Throwback – Dallas Cowboys

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Blue
White
Silver
Light Blue

I could argue that the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers were America’s Team, not the Dallas Cowboys.  More media exposure, more Superbowl wins, and more notorious antics.  However, the 1978 Dallas Cowboys had a few things going for it:  legendary coach Tom Landry, quarterback Roger Staubach, and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  Nothing says ‘merica like trailblazers, badass dudes with gigantic guns athletic prowess, and beautiful ladies in barely anything hot pants.

Tom Landry created the 4-3 defense in the 1950s.  He literally changed how football was played from that time on.  Coach Pete Carroll had the Superbowl winning Seattle Seahawks use 4-3 defense.  Scouts rate potential players by how well coordinated a prospect is in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.  To this day I think Tom is the sharpest dressed coach in football.  Something about that hat and that suit calls back to a bygone era.

Roger Staubach was the original mobile quarterback.  Most quarterbacks during Staubach’s playing days just threw the ball, not run around and throw it.  He was also credited to making the “Hail Mary pass” go beyond its football context during a playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings in 1975.

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders pushed professional cheerleading to be less about acrobatics and more about dance.  The women (not girls) had to be physically gifted, know their football, know their Dallas Cowboys’ history, and look amazing while dancing in short shorts.  They became a big draw for live games, and developed a following that rivals the Cowboys.  Not bad for athletes that are relegated to the sidelines.

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Throwback – New York Giants

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Blue
White
Red

I was still in diapers when Lawrence Taylor, linebacker for the New York Giants, made Redskins’ quarterback Joe Theisman’s right leg break.  I’m not sure how the film crew for The Blind Side got footage of the play in such high definition.  Watching replays still make me protectively hold my right knee.

I’m not sure why the 1980s Giants are not hyped as much a the 1980s 49ers or the 1980s Chicago Bears.  The Giants became a powerful defense oriented team that gave other Superbowl contenders of the era a run for their money.  Or maybe because I live in California so I only hear of the power and glory of the 1980s 49ers.

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Throwback – Philadelphia Eagles

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Green
Silver
White

Full discretion: I did not know about Vince Papale until the movie Invincible.  The movie depicted the life of another guy named Vince Papale in an alternate universe where Philadelphia sports had a drought.  Let’s not forget that the Flyers (hockey), 76ers (basketball), and the Phillies (baseball) were favored teams in their sports during the time this movie was set.  Things were bad in Philadelphia but not as terrible as the movie depicts.

Here’s the story of an out of luck local kid who becomes a popular pro athlete after a lot of  intense training and determination.  Coincidence? Philadelphia didn’t think so either.  Rocky came out in 1976, the same year Vince Papale began his football career.  It wasn’t too much of a stretch to have Vince’s nickname during his pro days as Rocky.

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Throwback – Washington Redskins

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Burgany
Gold

How do we stop knee injuries in football?  Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered one towards the end of the 2013 regular season.  Imposing more severe penalties for knee strikes seem to be a Band-Aid solution to a larger problem: Defenses are trained to stop the quarterback at whatever the cost.  This may include having to fly like armored superheroes to tackle the quarterback.  Unfortunately gravity takes effect during this launch and a hit intended for the midsection (a “clean hit” to NFL officials) drifts downwards towards the knee (not legal to NFL officials).

Have sympathy for the defense, too.  There seems to be three times as many defense rules and penalties in order to protect the offense, specifically the quarterback.  Smaller hit boxes and fast moving, sneaky offenses.

The solution?  Force field football.  In the future I’m sure we’ll have the technology to make every player have a protective force field/bubble.  If the defending player gets too close to a no-no spot (say, the neck of a quarterback) during a play they’ll just bounce off the QB’s force field.  The play continues until referee stoppage and the penalized player is literally thrown out of play.  Don’t think the offense has it easy.  With the force field we can accurately show if indeed a receiver was within bounds, with ball control, and two feet on the ground at the end of a play.  In a pileup the ball can be accurately placed on who last held it on the whistle.  In my head every player has a glowing force field like they went Super Saiyan.  Don’t like that?  Have less throwing plays and more run plays you pass-happy NFL.  I am sure there would be fewer injuries on expensive QBs if there was more balanced offensive play calling.

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Washington Redskins

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Team Colors

Burgundy
Gold
White

Official Website

I don’t like the name Redskins.  There, I said it.  If you’re going to name yourself after Native Americans, at least have them be historical tribes affiliated with the area you play.  Redskins is so generalized and has a negative connotation.  There should be Whiteskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins, Brownskins and Mixedraceskins so that everyone is offended.  Oh look I got sidetracked.  Sorry about that.

Redskins the team?  Things should have gone well for the Redskins.  Awesome young QB, crazy good coach, improvements on both sides of the ball.  Yet nothing worked out.  I freak out a bit when I watch them play on TV.  One because Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin IIII plays with rookie mistakes and other clear growing pains that happen when you go from college to pro ball.  (Also all of the Subway sandwiches.)  The other because former head coach Mike Shanahan (I dubbed him Shan-anigens) is so sunburned his skin blends in with the dark red of his team jacket/polo/uniform.  We’ll see how Jay Gruden looks next season as the new Redskins head coach.  At the very least, not as sunburned.

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Philadelphia Eagles

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Team Colors

Midnight Green
Black
Charcoal
Silver

Official Website

The Eagles have terrible luck, don’t they?  After decades of mediocrity head coach Andy Reid gave them good seasons. However coach Reid soon became former coach Reid because the Eagles couldn’t make it far in the playoffs.  The 2013 season ended up being more of the same.  Coach Chip Kelly changed the Eagles’ styles of play, earning them a spot on this season’s playoffs.  Sadly they lost in the first round, even with the coveted home field advantage.  Maybe next year, Eagles fans.

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New York Giants

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Team Colors

Royal Blue
Red
Gray
White
Official Website

Eli Manning (Giants’ quarterback) may look like he’s a few cards short of a full deck, but so far he has proved to be the superior Manning brother.  While he doesn’t have big brother Peyton’s endorsement deals and the wet dream of many fantasy football players, Eli does have more Superbowl rings, a hotter wife, and a penchant for defeating the Patriots.  I agree, the 2013 regular season was awful for Eli.  Nonstop interceptions which led to even worse losses.  Whenever I see Eli, I always think of him as my own adopted younger brother.  I may laugh at his failures, but I still cheer for him.  Yes, I know he’s older than me.  But there’s something about his slanted smile and his on-field expressions that make me think he’s a little brother.

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