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SF/Philly ‘offs Notes

The only previous Niners/Eagles post-season game was a 1996 season/wild card round game, resulting in a San Francisco (49ers) victory.

Green Bay, en route to its first title in 29 years, “slotted” out the Niners in a “div” round game, the following week.

In 2010, the one previous SF/Philly “semi” manifested in the Giants, en route to a first title in 56 years, just under double the years Green Bay waited, (56 also being the #, at which, SF’er Joe DiMaggio’s great hitting streak ended and of course the streak “Stephen Bishop’s” i.e. “goes on and on”) beating the Philadelphia Phillies, who were seeking a third straight pennant, in a 6 game NLCS/baseball “semi.”

The lone SF/Phil final was in 1967, when a great Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, 6’d the then San Francisco Warriors, giving the Sixers’ great player, Wilt Chamberlain, the first of two NBA titles.

All 3 previous SF/Phil ‘offs clashes were followed or resulted in, the team winning such, being its league champion (1 each baseball, football and basketball).

The Sixers won a final, the Packers followed their win over the Niners with two more and the crown, while the Giants 5’d the Texas Rangers in the subsequent World Series.

I note the manager, Bruce Bochy, who guided the Giants to that 2010 World Series win vs Texas and two subsequent, consecutive, “even year” crowns, now manages the Texas Rangers.


Remembering Sal Bando

I will likely always say the Cincinnati Reds, certainly of 1975 and 1976 vintage were the best baseball team at least since if not beyond the 1961 New York Yankees, the latter just before my time. Yet one must more than consider the quantifiable Oakland Athletics (3 straight titles 1972-1974), who sadly lost their captain and classy, great player Sal Bando last week.

Mr. Bando with his smart play, leadership amidst what was often derision among the A’s players off the field and not cited by others in his obituaries–great clutch play/hitting/drawing walks–epitomized the A’s, who while not with the great,great that was the Reds and perhaps other teams, won more titles, doing so winning tense, so often one run games.

I cite 4 great instances for Sal, in one run Oakland wins, all in title seasons, the first below in #7/’72 World Series against a not quite “there” Reds’ team (of the A’s establishing a “there” in Oakland and Mr. Bando, as relayed by Curt Gowdy during #1/’74 World Series advised where to eat “there”) and the other three in the ’74 ALCS vs the Baltimore Orioles.

Clearly Fury “Gene” Tenace was the star as the A’s franchise which left Philadelphia for Kansas City before landing in Oakland won its first crown in 41 years, the last being a 5th in Philly (5’s abound and Sal might ? this in his tribute, but do so with great admiration for Sal, his etic, his class and his teams, as the football Eagles hope for a “5th”, 5 years later in this year in which the Astros titled 5 years later and if it manifests, it will be the first time the baseball and football champions each won it all 5 years apart).

Tenace whose sister is named Sandi (Sal’s wife is also a “Sandi”), doubled home another superb contributor to the 3 A’s title teams, Bert Campaneris, to put the Athletics ahead to stay in #7/’72 World Series. Bando followed with another double, which scored pinch runner, Allan Lewis and “Oak” needed that as they held on, winning (3-2).

Among, likely other big offensive plays, in addition to his defensive and leadership acumen, Bando homered off the great Jim Palmer, who cited such when Sal died, for the only run in a (1-0) Oakland win in #3 of the ’74 ALCS. Vida Blue pitched a 2 hit complete game shutout in that game.

Additionally, Sal scored both runs, each, after drawing a walk in a (2-1) A’s pennant clincher the next day in game 4.


Sal Bando by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Sal Bando, pictured above.


Bengals And 49ers Same ‘Offs Day Success Again

The Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, both won for the 5th time (each team is (6-1) on those days) in 7 possibilities, on days each team had an ‘offs game. (Each team won a Sunday “div” game in ’81 and a Saturday “such” last season. Both won title tilts in ’81 and ’88).

