Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Remembering the NFL Minister of Defense Reggie White 1

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Mike Raffone

Minister of DefenseToday’s Sports Then and Now blog remembers the late Reggie White.

An ordained pastor and Pro Football Hall of Fame lineman, this NFL defender brilliantly embodied his fitting Minister of Defense nickname.

During a storied 15-year NFL career, the Minister of Defense delivered his football version of a fire and brimstone sermon by dominating opposing offenses.

Whenever Reggie White set foot on the football field, he constantly administered defensive pressure. And, when away from the gridiron, he tirelessly catered to the needs of inner-city youth and those less fortunate through his work as a Christian minister.

NFL.com rated White as the #7 NFL player of all-time, and ESPN Sports Nation named him the greatest player in Philadelphia Eagles history. His storied career validates their lofty choices.

White graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1984 after being named SEC Player of the Year during his senior season. The Minister of Defense then played two years in the now defunct USFL with the Memphis Showboats, earning the 1985 USFL Man of the Year Award.

After the USFL folded, White proceeded to the NFL and starred for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1985 – 1992. Read the rest of this entry →

Philadelphia Eagles 1988-1992: On the Edge of Greatness 7

Posted on September 30, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Reggie White (#92), Jerome Brown (#99) and Mike Pitts (#74) were part of the dominating defense of the Eagles during the late 1980s.

A new NFL Network special looks back at a time 20 years ago when the Philadelphia Eagles also had a team that many believed had the talent to win a Super Bowl. However, while three of their division rivals were able to win titles in the early 1990s, the Eagles were left to contemplate what could have been.

The documentary focuses on two of the defensive stars from the Eagles teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Jerome Brown and Reggie White. Both players were key components of one of the dominant defenses of the era and both players passed away far too early (as did fellow Eagles from that era Todd Bell and Andre Waters).

Between 1988 and 1992, the Eagles posted a 52-28 regular season record and joined the San Francisco 49ers as the only teams in the NFL to post double digit victory totals in all five seasons. However, while the 49ers claimed two Super Bowl titles during that stretch and the other three were won by the Eagles’ NFC East rivals the Giants, Redskins and Cowboys, the Eagles were left waiting for a next year that never came.

Under the guidance of head coach Buddy Ryan, defense was the calling card of the Eagles during that era. Utilizing the 4-6 defense that had helped the Chicago Bears win a Super Bowl, Ryan turned the Eagles into an intimidating, ball-hawking defense that regularly created big plays on the defensive end of the game.

While the unit had many talented players, the unquestioned leader of the defense was defensive end Reggie White. The “Minister of Defense” was a defensive juggernaut and regularly punished any quarterback or running back that dared get in his way.

During his eight seasons with the Eagles between 1985 and 1992, White registered 124 sacks in 121 games, including an amazing 21 sacks in just 12 games during the strike-shortened 1987 campaign. He also forced 18 fumbles and recovered 12.

When Philadelphia made defensive tackle Jerome Brown their first pick (ninth overall) in the 1987 draft, it provided White with a rush partner that forced opposing offenses to worry about the rush from both the inside and outside.

By 1988, their third season under Ryan, the Eagles had gelled as a team and were ready to make a run at the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry →

The Best Individual Performances in Super Bowl History: 50-41 1

Posted on January 31, 2011 by A.J. Foss

Bart Starr was the MVP of the first Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is the ultimate stage for a NFL player to have a performance for the ages.

It does not have to be a superstar or future Hall-of-Famer, but role players or players that have been overshadowed throughout their careers can step in to the limelight and put together a game that fans watching on TV or in the stands will never forget.

With the help of Bob McGinn’s The Ultimate Super Bowl Book, I have comprised the 50 Greatest Individual Performances in Super Bowl History.

In this list will not only be players that won the Most Valuable Player award in the Super Bowl, but players from losing teams that gave put their teams on their back but fell just short of winning the Lombardi Trophy, through no fault of their own.

Also, there will be performances that could have been recognized as a MVP performance but were overlooked in favor of others.

In essence, just because there have been 44 Super Bowls, does not mean all 44 Super Bowl MVP winners on this list.

So with no further interruption, here are the 50 Greatest Individual Performances in Super Bowl History with today’s installment focusing on 50 through 41:

50. Roger Craig-Running Back, San Francisco 49ers, XIX
Craig became the first player in Super Bowl history to score three touchdowns in one game.

The versatile running back ran the ball 15 times for 58 yards and rushed for a two-yard touchdown run to go along with seven receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers’ 38-16 win over the Miami Dolphins.

49. John Stallworth-Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers, XIV
Though he only caught three passes in the entire game, Stallworth made his presence felt in the fourth quarter of a tight contest with the Los Angeles Rams.

Trailing 19-17 early in the fourth quarter, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw launched a deep pass for Stallworth, who caught it beyond the hands of Rams safety Rod Perry at the Rams’ 32-yard-line, and ran it in for the go-ahead touchdown.

Following an Rams turnover and facing a 3rd-and-7, Stallworth caught another deep pass from Bradshaw, this time for 45 yards that put the Steelers at the Rams’22-yard-line and lead to the game-clinching touchdown, a one-yard touchdown run by Franco Harris.

Stallworth finished with 121 yards on three catches, averaging 40.3 yards per catch, in the Steelers’ 31-19 victory and fourth Super Bowl title in six years. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Joe Cronin: Player-Manager
      October 1, 2017 | 8:21 am
      Joe Cronin

      Joe Cronin

      In recognition of the start of the baseball playoffs, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month a man who managed pennant winning teams in Washington and Boston and spent more than decade as a player-manager.

      When the Boston Red Sox acquired Joe Cronin following the 1934 season they didn’t just get an All-Star player, they also got a new manager.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Who was the best NFL Quarterback in the 1970s?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top