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Sports Then and Now



Report: Tom Brady Retiring From the NFL 1

Posted on January 29, 2022 by Dean Hybl

Less than a week after leading a spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful comeback in the NFC Playoffs, multiple sources are reporting that 44-year-old quarterback Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL.

Multiple sources are reporting that Tom Brady is retiring after 22 seasons in the NFL.

If the reports are accurate, it is truly the end of an amazing era in NFL history. Not only has Brady played in more Super Bowls (10) and has more Super Bowl rings than anyone else (7), but he holds the NFL records for most passing attempts, most passing yards, most touchdown passes and most passing yards in NFL history.

However, unlike some of the quarterbacks he overtook for the all-time passing records (Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Dan Marino), Brady’s legacy is truly less about the statistics than it is about his winning history.

In the 20 seasons in which Brady was the full-time starting quarterback, he led his squad to the playoffs 19 times, including the last 18 years in a row. His career playoff record of 35-12 in 47 games represents nearly three full regular seasons worth of postseason performances.

When describing great coaches, they often use the adage that he could take his team and beat your team and then take your team and beat his team. Tom Brady is one of a handful of football players for which you could make the same comment. If Brady was the quarterback of the team, you knew they always had a chance to win.

Few (okay, no one, except maybe him) predicted such lofty greatness when Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 draft with the 199th overall pick.

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NFL: Taking a Look at the Best Quarterbacks Today 0

Posted on July 02, 2020 by Selwyn DuPlooy

Even though there hasn’t been any football yet this season, it is still important to remember who the big guns are at quarterback. Currently, there are some incredible players in the pivotal position, these QB’s, they can win games and bets. This list will name the best ones currently playing. 

Tom Brady

Even though Tom Brady has left the Patriots, and will most likely see his career put at the Buccaneers, he is still definitely one of the best quarterbacks playing right now, his record and stats prove it each and every season. 

Even though he’s been on the decline the past couple of seasons, his new position at Tampa, and being able to link up with incredible playmakers, and Gronk of course, will hopefully get him back in the swing of things. 

He may not be the same giant on the field anymore, but being able to play with great playmakers will allow him to show off his skill and precision again, and have the team mates that can use the service he provides. 

Matthew Stafford 

Stafford was well on his way to having an incredible season in 2019 before injury took him off the field. At the time of his injury, he was second in touchdown passes, and fourth in yards per attempt, strong numbers for the Lions QB. 

Like Brady, Stafford is going to be surrounded with team mates that can turn his passing and throwing prowess into yards and points, and he will be playing in a system that will allow him to express himself on the field. 

As long as he can stay healthy, and his RB’s and WR’s perform, Stafford can easily pick up where he left off before injury scuttled his season last year. 

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson is a strange case because he is the best of a bad bunch. The Texans don’t have the best defensive line at all, and Watson has been sacked too many times to count, but he led the Texans to 3-3, and without him, they went 1-9. 

As a rookie, he was sacked 62 times, but still managed to complete 63% of his passes for over 4,000 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. He is a diamond in the rough, and if his team gets their act together, he can very easily be one of the best QB’s in the upcoming season. 

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Here’s How You Can Become an Ultimate Tom Brady Fan 1

Posted on June 14, 2020 by Muhammad Saood

The reality of life is such that some people are born to stand out and shine. One such person is Tom Brady. Born and raised in a small county in California, Brady took football by a storm. 2000 season marked his rookie year with Patriots as a quarterback and the rest is history. 

Ever since, his performance in those early years of his career, the guy has never disappointed his team and most importantly, his fans. His success cannot be quantified into figures or even words which make him the ultimate icon. You think of NFL, I bet his face is the first that pops up in your mind. If your obsession with Tom Brady is not just limited to the super bowl, you must check the following things out to not just feel but rather be closer to the legend himself. 

  • Merchandise

Tom Brady has been in the limelight for over two decades which means the merchandise would be in abundance. NFL has various items ranging from signed helmets to jerseys he worn while killing it in the stadium on its website for a decent price tag. In addition to that, there are numerous items including coins and bobble heads which might not be signed but they’re a great reminder of your love for him and most importantly, for the game for price as low as fifty dollars. 

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5 Athletes Who Made Amazing Comebacks After Debilitating Injuries 0

Posted on February 22, 2020 by Brooke Chaplan

Injuries are almost inevitable in professional sports. However, some of these injuries can be harder to recover from than others. Several athletes have made some fascinating comebacks after pushing through some difficult injuries.

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson

This NFL superstar tore the MCL and ACL in his knee around 2011. As a running back, such injuries could prove catastrophic to Peterson’s career. It wouldn’t be out of the question for fans to wonder if he would ever take to the field again. Fortunately, Peterson didn’t just play the game again. He was also part of the lineup for the Vikings less than a year after suffering what could have been a career-ending problem. This short recovery period comes combined with some great plays from Peterson.

John Orozco

Most people hold Olympic contestants to the highest standard in sports. It is fair to say that gymnast John Orozco is tough and dedicated. However, few fans may know just how driven this athlete is on the mat. Orozco tore his ACL once and his Achilles twice in the span of just five years. Either one of these incidents could have spelled the end for him. However, Orozco won the championship title for the US the same year he tore his ACL.

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NFL at 100: Top 100 Players of All-Time – 25-1 1

Posted on February 02, 2020 by Dean Hybl

As part of our celebration of the NFL at 100, Sports Then and Now is finishing our list of the top 100 players in NFL history with picks 25-1.

One of the cool parts of the NFL celebrating 100 years is remembering the great moments and players that have helped shape the history of the game.

The NFL Network has been sharing their selections for the top moments, game-changers, teams and characters. They also picked their All-Time top 100 team, though they did not rank the players 1-100.

