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75 Years Ago: NFL Action on “A Day That Will Live in Infamy” 0

Posted on December 04, 2016 by Dean Hybl
December 7, 1941 was Tuffy Leemans' Day at the New York Giants football game.

December 7, 1941 was Tuffy Leemans’ Day at the New York Giants football game.

The first Sunday in December of 1941 began much like Sundays have for years prior and for the 75 years since.  The morning for many included a church service and then was followed by Sunday afternoon National Football League action.

Though the NFL in 1941 was not the Sunday national obsession that it has become over the past 75 years, there was still excitement for the final three games of the regular season.

In New York, a crowd of 55,051 packed the Polo Grounds for “Tuffy Leemans’ Day” as the New York Giants were recognizing their All-Pro running back in the final regular season game of his sixth NFL season. Leemans had led the NFL in rushing with 830 yards as a rookie in 1936 and as was common during the era, he was a multi-threat who also could be a passer, receiver, punt returner and play defense. He would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.

The Giants entered the game with an 8-2 record and having already clinched the East Division title. Their opponents, the cross-town rival Brooklyn Dodgers (yes the Brooklyn Dodgers was also the name of an NFL team from 1930-1943) entered the game with a 6-4 record.

Brooklyn had defeated the Giants 16-13 earlier in the season, but a recent loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers had knocked the Dodgers out of contention for the division title.

On this afternoon, Brooklyn All-Pro Pug Manders was a one-man-show as he scored touchdown in the second, third and fourth quarters to give the Dodgers a 21-0 lead. He sandwiched touchdown runs of three and two yards with a 65-yard interception return for a score. The Giants made the final score 21-7 when Kay Fakin caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Hank Soar.

As would be the case in all the NFL Stadiums that day, soon after the Pearl Harbor Bombing commenced at 12:55 Eastern time, the public address announcer told all servicemen in attendance to report to their units immediately.

At Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC, the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles were each finishing out the season. The Redskins were 5-5 on the year, while the Eagles were 2-7-1 entering the final contest.

In front of a crowd of 27,102, the Eagles scored early on a run by Jack Banta. Future Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh hit Al Krueger for a 19-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to tie the contest.

The Eagles regained the lead in the third quarter with a six-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Thompson to Hank Piro to make the score 14-7.

By the time Baugh tossed a pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes to Joe Aguirre to secure the 20-14 victory, many of the initial audience was likely gone. Soon after the bombings, the Public Address Announcer started to page high-ranking government and military leaders, though he did not mention the attacks. Read the rest of this entry →

How Sports Management Has Changed Thanks to Technology 0

Posted on November 24, 2016 by John Harris

mlb-technologyThere are some huge differences between the sport of a few decades ago and the sport of today. One of the things that have seen many changes is sports management. Technology has meant that managers now carry out their work in many different ways. It has improved communication, documentation and the ability to analyze performance. Here are some of the key ways that tech has changed sports management.

Improved Communication

Communication in sports management is much more instant today, just like it is in any other arena. People now not only carry a personal phone with them, but that phone is also essentially a computer. They can contact anyone instantly by phone or using the internet. Social media is another key method of communication that has changed how sports managers operate.

Recording Games

The process to record sports footage just a few decades ago was slow and laborious. Today, like many things, it’s an almost instant process. Any sports manager can use a handheld device to record footage and watch it back instantly. This greatly improves their ability to view and share a video of players. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Tips for an Awesome Sunday Football Party 0

Posted on November 14, 2016 by Matt Rhoney
Even officials making awful calls won't spoil a great football party.

Even officials making awful calls won’t spoil a great football party.

As we continue to venture deeper into the football season there comes about an awesome opportunity to get great friends together for old fashion fun, Although, many Sunday football fans are happy to spend an afternoon catching the game at the neighborhood bar, why not enjoy the comfort of your own home and host your own game watching party? Here are some tips for making it a party that’s sure to impress friends and family:

Set Up a Party Zone

When planning your invite list, you may notice you have some friends who love football, but their spouses or partners may have no interest in the game. Instead of making the party exclusive, set up a separate party area in your home for people to sit and socialize rather than being “shushed” by die hard fans watching the game on TV.

Delegate Dishes

Depending on the size of your invite list, you may want to make your party a potluck or at least a BYOB. One of the nice things about hosting a potluck style type of party is that you can taste a nice variety of foods. You can either ask your guests to bring a favorite game day food or delegate a dish to pass. It’s likely that your friends won’t mind as long as you provide the large screen television and surround sound.

Set Up Food Stations

If you’re planning to serve a large meal or have a BBQ, you probably won’t eat until the game is over. If you set up a snack bar (think pretzels, soda, and popcorn) you will keep your guests fighting off hunger while watching the game. If your guests are planning on staying all day, set up a dessert area and a pot of coffee. Setting up food stations will not only keep your guests satisfied, but will save you work in the kitchen so you have more time to socialize and catch the game. Read the rest of this entry →

Cowboys and Steelers on Par with Dominant Eras; Meet Again in 2016 0

Posted on November 13, 2016 by Chris Kent

As two of the National Football League’s iconic franchises, the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers evoke legacies and memories that date back to the 1970’s. That is where the two franchises forged their reputations as being elite. The two teams met in a pair of Super Bowls and combined to play in seven during the decade. With wins over the Cowboys in Super Bowls X and XIII,

Chuck Noll coached the Steelers to a 4-0 mark in the Super Bowl in the 1970's.

