How does a city gain and maintain its own colors? Pittsburgh has a perfect answer. Pittsburgh’s flag has black and yellow stripes. Founder and Pittsburgh native Art Rooney named the football team after the established baseball team in 1933. Art also adopted the city’s flag colors and design. This included the black and yellow stripes on the away uniforms for the inaugural season. Thankfully he placed the stripes only as arm bands the following season. The Pittsburgh Penguins, the city’s professional hockey team, adopted the black and gold color scheme in 1980. You have to give it these professional teams for consistency.
Throughout the history of professional football, I’m glad that in every major association or league there was a team based somewhere in Texas called the Texans. Your other name choices when this team was formed (roughly in 2000) included: the Bobcats, Stallions, Toros, and Apollo. Maybe in another state those other names are fine but this is Texas, damn it. Good thing current Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt gave the blessing to have the Texans come back to life. Remember, the Kansas City Chiefs were the original Houston Texans before their move.
Note: Names not official
No courtesy notifications were sent to Baltimore that a popular source of revenue/city morale is going away. Robert Irsay just loaded a fleet of moving trucks and hauled ass to Indianapolis as soon as Indianapolis sweetened their loan deal. So by midday of March 29, 1984 the Baltimore Colts were no more. Robert Irsay’s Midnight Ride also took with him the Colts history he shaped in Baltimore (including Superbowl wins, historical rosters, records, and team colors). For all parties involved this situation sucked. Baltimore Colts fans witnessed their team slide from playoff perennials to mediocrity. They wanted their team to be relevant again yet all they witnessed were politicians and Bob Irsay playing chicken. Baltimore legislature liked the goodwill the Colts gave them but had no money to foot the bill for stadium repairs. Their city coffers did not have that kind of funding to support the Colts*. Robert Irsay rightly believed that retrofitting and upgrading Memorial Stadium could help bring the Colts back to playoff contention. Irsay also did not have that kind of funding. Irsay also knew a good deal when he saw one. He left for new opportunities and left Baltimore to spiral into a violent crack town in the 1980s and 1990s. He should have left a press statement or give a press conference to explain the move to long time Baltimore Colts fans. The Baltimore Ravens with their Superbowl victories have helped ease the hurt. There is a generation of children that only know the Ravens as their team in the Baltimore area. Their parents and older relatives would have to retell the glory of the true team that came before, the Baltimore Colts, and the scary story of Robert Irsay’s Midnight Ride.
* I am assuming local politicians had good intentions. Like many local political stories I’m sure there was corruption and dick waving that played a factor into Robert Irsay’s Midnight Ride. Continue reading
The Jaguars filled a void for professional football in the southern United States. During those early years (roughly 1996-2000) they were a force to be reckoned with. Things like winning streaks, playoff appearances, and stomping out NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino on his last bid for the Superbowl. Did you know current New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin was coaching the Jacksonville Jaguars at that time? Well, even he couldn’t keep a good thing going. Many of the starting lineup were cut due to salary cap, an coach Tom couldn’t plug his replacements back into the winning formula. The Jaguars franchise is now old enough to start “finding” iteself. I hope they find a way to be relevant in the playoff picture again. The only real headlines they made lately were those godawful helmets they debuted last season.
Texas football is ingrained since birth and you root for your local team only. Normally Houston teams looked down on Dallas teams and vice versa. This didn’t happen to the Houston Oilers. Poor attendance, average records, no press support, and the popular Dallas Cowboys stealing the potential fan base forced owner Bud Adams to move the team east. The new location didn’t do much for the Oilers. Both seasons were they were the Tennessee Oilers they were 8-8. The other new NFL expansion teams (Jacksonville Jaguars, Caroline Panthers) could boast better records or more exciting football to watch. The Oilers changed their name to the Titans. The Titans found early success in a Superbowl bid in their inaugural season (1999). Ever since that Superbowl loss the Titans are back to where they started with a mediocre record, a team with few standouts, and getting little media attention.
Athletic abilities does not equate to a decent human being. Take O.J. Simpson. He was a lightning quick as a Buffalo Bills running back in the 1970s. His record for fewest games to 1000 yards and 2000 in a single season still hold up. He made Hall of Fame defenses look like high school JV linemen, especially the Steel Curtain of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m sure O.J. Simpson would regularly be in the list of greatest rushers of all time if it weren’t for his life outside of football. Where to begin? The murder trial circus, bankruptcy, jail time, drug addiction, and a tell all “confession” book that made more headlines from the circumstances of the publication rather than the contents of the actual publication. Well, his acting career wasn’t that bad.
Note: Names not official
There is a reason why the 1972 Dolphins Perfect Season and Superbowl victory is heralded: No other team has yet to repeat it. The Patriots came very close in Superbowl XLII (42) but the New York Giants stomped those hopes. The number of things that have to go right for your team and wrong for your opponents to get to perfect season and Superbowl victory is mind boggling. Here is one possible way to simulate the dominance of the 1972 Dolphins: Completely load up your fantasy Madden team and max out stats for all of your players. Make sure that you are ranked #1 in offense and defense every week for the entire season. Your rushers and pass catchers have Hall of Fame numbers. Finally, you must be a tactical genius on the offensive side of the ball. We have to use a video game to fathom what actually happened to the 1972 Dolphins.