In a sport that has seen great change and evolution over 100 years, creating any comprehensive all-time list is going to be subjective and open to interpretation.

That is likely even more pronounced when trying to choose the top 100 players of the NFL’s first 100 years.

Some will certainly rely heavily on statistics as a guide, but my opinion is that while individual season statistics and the number of seasons leading the league in a statistical category can help identify greatness, career and all-time statistics are not as helpful and can be misleading when trying to pick an all-time team.

Whether it is related to the number of games played each season, move from playing both ways to position specialization or rule changes that impact offensive production, there has been enough change over the history of the game that I believe reduce the importance of career statistics.

 That is why for the Sports Then and Now list of the Top 100 Players in NFL history we chose to give greater emphasis to other factors. The things we looked at when choosing our top 100 included All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections, number of times leading their league in statistical categories, how they compared to other players from within their era and peak performance. Team success was given greater weight in ordering quarterbacks, but played only a minor role in selecting players from other positions.

The result is a Sports Then and Now Top 100 list that includes many of the players selected by NFL Network, but does have quite a few differences. For our list, we made sure not to forget those players from the 1920s-1950s whose career statistics are well below players from future decades, but who were clearly all-time greats.

The distribution of players by era for the ST&N Top 100 is very interesting: 1920s-1930s: 8; 1940s-1950s: 13; 1960s: 24; 1970s: 15; 1980s: 12; 1990s: 12; 2000s: 8; 2010s: 7. However, 14 of our top 20 played a majority of their career after 1980.

You can read our players 100-76, 75-51 and 50-26 in previous articles.

25. Bulldog Turner – Chicago Bears – 4 Pro Bowls; 7 time 1st Team All-Pro: A two-way star for the Chicago Bears, Clyde “Bulldog” Turner helped lead the Bears to four NFL Championships. As a rookie in 1940, he played center on offense and had an interception return for a touchdown as the Bears defeated the Washington Redskins 73-0.  Playing primarily center on offense and linebacker on defense, he was an eight-time first team All-Pro.

24. Mike Webster – Pittsburgh Steelers – 9 Pro Bowls; 5 time 1st Team All-Pro: Considered by many to be the greatest offensive center in NFL history, Mike Webster helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl titles. He played in 245 career games, including 150 consecutive starts from 1976-86.

Merlin Olsen

23. Merlin Olsen – Los Angeles Rams – 14 Pro Bowls; 5 time 1st Team All-Pro: One of five players in NFL history to have been selected to 14 Pro Bowls, Merlin Olsen teamed with Deacon Jones to anchor the Los Angeles Rams Fearsome Foursome defensive line during the 1960s. As a defensive tackle, Olsen was a stalwart against the run. A durable player, Olsen missed only two games in his 15 year career. He was the NFL rookie of the year in 1962 while earning the first of 14 straight trips to the Pro Bowl.

22. Chuck Bednarik – Philadelphia Eagles – 8 Pro Bowls; 6 time 1st Team All-Pro: One of the last of the two-way players, Chuck Bednarik earned All-Pro honors as an offensive center and defensive linebacker during his career. Nicknamed “Concrete Charlie”, Bednarik was known for his ferocious hits. In the 1960 Championship Game he tackled Green Bay running back Jim Taylor at the 9-yard line on the final play of the game to ensure a 17-13 Philadelphia victory.

21. Bronko Nagurski – Chicago Bears – 0 Pro Bowls; 4 time 1st Team All-Pro: At 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, Nagurski was one of the largest running backs in the NFL in the 1930s and larger than many linemen of the era. He threw a touchdown pass to Red Grange to help the Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first-ever NFL Playoff Game. Nagurski was a first or second team All-Pro in each of his first seven NFL seasons. He retired following the 1937 season, but returned to the team in 1943 and played tackle and fullback to help the Bears win the NFL Championship.

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A Look at the Best NFL Teams of the Decade 0

Posted on January 22, 2020 by John Harris

2020 is here and a lot has been made of the upcoming Super Bowl, the pending draft and the greatest players of the past decade but what about the franchises that have kept us entertained throughout the past 10 years? Now, we look at the best sides of the 2010s.

NUMBER 5 – DENVER BRONCOS 

It’s quite easy to forget about the Broncos because they’ve been someway off the pace in the last few years. The first half of the decade though was a different story. 2010 saw a poor campaign with 12 losses but when expectations were low Denver took off; five seasons followed where they finished in first place in their division, which was aided with the arrival of Comeback Player of the Year Peyton Manning in 2012. 

The post season was a sore subject for many years though with defeat in NFL Super Bowl 48 a hard pill to swallow but you can’t keep a good Bronco down and their decade reached it’s peak in 2015 as they finally lifted the Super Bowl with a victory over the Carolina Panthers.

NUMBER 4 – BALTIMORE RAVENS 

John Harbaugh has done a tremendous job with the Ravens over the last 12 years but, despite a more than competitive decade, they could have achieved so much more. Four division triumphs, a conference win and narrow Super Bowl glory – where Joe Flacco was named MVP – were the highlights and a win rate of .613 ensures the franchise keeps improving decade on decade. If they can continue the progression into the 2020’s then we’ll have a team on our hands and given they’ve switched style from a defense first approach to a now eye catching offense who knows what lays in wait.

NUMBER 3 – SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 

The Seahawks spent the entire decade challenging at the top of their division with all but one of the campaigns ending with the minimum of a second-place finish. Their post season displays were respectable too and although back to back Super Bowl wins eluded them after defeat to the Patriots in 2014 there is simply no ignoring their success the year before where they destroyed the Broncos 43-8, which was the biggest Super Bowl win of the decade.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      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.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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