Harold Carmichael HOF

The Philadelphia Eagles, during Harold Carmichael playing years,  were in the Super Bowl only once.   Multiple Super Bowl appearances really grease the road to Canton.   In the 1980 season, the Eagles at home defeated the Oakland  Raiders 10 to 7.  Minus an 86 yard touchdown pass, Jim Plunkett to Cliff Branch, this was a splendid defensive performance.   Ron Jaworski threw a 43 yard pass to Leroy Harris to set up the winning touchdown.    The Eagles sacked  Jim Plunkett eight times for 62 yards in losses;  and the  Eagles got two turn overs.

Two months later saw the Eagles and Raiders in  Super Bowl XV at New Orleans.    Harold Carmichael was to make the biggest mistake of his career.   Behind 7 to 0 at the enemy 45, Harold went in motion,  something he had never done during the season.  He  cut sharply to his left as Jaworski lofted a 45 yard touchdown pass to Rodney Parker.   The penalty negated the score.  There were two other plays in the first half, neither involving  Carmichael, that the Eagles failed to make.  Oakland won easily 27 to 10.

Here are some highlights for Carmichael:

In 1973, he lead the NFL with both receptions with  67 and yards gained  with 1,115.  He also gained 1,078 yards in 1978 and 1,025 yards in 1981;

1975 at home vs. the Redskins.  Caught a pass deflected off Charlie Young and ran into the End Zone;  17 point underdogs Eagles won 26 to 10.

1979 at the New York Jets.  Caught two touchdown passes and blocked an extra point.  Eagles won 17 to 9. 

1983 at home with the Baltimore Colts.  On an End Around play threw a 45 yard touchdown pass to Mike Quick.  This was the only pass attempt in his career.

St Louis Cardinals 1963 to 1965

Previously I mentioned the Cardinals  late season losses.     In 1963,  St Louis  lost two of the last three to finish 9-5.   In 1964, there was a midyear  dip where the Cardinals lost three of four games.  The final record was 9-3-2 one half game behind conference winning Cleveland Browns.  For consolation, the Cardinals bettered the Browns  head to head games.  There was an early season tie at Cleveland 33-33 and they defeated the Browns 28 to 19 at home in December.

1965- For a complete picture I mentioned the 1965 season a few weeks ago.  After losing to the Philadelphia Eagles on opening day, the Cardinals won four consecutive games.  The 49 to 13 win at Cleveland was one of the best games  in St Louis history.  The final game of that  stretch was a 20 to 7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  They lost the next two bringing their record to 5-3. 

In week nine,  Charley Johnson fired a 59 yard touchdown pass to Billy Gambrel for a 21 to 17 win.  Then came disaster came as the  Cardinals lost their  remaining six games for a 5-9 record.


Ice Bowl Dec 31, 1967 QUESTIONS

Growing  older I become more cynical.  This piece of work rains on the Ice Bowl but I just can’t pass it up. Think back as you watched the game.  You can get the details elsewhere.   Points here: Green Bay did nothing on offense after getting  a 14 to 0 lead; and the Packers used an Ivy League castoff from the New York Giants to help win the game.

–Green Bay scored touchdowns the first two series.  Bart Starr really was an expert passer with the right touch on the football making the score 14 to 0.

–Dallas got back in the game on two Packer fumbles.  On a blitz, Bob Lilley and Willie Townes  hit Starr and he fumbled.   George Andre scooped up the football and ran into the End Zone.  The score GB 14 Dallas 7.  After that, Willy Wood fumbled a punt  return inside his own 20 and the Cowboys kicked a field goal.   This was great field possession and  settling for three points  really hurt Dallas.    Score at the half.  GB 14 DAL 10.

Green Bay spent the third quarter turning back two Cowboy drives.  Early in the fourth quarter Dan Reeves, on a half back option threw some 50 yards to Lance Renzell.    Dallas now lead 17 to 14.

The Packer offense was on their  own 30 yard line with just under five minutes to play. A few weeks back the  Packers claimed Chuck Mercein from the New York Giants on waivers.  He graduated from  Yale and  was one of  the few League players to have an impact on a post season game.   After Green Bay moved 40 yards to the Cowboy 30, Chuck Mercein wrote his name on NFL history.  CM caught a screen pass from Bart Starr for 22 yards to the Cowboy eight.  He then ran for seven yards just short of the End Zone.  Bart Starr took the Quarterback  sneak   for a touchdown with 15 seconds to go.

Why couldn’t  the Packers move the ball  after the first two touchdowns  until the last drive.



The Defenders

Let me continue with the Defenders.   To me this was the most socially conscience and the best dramatic series in TV history.  A father and son law firm team tackled different cases every week.  Ken Preston,  only a few years out  of law school,  has allot to learn and  from his father, a sharp veteran litigator.  Lawrence Preston is a well respected man in both academic and legal circles  in New York City.  This is no small task.  Since the colonial days, NYC has always  an abundance of lawyers.

