18 And Life To Go
The perfect season has been foiled at the last minute before.
From The Washington Post‘s The Redskins Book:
The 1942 Redskins went 10-1. Their only loss was 14-7 to the Giants in the second game of the season, a score they reversed against the Giants amid a nine-game winning streak. The Redskins allowed only 13 points in their last four games. Once more, their title-game foe would be the Bears. The Bears, who had won 18 straight games, were favored.
The defending champion Bears’ 11 wins in 1942 were rough, physical victories staked on hard-hitting defense. The Redskins had gotten back into contending shape after a mediocre 1941 on the legendary arm, back, and quick-kicking leg of Sammy Baugh. The favored Chicago team quickly went up 6-0. But the final score was 14-6, with the last 1 yard scoring play a handoff to Andy Farkas. By all accounts, it was smash-mouth football, the kind of game that you can’t watch without wincing every minute of the way– despite the fact that “NFL commissioner Elmer Layden ordered ‘a clean game.'” (Goodell shouldn’t have to worry about a ‘clean game’ on the field- just keep Tom Petty from flashing some tit and everyone’s happy. Also, check the Giants’ Gatorade jugs for audio transmitting devices.)
The Bears had won 18 straight. The Redskins stopped them. All it took was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And George Halas off coaching duty due to naval service. And… ok, fine, so let’s just stick with the “18 and out” part.
Then, there’s at least one recent example of a perfect season bid gone unrealized with a connection to this weekend’s contest:
That video is never going to get old.The connection, of course, is the coach of the then-victorious Eagles: Tom Coughlin. Sure, it’s a stretch, and there’s pretty much no comparison of even the biggest NCAA game to any pro game, but the man did coach an underdog to ‘glory’ once before. Hell, they even got to play in the Carquest bowl or some shit. And that loss sent the ND program into a slow spiral which… well, you saw what happened this year.
I’ve been a Giants fan my whole life. Baseball’s my first love, of course, but I can remember watching Simms, Bavaro, Mowatt, and LT lead the charge in Pasadena, mere months after Mookie poked a dribbler through some guy’s legs. It was a glorious time to be a six-year-old sports nut in Queens. And I am grateful to this day that my family were not Jets fans. That would suck. A lot.
Given the reigning baseball champions, I can’t shake the feeling like there’s some guileless little kid in Quincy or Watertown or wherever, MA, who doesn’t yet know that he’s supposed to be a smug asshole about cheering for his teams, just that he likes Varitek and it was fun to see the Sox win, and his dad yells about the Patriots a lot and it’s fun to see them win. For that kid, sure, it’d be nice if the Patriots won.
For the rest of you, eat a dick. 24-21, smash-mouth Giants victory.
This is the end of today’s PICKSTRAVAGANZA by the Nerds on Sports staff. Read the previous five posts for more “insight” from the nerds.