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Sports Then and Now



Saints Are Super! 3

Posted on February 07, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Drew Brees secured his place among the NFL elite with his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLIV.

Drew Brees secured his place among the NFL elite with his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLIV.

No, the headline above is not a typo, the New Orleans Saints are lovable losers no more. After 43 years, the New Orleans Saints have reached the NFL mountaintop with a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

When Peyton Manning and the Colts marched methodically down the field to score the first 10 points of the game it looked like the Saints might be in for a long day.

However, this is not your father’s New Orleans Saints and instead of folding under pressure, this New Orleans team responded with spunk, determination and guile.

Inspired by their head coach, Sean Payton, who made a number of bold decisions that got the Saints back in the game, New Orleans came storming back to seize control.

Even after failing on a fourth and goal play late in the first half, the Saints rallied to make the game 10-6 at intermission.

Then, Payton made his boldest call as they started the second half with an onside kick. Had the Colts recovered, they would have had great field position and might have been able to put the game away.

Instead, the Saints recovered and quickly marched down the field to take their first lead of the game 13-10.

Illustrating why he is among the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, Peyton Manning led the Colts right back down the field to take a 17-13 lead.

With the Colts clinging to a 17-16 lead, they had a chance to extend their advantage, but a 51-yard field goal by Matt Stover faded to the left at the end and fell no good. Read the rest of this entry →

Jets Crash The NFL Playoff Party 1

Posted on January 17, 2010 by Dean Hybl

NFL Divisional Playoffs - New York Jets v San Diego Chargers

Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets rocked the NFL Playoffs with their upset of the San Diego Chargers.

Until the fourth period of the final game of the weekend, it appeared that the four top seeds were going to hold serve in the second round of the playoffs.

Then, the upstart New York Jets sparked the most hope among their fans in more than 40 years with a shocking comeback to defeat the San Diego Chargers and advance to the AFC Championships Game.

Ironically, the Jets will face the team that was their opponent in the greatest game in franchise history, the Colts (the Baltimore Colts in 1969 and now playing in Indianapolis).

With the exception of the upset by the Jets, the divisional round games were surprisingly void of excitement or competition. The three top seeds claimed victory by an average of 26 points.

Entering the weekend, there had been an over abundance of discussion about whether the teams with the best records would be hurt by playing conservatively during the last weeks of the season and then rusty following a bye. Surprisingly, that really didn’t seem to be much of an issue.

Instead, the Cardinals looked worn down following their track meet with the Packers a week ago while the Cowboys and Ravens were dominated by superior teams.

With the NFC title game matching the top two teams in the conference and the upstart Jets looking for their second win over the Colts in a month, the conference title game promise to be very exciting and intriguing. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Tony Oliva: Hall of Fame Worthy
      April 21, 2019 | 5:18 pm
      Tony Oliva

      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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