 There were clashes  between father and son that emphasized the generation  gap.  * The younger Preston sometimes wanted to use a client to help correct a social ill that related to the case.   Lawrence had to reign in his son.  The elder Preston emphasized they were defending a client and not on a crusade.   Ken Preston often used instinct and emotion rather than drawing conclusions from the facts.   Once in a while, Ken’s approach turned out to be correct. Lawrence was even more proud of his son when this occurred.

The clients  they represented  ran all across the social spectrum.   There were poor, rich, pleasant, seedy, or hostile. Issues involved were various degrees of murder and its companion issue of the death sentence,  manslaughter,  robbery, larceny; divorce, euthanasia, treason, repatriation, abortion,  and many more.   As a high school kid,   I learned  allot from this show.  

The learning was because the show was about social issues an not a who-done-it  like Perry Mason.   Here was the basic plot with Perry  Mason- the real culprits,  on the witness stand,  admitted  their guilt through questions  from Mason.   There is no  quarreling with Mason’s brilliance and insight.  However,  this become so repetitive that, to me, it was boring.   This occurred with the Defenders as well as but not  very often.

Also unlike  Mason, the  Defenders lost cases, made poor judgment,  and had Judges threaten with contempt of court.  Mail came onto CBS saying that the Defenders  had better start winning some cases and having some better natured clients  or they would lose  interest.

About four years was appropriate for a drama series like The Defenders.  The real problem was the show not being available on  syndication until now .   Most of the shows on TV Land and Nick at Night were not worth  watching the first time.  Finally, the Shout Factory released Season 1 in July.  I hope to see Season 2 3, and 4 very soon.









At Home Versus Atlanta and Minnesota-1985

There I was sitting at the Eagles 10 yard line second level. With eight minutes to go and in the lead 17 to 0,  I felt good looking for a shut out. Nothing feels as good as completely slamming the door on your opponent. Then I started to see the whole thing coming apart. The Falcons were methodical putting up 14 points. On the third drive the Eagles barely stopped the Falcons. On fourth down and two, I was relieved that the Falcons were trying for the field goal. The way the Eagles were diving,  I wasn’t sure that they could stop Atlanta on fourth down.

So now the Eagles were tied at 17. On the first series after the kickoff, a defender hit JAWS and the Falcons intercepted. Surprise. The Eagles did not allow a first down. Mick Luckhurst was attempting a second FG in the span of about three minutes. This one was from 43 yards,  20 yards further than the previous. He missed wide left and not by much. The Eagles missed the a land mine for the second time. In overtime, the Falcons punter put the ball at the Eagle one. I felt Ron would throw an interception and the Falcons would return the ball for a touchdown. This was what happened at the Vet in the overtime loss to the Giants six weeks earlier. But the Eagles won as we all know

Also remember that the Eagles at that point had won 5 of the last 6. Their record now stood at 6-5 and with confidence that they would make the playoffs. However, Philadelphia lost four in a row and their coach after the fourth loss. Ironically one of those four duds had the Eagles again blowing a big lead in the fourth quarter at home to the Minnesota Vikings.

With 7 minutes to go in the fourth, the Eagles were leading 23 to 0. I saw a win and a shut out in the picture which faded. The Vikings put up four touchdowns in those 7 minutes and Eagles lost 28 to 23. Once again there was a flip. The week before the final game the Eagles fired Coach Marion Campbell. The FO named Fred Bruney for a one game trial. Somehow I guess from a fluke in the schedule, the Eagles had two games with the Vikings. Paul MacFadden kicked his third field goal. The Eagles defeated the boys from Minnesota 37 to 35 to break the four game slide.


Confidence was the Difference last Sunday

Why the late drop in play Sunday ? Why can’t the Eagles close out games and turn closes loses into victories.  This past Sunday really hurt.  I think as Bill Parcells  said that you are what your record is.   I hesitate to say that losing means anything other than your opponent was better than you.   The Eagles must believe they are a winning team that should be in the playoff.   Confidence refers to the entire season.    The last thing it means is expecting to win every game.

Confidence will make a team better but it cannot make a winner out of  a loser.   That was the difference last Sunday night. 



The Defenders 1961 to 1965

The Defenders aired on CBS for four seasons from 1961  to 1965.   It was an hour long and on  Saturday night for three years  and on Thursday night for the last year.  There were  132 episodes.  Of these, four were two part installments.   The Madman and the Six Hundred Year Old Gang were in two parts each.  The Madman was excellent and the Six Gang was very silly and not worth your time.                                                                                   

After years of waiting, the Defenders TV DVD is now available at least for the first season.   The vendor is the Shout Factory.   About 30 stories have been available from various internet sources covering all years. I supposed these were pirated being a copy from a copy from a copy.   As might be expected,  the quality of these films is below par.  There is some overlap with stories already purchased.  However, the quality of film issue  makes the Shout Factory release worthwhile.   Let’s talk about the Defenders later.