S.F. is (7-0) ATS (against the spread) playing an ‘offs game on the same day, as the Bengals, winning a wild card game at Green Bay after the Chargers won such a game at Cincinnati in ’13 and losing by 3 as 3 plus point(s) dogs at the Rams last year. That 3 point loss, followed Cincy, “barking” as a 7 point or so, underdog at K.C. in the AFC Title game.

Next, each team is less than a field goal underdog, as the visiting team in title games/NFL “semis,” 5 days hence.

“Cincy” will travel to play at Kansas City, in the AFC Title Game for the second straight season. It marks just the third time teams are playing for a Super Bowl berth in the same place, a second straight season. (All 3 involve AFC Title games, the previous such being the Steelers beating the Houston Oilers at Pittsburgh in both ’78 and ’79 and after New England won at home, no covering the Baltimore Ravens in ’11–the Ravens won at New England in ’12).

That note “covers” (each title tilt this week has a low line, K.C. with a ? Mahomes at “the station,” is just (-1) and home standing Philly is less than 3) 104 possibilities. (’71-2022). (It was not possible for the 37 NFL (’33-’69) and 10 AFL (’60-’69) title games to be held in the same locale for two straight seasons as the leagues, a la baseball alternated by entity, the game sites each season).

Why it bothered me so much I do know, but realization sets in and into my account that I “paid” for the emotions, as I did not want “Hamlin hype Buffalo.” 5 letters/6 letters, but again and for hopefully the last time and let Hamlin be well, not Jesus Christ, was there as Cincy ripped Buffalo, handing them just their second NFL playoffs home loss.

S.F. got 4 Robbie Gould field goals and Dak Prescott was awful in the Niners’ (19-12) win vs Dallas, “avenging” a heartbreaking loss 50 years ago, in the two team’s only other “slots” game.

It was a record tying 9th time (Dallas/Rams and S.F./Green Bay) that S.F. and Dallas met in the ‘offs.

Now the Niners and Philadelphia Eagles will meet in the playoffs for only the second time. (S.F. won a home wild card round game vs the Eagles in ’96).

Later this week some Philly/S.F. and Cincy/K.C. playoffs history in the major North American sports leagues.


Joe Mixon

Joe Mixon, pictured above, was a big factor in the Bengals’ (27-10) win at Buffalo.

Unlucky 13, a scant 8 days after a Friday the 13th?

As stated the Bills were (13-1) in home NFL playoff games. The Packers were (13-0) in such games, before being “wild card rounded” by the Atlanta Falcons on a Saturday night in ’02.


Conference “1” Seeds, Eagles And Chiefs, Respectively Advance To A Home Title Tilt And Either A 5th Straight Such Or Sadly, “A”n “A”t “A”tlanta Neutral One

In the 209th and 210th “slots” tilts played yesterday (after today 212 such games will have been played and on 2/12, 214 years after Mr. Lincoln’s birth a Roman Empire event, the 57th Supe will “unite” millions in the union as viewers), subsequent to the Kansas City Chiefs (-9) (27-20) win vs Jacksonville (Jaguars), the Philly Eagles dropped the Giants to (0-4) in Saturday ‘offs tilts,(they are (25-22) on Sundays, their last 2 Saturday “slots”/div round losses were by a combined (82-10) score), winning (38-7) as 7 plus points favorites.

Thus the Eagles will play a home title game/NFL “semi” for the second time in 5 years/6 seasons, hoping to continue on a path to a second title in 5 years, which if it occurs, would mark the first time in 88 possibilities (first NFL title game was in 1933, thus it is (1934-2022) but no World Series in ’94, yielding 88 possibilities) that the same baseball and football teams, won titles, the significant #, 5/FIVE years apart, the Houston Astros already having won it it all in ’17 and ’22.

Philly advanced to what will be their 8th NFC Title Game and 6th at home. (They are (3-4) in the previous, (3-2) at home).

