out of nearly 50 Super Bowls, only 31 quarterbacks have won. Of those 31 quarterbacks, 11 have won multiple Super Bowls. That equates to 28 of the 48 Super Bowls, roughly 60 percent of the games. The trend stays fairly steady through the Free Agency Era. Multi-winning quarterbacks have won 11 of the 21 contests, and only 15 quarterbacks won championships. Before Free Agency, 16 quarterbacks won those 27 SBs. Dawson in Super Bowl 4. Wilson and Joe Flacco won the last two, perhaps slightly bucking the trend. In the Super Bowl era, however, Super Bowls 3-5 were the only three straight SBs in which the winning quarterback didn’t win multiple times on Super Bowl Sunday. Even that statistic’s a stretch, […]

One Player’s Brush with Redskins’ Owner’s Racism

With the Washington Redskins name controversy commanding the spotlight, and the recent events involving Donald Sterling, I keep thinking about an incident George Taliaferro shared with me in The Game before the Money. Taliaferro played seven positions throughout his NFL career, earning Pro Bowl honors three times. He became the first African American drafted by an NFL team when the Chicago Bears drafted him in 1949. Although the book focuses on NFL players’ passion for the game before free agency and multi-million dollar contracts, Taliaferro also recalled a game in 1953, when his Colts battled Washington: “I stood in the end zone at the stadium in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1953, when I was a member of the Baltimore Colts. George Pres­ton Marshall, the owner of the Washington Redskins, was standing maybe ten feet behind me. I was the last Colt to be introduced on the offense. George Preston Marshall shouted, ‘Niggers should never be allowed to do anything but push wheelbarrows!’” It’s […]

The Story of the NFL Draft and Recent Super Bowls

Last week we looked at the starting lineups of last year’s Super Bowl teams, wondering how much the draft led to the Seahawks’ and Broncos’ success. We found that while the draft was important, it appears to be equally important to find talent from other sources, likely because the draft is only seven rounds. Now we take a look at Super Bowl teams (including the Seahawks and Broncos) from the past 5 Super Bowls, plus the first Giants/Patriots game after the 2008 season. Turns out last year’s teams were below the average number of starters to be drafted for the period, although the Seahawks were only slightly under (54.2%). Of the Broncos 22 starters only 10 were originally drafted by the franchise, a figure equaled by the 2011 Giants as the lowest in our survey. The 2010 Packers led all teams with 17 of their draftees in their Super Bowl lineup. Only the Seahawks and Packers won the Super Bowl […]