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Rams/Browns Historical Notes

If you consider the current Cleveland Browns, the descendants of the glorious Otto Graham/Marion Motley/Jim Brown/Gary Collins (the latter caught a still not topped 3 touchdown passes in an NFL title game, the last time a Cleveland football team “titled”) Browns, then tomorrow night’s Rams at Browns game, is a redux of three NFL title games between the franchises.

Those were in 1950 at Cleveland, at L.A. to where the Rams have returned, in ’54 and ’55.

Lou Groza’s short field goal, which the great Glenn Davis, better known asĀ  “Mr.Outside” along with Felix “Doc” Blanchard (“Mr. Inside”) on glorious Army football teams in the 1940’s, said was not good, lifted the Browns to the win in 1950.

The next year, Norm Van Brocklin’s 73 yard touchdown pass to Tom Fears was decisive in the Rams’ win. (20 years ago, in the game in which the Rams, then in St. Louis, won their only NFL title since— a Kurt Warner to Isaac Bruce 73 yard touchdown pass was decisive).

In 1955, the Browns eased to victory at the famed L.A. Coliseum, where the Rams again play their home games, in the great Otto Graham’s last game.

 

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Not long after the photo of Bob Waterfield above, was taken while he played for U.C. L. A.–he led the Cleveland Rams to victory, as a rookie quarterback, in the 1945 NFL championship game.

The Rams have 3 NFL crowns, one each while playing in Cleveland, St. Louis and Los Angeles.

The One And Only Pirates’ Broadcaster, Bob Prince

I was a small part of the ABC Monday Night Baseball brief tribute to legendary Pittsburgh Pirates’ broadcaster, Bob Prince after he died in June 1985.

He was one of a kind, an unabashed “homer,” but one with style. Trust me, he had the announcing chops and was quite a play by play broadcaster.

I heard him during World Series and he was pretty much objective. A great story teller, click below for another.

 

Thoughts Watching “Key Largo” On TCM

It was great watching the classic film, “Key Largo,” when it aired on TCM earlier this week.

The film starred Humphrey Bogart (my late friend, the college football expert, Beano Cook got it right saying “there never was a bad Bogart film), his real life wife, Lauren Bacall and Edward G. Robinson in the role of a “heavy.”

There were great supporting performances by the legendary Lionel Barrymore and Claire Trevor, the latter winning a best Supporting Actress Academy Award and more important, playing a beyond moving scene, when she is “forced” to sing. It is most memorable, as is the film.

 

The one and only Humphrey Bogart, pictured above. Enjoy the trailer for a great film.

Pats and Cowboys More Than 3 TD Favorites In 3rd Week Play

In the upcoming third week of the NFL season, an unprecedented, at least as far as most if not all can remember, two games have teams that are favored by more than 21 points/3 touchdowns.

Those tilts are the defending champion New England Patriots favored by 23 points at home vs the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys “minus” 21 plus also at home, taking on Miami in a 6th Super Bowl redux.

That day Dallas eased to their first crown (24-3) vs the Dolphins, who would win the next two titles.

Just think, if that same decisive score or any 3 touchdown/21 points Dallas win manifests again, it would be Miami bettors, who would win.

Best advice: bet little, if at all, and take the points in both games, in a likely “split.”

 

The great photo taken by Neil Leifer above, shows the Baltimore Colts’ quarterback, John Unitas (#19) calling signals in a December-1964 game vs Washington, whose #70, Sam Huff, as a New York Giants’ player, also played vs Unitas and the Colts, in the famed/”made the NFL,” 1958 championship game.

Thoughts On Another Yastrzemski And Other Red Sox/Giants Matters

Tomorrow night, in an otherwise meaningless game between the host Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants, Mike Yastrzemski gets to play with his grandfather, the great Carl Yastrzemski in attendance at Fenway Park.

Neither team will be in the post-season and Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy, who guided the Giants to 3 titles in 5 seasons after a 56 year title drought, is retiring after this season.

Carl Yastrzemski, as was the case with Ted Williams before him and such players as Dwight Evans and Jim Rice after him, had great years with the Red Sox and only the Red Sox, however, was there during an 86 year title drought and never played on a title team.

The Red Sox have won 4 titles since the drought ended, but fired general manager Dave Dombrowski, showing little “Faith” and gratitude for last year’s incredible 119 win (11 in post-season) title season.

Tonight and in the upcoming three games, think 1961 when Carl came to Boston, the first season after Ted Williams retired and all that has transpired since, including the grandson of “Yaz,” in the outfield, albeit in right, not left, for the National League Giants.

 

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The great player, Carl Yastrzemski, pictured above.

 

 

 

 

WNBA Playoffs Update

Form held in the four single elimination games and now the 2019 W.N.B.A. playoffs are into the best of 5, semi-final round, with the top four seeded teams involved.

The top ranked Washington Mystics will meet the four seed, Las Vegas Aces while the second seed, Connecticut Sun face the third seed, Los Angeles Sparks. Only the Sparks, who have 3 titles, have won a previous WNBA crown.

The Aces got a long, not practical, 38 foot, three point shot from Dearica Hamby that transformed a two point deficit into a one point lead with 6 seconds remaining. It was an eventual victory vs the Chicago Sky.

 

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Las Vegas Aces player, Dearica Hamby, pictured above.

Second Week NFL Notes And Predictions

 

Last week, ESPN Radio talk show host Michael Kay was (3-0) regarding his NFL predictions.

Already this week, Kay missed on his “Carolina giving points,” Thursday night game pick. I wish I had known his pick, as I feel it “pays” to go vs his picks this week.

Toward that end, I will take the Washington team plus 6 points vs Dallas and the Cincinnati Bengals in an evenly rated game vs the S.F. 49ers.

Two’s are operative, as we note only two Kay predictions (Dallas and San Francisco), it is the second week of NFL play and the 49ers won two/both Super Bowl clashes vs the Bengals, led by the great Joe Montana in both (’81 and ’88) and Jerry Rice, another great in ’88.

One other “two” note. In week 2 of the eventually strike marred, 1987 NFL season, Bengals’ coach Sam Wyche eschewed a 4th down punt at his own 30, manifesting in giving S.F. one play from the Cincy 25.

Montana to Rice, 25 yards touchdown! “S.F.” and their bettors won, Cincy and their bettors suffering a crushing defeat!

 

 

The great broadcaster, Lon Simmons makes the calls, in the aforementioned week 2 Niners/Bengals game in 1987.