Dallas 1960-1961 Tom Landry vs the Giants

Tom Landry was able to get some satisfaction from his first two rather dismal years with the expansion team, the Dallas Cowboys.  He was a great defensive backfield coach with the New York Giants but did not get the head job there, which he really wanted.  The Cowboys were 0-11-1 his first year but their tie came with the Giants.  In 1961, he defeated New York.  The Giants were in the middle their dynasty which lasted from 1956 to 1963.   Defeating the Giants in that time frame was no small accomplishment.  Both of these games were at Yankee Stadium.

1960-The tie at 31.  Eddie LeBaron for Dallas was 17 for 35 for 267 yards and three touchdowns.  HOF end Billy Howton caught six passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.  The Giants finish third in 1960 at 6-4-2.

1961-The Cowboys won 17 to 16.  That shrimp did it once again.  Le Baron completed 15 of 28 passes for 207 yards and touchdown.  Don Perkins gained 80 yards.  This victory gave the Cowboys a 4-3 record.  However, they lost all of their remaining games except for one tie.  The New York Giants won the Eastern Conference at 10-3-1.  

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Best Republican President Also Ran-No Contest-Charles Evans Hughes

Looking at defeated Presidential nominees by party is an oft done conjecture.  Several names pop up among Democrats.  For the Republicans the choice, for me, is simple-Charles Evans Hughes of New York.  Hughes was an idealist but tempered this with a deep respect for individual rights and the rule of law.  In other words,  CEH tempered his ideals with a strong dose of realism.

The Republicans nominated Charles Evans Hughes at their convention in Chicago  in 1916. The Democrats had President Woodrow Wilson, who was running for reelection.  Hughes is the only person I feel was better qualified for the Presidency than the incumbent.  Hughes was the Governor of New York State, winning in 1906 and 1908.  { A two year term  is futile and this has changed in most states}  In 1910, President William Howard Taft nominated and the Senate easily confirmed  Charles Evans Hughes for an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.  As a Governor and Judge, Hughes had a consistently liberal record involving the support of organized labor, education, and civil liberties.  He also helped reform corrupt corporate practices, especially in utilities and insurance.  Many of these companies had grossly high rates.

As indicated,  Hughes left the bench to run for President for the Republican Party in 1916.   President Wilson in his first term had a record of good though somewhat flawed liberalism.  It was obvious that, by 1916, that foreign policy would be far more important.   World War I was raging in Europe and the United States had to face it in one way or another.  Hughes repeatedly stated that we should give more aid to the Allied Powers and even impose sanctions on Germany.  Wilson’s plank was strict neutrality.  The motto for his re-election was “He kept us out of War. ”  At first blush, it seems like those wanting to avoid war would vote for President Wilson.  Here though is where the plot gets a novel twist.

Though he preached neutrality, President Wilson’s acts were with no question Pro British and anti-German.  The President

–suspended economic aid and trade  licenses with Germany but increased them with Great Britain;

–complained about the German blockade of the English Channel but said nothing about British actions in the Balkans;

–said Germany wanted to establish an Empire;  Great Britain already had one;

–protested against the  Unrestricted Submarine War of Germany; Great Britain, with control of the seas, did not need to use this tactic.

–correctly condemned the  German invasion of Belgium; but the Germans did nowhere near the damage the newspapers claimed;

–correctly condemned the German’s sinking of the Lusitania; but it was also carrying munitions to England and France and had no business sailing in a war zone.

With Hughes, the Presidents  action would have been consistent would have be consistent with his words and therefor easier to oppose.  In like manner, Barry Goldwater may have been preferable to Lyndon Johnson for those who wanted to stay out of Vietnam.  President Wilson won in 1916 with 30 states and 277 Electoral Votes to 18 states and 254 Electoral Votes to Charles Evans Hughes.  The outcome was in doubt for days.  Wilson won California by just under 3,000 which gave him a majority.   What kind of President would Hughes have made?  To be continued.   

Norm Brocklin-Revenge Over Vikings as a Falcon

During Van Brocklin’s time at Atlanta, he got two big wins over his former Head Coach team, the Minnesota Vikings.  Both games were at Atlanta and the Vikings went to the Super Bowl with a 12-2 record.

Week 14 1969.  Minnesota came in at 12-1 and the Falcons were 5-8.

This was a turnover filled game with the Falcons getting eight.  Al Lavan,  Atlanta DB, intercepted two passes.  Defensive End Claude Humphrey returned a fumble 24 yards for the game’s only touchdown.  Falcons 10 Vikings 3.

Week 10 1973.  Minnesota was perfect at 9-0 and the Falcons were 6-3 but had won five in a row.

Dave Hampton gained 108 yards on 23 carries and caught three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown.  Falcons 20 Vikings 14.