Four of those Eagles’ title tilts, three being losses, (2001-2003 before a win in 2004) were under current K.C. Chiefs coach, Andy Reid, who yesterday guided his team to a 5th straight title game.

The previous 4 were home title games for Reid’s Chiefs and this still might and no matter what ought to have been a fifth, but when “Jesus Christ,” I mean “DAM”ar Hamlin (glad he is ok and wish I had bought toys stock) fell, the league eventually “screwing” the Bengals also (you check the details and recall Cincy led (7-3) with the pig, when Hamlin fell) and now possibly K.C. by “Decreeing”-(cue the Roman Emperor) that K.C/Buffalo would be at neutral Atlanta.

Oddly and to be fair, Buffalo did win at K.C. in the “reg,” and would have been the “1” if a win in that cancelled “at Cincy” tilt had manifested, I feel Buffalo would have gone into K.C. and “avenged” a horrible slots loss there last season. (Memo to Mc Dermott, who messed up kicking deep in that just referenced loss, giving Mr. Mahomes, (with “Henne Help” got the Chiefs through yesterday, despite a sprained ankle), enough time, you did same near the half’s end vs “Mia” last week.. Stop doing it!!

In “slot 4,” which for a 5th straight year and the foreseeable future has a 6:30 or later Eastern Time start, Dallas is a 4 point dog in a record tying 9th ‘offs clash vs the S.F. 49ers (Dallas vs Rams and Niners vs Packers also have 9 ‘offs occurrences).

If the end game view is of a happy Jerry Jones, (not either a pretty and certainly not a necessary sight), it will be the Cowboys’ first “slots or better” win, since Barry Switzer guided a no cover, ’95 season, Supe win vs the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Love the Switzerland neutrality. That is not the case regarding a “neutral” AFC title tilt, a week hence. 

Remembering David Crosby

Today I look out and get out, missing some of Slot 1, and pass the tribute torch, to those and that which would recall and illustrate far better, the greatness of David Crosby, who died days back at age 81.

He was a big part of and co founder of two seminal groups, The Byrds and Crosby Stills and Nash, the latter later adding Neil Young to David, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash.

Again, so much of my passion and expertise was misguided into sports, which had its moments. Regrettably, and I hope to “turn/turn” into it, more and great music is a goal.

Certainly David Crosby was a man, who helped yield many examples of what I seek.


David Crosby performs at Mayo Performing Arts Center on June 17, 2018 in Morristown, New Jersey.

The great David Crosby, pictured above.

Click below to hear “The Byrds” with Mr. Crosby perform “Turn, Turn Turn.”




Saturday/Sunday, Home/Away “Slots” Notes

The “slots” begin in Tirico’s first “slots or better,” with the Kansas City Chiefs playing a 12th straight non Supe home tilt. They are 9, quite possibly to be bet to 10 point “faves,” vs Jacksonville in that tilt.

This juxtaposed with the beginning of the Chiefs, once the Dallas Texans ‘offs AFL and beginning home/road, ‘offs history.

All 5 AFL playoff games involving the Chiefs’ franchise, the first being a 2 overtime 1962 AFL Title win, as the Dallas Texans, at Houston (Oilers), now the Tennessee Titans, and 12 of their first 15 were road games for the Chiefs.

Saturday night’s game at the TD plus “fave” Philadelphia Eagles, will be the Giants’ first such ‘offs game.

It will be just the 4th time in 51 ‘offs games (the Giants are (25-25) going in) that the Giants will play a Saturday ‘offs game.

They lost the previous three, at San Francisco (49ers) in both the ’84 and ’93 div round/slots and also a heartbreaker to the Vikings, the team they beat last week, to become (3-1) vs in the ‘offs, in a home ’97 wild card round game.


MLB Network to feature Jack Buck Monday |

Jack Buck, pictured above, presided on the Chiefs’ Supe 4 win and did interviews on the 1962 AFL Title Game.

