Podcast — Ron McDole — AFL Champion Bills, Over The Hill Gang Redskins

Podcast — Ron McDole — AFL Champion Bills, Over The Hill Gang Redskins

  Ron McDole joins us on The Game Before the Money Podcast. The all-time interception leader for defensive linemen remembers winning the AFL Championship with the Bills, and facing the Chargers Ron Mix in the 1964 and 1965 AFL Championship Games. He also talks about George Allen and the Over the Hill Gang, of which he was a part. Hear the inside story about the most famous play in Super Bowl 7, when Mike Bass returned a blocked kick and subsequent Garo Yepremian interception for a touchdown. He talks about the Washington/Dallas rivalry and a time when pro football teams held training camps at a hotel. Ron played college ball at the University of Nebraska, with Pat Fischer and Mick Tingelhoff. Ron has a new book available on Amazon.com. You can also order The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. You can listen in the player at the top, and also […]

Podcast — Pete Koch — Bengals, Chiefs, Raiders Legend

You can listen in the player below, and also listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Stitcher.       What made Howie Long one of the best players of his generation? Pete Koch fills us in, and brings us into the workout room with Raiders Greg Townsend and Bill Pickel on The Game Before the Money Podcast. The Bengals drafted Koch in the first round of the 1984 NFL draft. They drafted Pete’s college teammate Boomer Esiason in the second round. Pete later played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Raiders. He joins us on the podcast, and discusses what it was like to be a first-round draft choice. He also talks about the mid-80s glory years in the AFC West, facing quarterbacks such as John Elway and Dan Fouts. He shares great memories of playing on a Chiefs line that featured outstanding players such as Art Still, Bill Maas, and Mike Bell. […]

The Game Before the Money Podcast!

You can listen in the player below, and also listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Stitcher. Episode 1 of The Game before the Money podcast introduces the new program and announces our first guests. We are about the podcast, which will feature pro and college football legends and others associated with the history of the game. Listen to the introductory episode below, as host Jackson Michael describes what to expect in the upcoming weeks. The show officially launches in September 2018. Early guests will include: Legendary Nebraska coach Tom Osborne (who also briefly played in the NFL), combing through nooks and crannies of Nebraska football history. Dallas Cowboy Chad Hennings will discuss winning three Super Bowls with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, as well as his time in the U.S. Air Force. Pete Koch will tell you what it’s like to be a first-round draft pick, and also what it’s like to […]

An Appreciation: Bart Starr Part 1

(Painting by Robert Hurst) Before I had the privilege of meeting Bart Starr, I repeatedly heard the same things from his teammates and others who had met him. “Oh, he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.” “Bart’s the perfect man.” “Salt of the earth.” Bart’s one of those rare people that all those good things you hear about him beforehand turn out to be true. I first met him at a Tri-Star autograph show in Houston, hoping to interview him for The Game before the Money. He didn’t have time that day to interview, but gave me a number to reach him at later. He did, however, have time to chat with everyone who wanted to meet him. He granted everyone who wanted to meet him a good amount of time, and was kind and respectful to all. He and I had a pleasant conversation about Wisconsin, the people and the weather there. I could do a post on how […]

A Brief History of… Goal Posts

We see them every game, cast in their photogenic stance. Fans love to tear them down. But what is the story behind those fabled goal posts? The information’s pretty tough to find, but I’ll put as much of it together here as I can. EARLY YEARS In football’s earliest days – and we’re talking Pudge Heffelfinger, pre-1900 days – a field goal was actually more valuable than a touchdown. Under those rules, Stephen Gostkowski’s field goals would notch 5 points, Marshawn Lynch’s TDs only 4. Soon both plays were worth 5 points, and gradually moved to modern-day scoring by 1912. In the NFL’s earliest days — days before the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles existed — the league followed the NCAA rule book. Goal posts were on the goal line. When the NCAA moved them to the end zone’s backline in 1927, the NFL followed suit. In 1933, however, the NFL adopted its own rule book and placed the goal […]

Thinking Out Loud: Ken Stabler and the Pro Football Hall of Fame

My first NFL memories involve during Super Bowl 11 and explained the meaning of the NFL’s biggest day while Stabler led the Raiders to ultimate victory. The Holy Roller play remains a cherished memory, and one of the first epic plays I witnessed live on television. Stabler helped characterize the 1970s NFL. His bearded face symbolizes Raider football. The Hall of Fame has yet to induct “The Snake,” a position defended by Sports Illustrated writer and Hall of Fame voter Peter King. Many fans, however, disagree. Count me in that group. King argues that statistics and career consistency don’t land in Stabler’s favor. I get that, and statistics play a huge part. Being great for 5 years is much different than being great for 10 or 15. Yet we call it the “Hall of Fame.” The moniker implies the word “famous,” and nobody can deny #12’s fame throughout his career. Similar to the old E.F. Hutton commercials, when Stabler played, […]

Letters To A 1950s NFL Prospect

Before the NFL Combine and NFL scouting departments, teams sent questionnaires to prospects to gather information before the draft. This continued at least through the late 1960s.    In the summer of 1982, I attended a Milwaukee Brewers game against the Baltimore Orioles with my Little League teammate Chuck Hable and his dad. Three things stick out about that day: 1) Ben Oglivie hit a late double, spurring the Brewers to a 9-7 victory. 2) Retroactive research shows Cal Ripken was less than two weeks into his consecutive games streak. 3) Chuck brought along his dad’s binoculars. The case bore an emblem that said, “Rose Bowl Particpant.” Chuck’s father, Burton Hable, played safety for the University of Wisconsin. His senior season, 1952, marked the Badgers first Rose Bowl appearance. Hable tied for the Big 10 lead in interceptions, making three in the regular season finale against Minnesota. Several NFL teams sent Hable inquiries. I’ve always wanted to see a questionnaire […]

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 […]

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