Chuck Noll coached the Steelers to a 4-0 mark in the Super Bowl in the 1970′s.

the Steelers gained the upper hand in the matchup in the 1970’s during which they went 4-0 in Super Bowls and claimed the status as the team of the decade. The two Super Bowl matchups between them in the 1970’s were classics. Pittsburgh claimed a pair of four-point victories with a 21-17 win in Super Bowl X and a 35-31 victory in Super Bowl XIII.

While both franchises fell off the very top of the NFL pedestal in the 1980’s, they came back to prominence in the 1990’s during which they met in a third Super Bowl, that being Super Bowl XXX in 1996 which Dallas won 27-17. It was the third Super Bowl title in a four-year span for the Cowboys who were the team of the decade. Dallas was lead throughout the 1990’s by Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, who collectively were known as, “The Triplets.” They combined with a mammoth offensive line that featured multiple pro bowlers and a pro football hall-of-famer in guard/tackle Larry Allen that dominated opponents. Meanwhile, the Steelers had emerged as a contender with back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship game in 1994-95. Pro football hall-of-famers Rod Woodson and Kevin Greene were part of those Pittsburgh teams and soon to join in 1996 would be another eventual hall-of-famer in Jerome Bettis.

The mere mention of the Cowboys and Steelers dueling on the gridiron is enough to get any football fan’s attention. The names on each side represent a hall-of-fame roll call of players and coaches. For Pittsburgh it is the dominant era of “The Steel Curtain” defense in the 1970’s that took the league by storm. That defense was made famous by the likes of “Mean” Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, and Mel Blount who are all in the pro football hall of fame. L.C. Greenwood was also part of the Steel Curtain and was named to the NFL’s 1970’s All-Decade Team. Leading those great Steelers’ teams was the late Chuck Noll who was 4-0 in Super Bowls, the only coach in the Super Bowl era besides Bill Belichick to win four. Those Pittsburgh team’s of the 1970’s also had firepower on offense behind the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster who are all in the pro football hall of fame. Read the rest of this entry →

How Shared Football Stadiums Prep for Game Day 1

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Daniel Bailey
Oakland Alameda Stadium is currently the only stadium used for both the NFL and Major League Baseball.

Oakland Alameda Stadium is currently the only stadium used for both the NFL and Major League Baseball.

If you’re a big football fan, you most likely already know that several NFL and college teams share the same stadium. If you aren’t aware, there are 13 NFL teams that still share their football stadiums. While the NY Giants and Jets play on the same field, the Oakland Raiders actually share their stadium with the Oakland A’s. This is the only NFL team that still shares a stadium with an MLB baseball team. So how is this possible? The term used when each team is prepping its field for game day is, “flipping the field.”

Flipping a field isn’t an easy task. It takes a lot of time, money and labor to make sure that each stadium is ready before the teams run onto the field. It can take 12 crew members a whole work day to get the field ready for the team’s next game. This isn’t cheap either; it can cost up to $250,000get all of this done.

To lay it all out, Equipsupply created an infographic that goes into the behind-the-scenes details of what it takes to get these football fields ready for each and every game day. So next time you’re prepping for your tailgate festivities, you might think about all the work that it took to get your favorite team’s football field ready for kick off. Read the rest of this entry →

Prescott’s Impressive Play Poses Quarterback Dilemma in Dallas 0

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Chris Kent

Who Dak?

Prescott has lead Dallas to five straight wins.

Prescott has lead Dallas to five straight victories.

That is a question that has been answered with rave cheers from Dallas Cowboys Nation through the first six games of the 2016 season. To answer the question in terms of a bio, he is Rayne Dakota “Dak” Prescott, the Cowboys’ rookie quarterback from Mississippi State University who stands 6-2 and weighs 223 pounds. Drafted in the fourth round with the 135th pick overall this past spring, Prescott was pressed into action much sooner than expected due to the compression fracture of the L1 vertebrae suffered by veteran starting quarterback Tony Romo in a preseason loss at Seattle on Aug. 25. Since then, Prescott has played well and above his rookie status. He has opened his NFL career with a 5-1 record as a starter and has already set an NFL record by throwing 176 passes without an interception to start a career, surpassing the record of 162 formerly held by Tom Brady. While he lost a fumble and threw the first interception of his career in a 30-16 win at Green Bay on Oct. 16, Prescott has shown tremendous poise. He has guided Dallas to five straight wins, the team’s longest win streak since 2014 when they won six straight and were 6-1.

Prescott is a sturdy quarterback with a strong arm and mobility. He has made smart decisions with where he throws the football which is perhaps his most impressive quality. Six games into his NFL career, Prescott is 125-for-182 for 1,486 yards and 7 touchdowns. Even more impressive is his completion percentage of 68.7 and the fact that he has only thrown one interception thus far. He is averaging 247.7 passing yards per game and has an average per attempt of 8.2. While Prescott benefits from playing behind the best offensive line in the league and the impact running of rookie Ezekiel Elliott – who leads the NFL with 703 yards rushing – , he is also capable of avoiding the rush. Prescott has run for three touchdowns this year while totaling 67 yards on 20 runs. Prescott stands to only benefit from a healthy Dez Bryant – a pro bowl wide receiver – who is schedule to return from a knee injury on Oct. 30 when the team hosts Philadelphia. Read the rest of this entry →

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