Joe Buck “talked at us” when K.C. won a second Supe, 50 years after the first.

Give me Joe Buck rather than Davis or Burkhardt this weekend. 




Remembering Chris Ford

Sadly and far too soon, Chris Ford, a part of 3 Boston Celtics’ title teams (the three led by Mr. Bird, as a player in ’81 and as an assistant coach under K.C. Jones in ’84 and ’86) died days back at age 74.

I recall Ford as a member of 3 very good Villanova teams from ’70-’72, the middle year, Howard Porter/Hank Siemiontkowski led ’71 team, going to the final, before losing to John Wooden’s 5th of 7 straight U.C.L.A. title teams.

There you have it, a link between two great basketball teams, the Boston Celtics and U.C.L.A. Bruins, neither of whom mine, that dominated, one or the other, (4 times both–’64,’65,’68 and ’69) winning titles an incredible 23 times in the 20 seasons from (1957-1976). Only in 1958, in those 20 seasons did neither team win its entity’s crown,

Since that point, there have only been 5 crowns, (4 for the Celtics) for the two teams, with Ford as stated above, a part of three of them.

Speaking of “3,” Chris Ford made the first three point shot in NBA history. I think the “3” shot, has all but ruined basketball, but I certainly do not blame Chris Ford.

So many great Celtics gone in the last, at most, (ode to Johnny) 5 years: John Havlicek, K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn to name five.

Ford helped me and the Celtics in ’81, not only coming back from a (3-1) series deficit, but also from significant deficits in #’s (5-7) vs a “really blew it”/ good Philadelphia 76ers team, in a “semi,” that was a virtual final.

The heavily favored Celtics took the Houston Rockets in 6 games in the final, clinching on a Thursday night on delayed tape (the last such final in NBA annals).

Only two of the 6 tilts in that series were CBS/”lived” and in the Saturday afternoon at Houston game 3, Ford led Boston to a (2-1) series lead, scoring 17 points in a low scoring victory.


Former NBA champion Chris Ford dies at age 74

Chris Ford, pictured above.



“Pie” Had A Brady And Bet A Grand; Tommy Getting “Nicked By Time”

Honestly I “knew” The Pie’s TB/TB Supe future was going down, having written but not posted such, stating it would happen,  if not in the “Joe Bucker” vs Dallas, then at “Tarnished (but not all that much) Tommy’s” boyhood, SF 49ers team.

I take a backseat to nobody in my praise of Tom Brady’s on field performance/record/legacy in his 23 season career which hopefully ended on a bad note, his T.B. Bucs losing (31-14) to dangerous Dallas (now plus 3 and a half in the second ever Dall/SF “slots” game, the other, a Slot 2 classic, in which Dallas staged an incredible comeback to win, a fact unfairly overshadowed by the hype given Pittsburgh’s such, earlier that December 23rd, 50 years ago).

Hey Tom, fellow “Bay Area Great,” another, as with Brady to be on any “short list” of all time sports greats, which better be headed by one George Herman “Babe” (ode to Hoffman’s in “Marathon Man and it is “safe” to call Babe the greatest–he “bleepin” pitched great and saved baseball!!), Ruth—Joe DiMaggio and his great New York Yankees’ teams went (37-14) in post-season games, all World Series/final round games.

Brady’s (35-13) mark in all post season games, (7-3) in final entities/Supes is a better win percentage. Consider that Tom and please retire.

Of course nobody but me realized that the key play 98 yard fumble recovery touchdown scored by Cincy’s Sam “H”ubbard evokes the fact a/THE NFL pioneer, George “H”alas did such in a “reg” game now nearly 98 years ago.

I repeat that fact, having cited it yesterday, in noting Jim Thorpe (see his 1912 Olympiad performance) is so often shamefully overlooked in the greatest sports figures discussion.

Thus, I do not think Mr. Thorpe would mind me pointing out it was his fumble that Mr. “Papa Bear” Halas returned those coincidental 98 yards for a score, (nearly) 98 years ago in 1925.