Don Shula-First Year in Miami-III

After that three week scoring drought which left them at 4-4, the Dolphins won six in a row to finish 10-4.  This was one and a half games behind the first place Baltimore Colts.  The Miami Dolphins were the AFC Wild Card team.  By far, the biggest win in these six weeks was the 34 to 17 game over the Baltimore Colts at home.  This in part was a counter dart to the 35 to 0 loss earlier at Baltimore.

The game was in week 10.  The Colts came in at 7-1-1 to the Dolphins 5-4.  Miami got four turnovers to none for Baltimore.  Jack Scott returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown.  In losing effort, Tom Nowatzke caught eight for 47 yards.

The Dolphins, in Shula’s first year,  went from 3-10-1 to 10-4.  They lost the first round of the playoffs to the Oakland Raiders.  Even so, Don Shula was building a dynasty.  The Dolphins, at home both times, defeated  teams that were in the AFC Championship Game; Oakland 20 to 13 and Baltimore mentioned above.  The Colts won the Super Bowl  so, to be redundant, Miami added a great script to 1970.   

Don Shula-First Year in Miami II

The Miami Dolphins had a really deep three game losing streak going 11 consecutive quarters without scoring.  Bob Griese, who later in the year was great, had a three week nightmare.  I have never seen anything like this from a team that won 10 games.

Week 6 at Miami  The Browns were 3-2 to the 4-1 Dolphins.

Bill Nelson completed 20 of 26 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns.  Bob Griese went five for 12 for 67 yards and three interceptions.  Shula mercifully pulled him in favor of John Stofa in the third quarter.  The Dolphins got only eight first downs; yielded four sacks; and gained only 165 yards the whole game.  Browns 28 Dolphins 0.

Week 7 at Baltimore. The Colts were 5-1 to the 4-2 Dolphins

Special teams and defense ruled for Baltimore.  Once again Griese and Stofa were miserable.  Colts on a Punt Return-Ron Jardin 80 yard touchdown.  Colts Receiving Second half kickoff-Jim Duncan 99 yard touchdown.  Linebacker Mike Curtis got two interceptions.  One thing for Miami.  Mercury Morris in just eight carries had 89 yards rushing.  Colts 35 Dolphins 0.

Week 8 at Philadelphia.  The Eagles had lost all seven games while Miami was 4-3.

The Dolphins’ trouble continued as the Eagles shut them out for three quarters.   Norm Snead threw three touchdown passes, two to Harold Jackson.  Cyril Pinder carried 23 times for 99 yards.  Philadelphia intercepted four passes, two by Adrain Young.  The Eagles led after three 24 to 0.  In the fourth quarter, the Dolphins kicked a field goal and John Stofa threw two touchdown passes.  Eagles 24 Dolphins 17.

Don Shula 1970-First Year in Miami I

After leaving Baltimore in 1969, Don Shula immediately  got the head coaching job at Miami with the Dolphins.  Here he brought even quicker success than he did at Baltimore.  The Miami Dolphins went 10-4 in 1970 and made the playoffs.  Here was their record since inception:

1966 3-11-0

1967 4-10-0

1968 5-8-1

1969 3-10-1

The Fins beat both teams that went to the AFC Title game, the Oakland Raiders and the Baltimore Colts.  The season was in three segments.  The first was a 4-1 start with a big win over the Oakland Raiders.  It was in game three at Miami.  The Dolphins were 1-1 to the Raiders 0-1-1.

Paul Warfield caught three passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns.  Garo Yepremian kicked field goals of 40 and 47 yards.   Dolphins DB Curtis Johnson intercepted two passes for 26 yards in returns.  The Dolphins won despite getting only seven first downs.  Dolphins 20 Raiders 13.

Don Shula-1969-Last Year in Baltimore

Perhaps in 1969, the Baltimore Colts were reeling from their loss in the Super Bowl.  The Colts fell from 13-1 to 8-5-1 and showed little of their form from the previous year.  Carrol Rosenbloom, always impatient, fired Shula after the season.  There were two big victories over long rival coaches, Vince Lombardi from the Washington Redskins and George Allen from the Los Angeles Rams.

Week 6 Washington at 4-4-1 came into Baltimore to play the 3-3 Colts.

The Redskins got off to a tremendous start under Vince Lombardi.  They tailed off after this game but their 7-5-1 record was their first winning season since 1955.  Today it was all Baltimore.   Tom Matte carried 21 times for 117 yards and scored three touchdowns.  For Washington, Sonny Jurgensen completed 28 of 33 passes for 339 and two touchdowns but three interceptions.   Redskins’ running back Charlie Harroway caught seven passes for 67 yards.   Colts 41 Redskins 17.

Week 14 Baltimore at 7-5-1 came to Los Angeles to play the 11-2 Rams.

The Rams were coasting having won the Coastal Division.    The Rams won the earlier game at Baltimore 27 to 20.  For this game, Johnny Unitas went 19 for 33 for 260 yards.  The Colts held the Rams to 159 yards and 10 first downs.  Colts 13 Rams 7.