Click below to view Paul McCartney and Wings perform “Junior’s Farm.” The relevant line opens the song and is repeated say 3 plus minutes later.



A black-and-white photograph of Jim Thorpe in his Canton Bulldogs football jersey.

The great Jim Thorpe, pictured as a member of the Canton Bulldogs, above.


“H’s” Especially I Opine Slow Down The “H”ellish “H”amlin “H”ype

It is the middle of the night and this guy’s “fun” (ode to Cyndy Lauper and Lou Albano, the latter in the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” video) is recalling the past of his “mistress”/sports, while avoiding the current game, awaiting the score via phone audio, early yesterday, the day we hopefully remember both Reverend and Dr. Martin Luther King.

It is Slot 2 in the first year of such entities (1970), ahead (3-0) with about 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Cowboys great for 2 seasons, Duane Thomas, is denied TD on a 4th down play by the Detroit Lions, in particular, I believe Paul Naumoff.

In either order, Mr. Gifford (this one Frank, I wonder regarding another’s vintage car as 1929 or 1939) and another Frank, that one Gleiber, would respectively say (Gifford) “we are down to the short strokes in this one” and that huck Hughes was entering the game for the Lions.

Evoking “Meat Loaf,” in a far different context/situation– “stop right there!!”

Chuck Hughes, whose phenomenal catch in a traditional (at Detroit) November Thursday game helped propel the Lions to their first ‘offs appearance since what is still the last year they played for the NFL crown, when they won it all in 1957, unfortunately essentially died on the field, the only such terrible instance in NFL annals.

Below I will show Dick Butkus, (referenced by Gifford, as at least in the discussion, in reporting that another middle linebacker great, and then Detroit coach, Joe Schmidt had called “Det’s” Mike Lucci as the league’s best at that position) who waved for help that fateful October 24, 1971 at Tiger Stadium, juxtaposing the ridiculous/hype/publicity afforded Damar Hamlin’s “fall” (thank goodness he is OK, but the hype, oh the hype!) and the so little regarding Mr. Hughes, who again, by the way did have his life end.

Shifting into results but still vs, NOT Hamlin, but again, the hype, which will be exponential, as the slot 3/Jim Nantz tilt is a redux of 15 days back but in Buffalo, the homestanding Bills for whom Hamlin played, a 4 point “fave” vs the Cincinnati Bengals.

Though Damar Hamlin is a 5 letter/6 letter name (somehow 11’s!) it was he and NOT Jesus Christ, who fell backwards 15 days ago.


The interview/segment with the great player, Dick Butkus but surely without any disrespect, around 4 minutes in, he cites the difference in publicity regarding Hamlin falling and Hughes dying.

Speaking of the Bears and I doubt seriously Tirico or his staffers “miked” the fact that the key play (Sam “H”ubbard’s 98 yard fumble recovery TD, “Balti” QB-  Tyler “H”untley fumbled) in the Bengals’ no cover/bad for the books  (the tilt opened 6 plus and closed 8 plus, also in the 5 of 6 “overs” weekend the total “fell” as well (not well for the books, one would suppose) win that yields “B”engals/”B”ills and the “Hellish/”H”amlin “H”ype was reminiscent of a/THE NFL pioneer, so much Bears that he is “Papa Bear,” George Halas doing same in a “reg” game, namely going 98 yards for a fumble recovery touchdown, now you guessed it, nearly 98 years ago, in 1925. 

More H’s and results either later today and certainly this week. 





Expanded Wild Card Round Notes

The S.F. 49ers are now (13-5) in Saturday playoff tilts, this after KO’ing 7, but not 10 point Seattle (Seahawks) weases, in a (41-23) home win. They did so, despite trailing (17-16) at the half.

Two seed S.F.’s win comes 50 years plus (the slot 2/div round ’72 season game was played on December 23, 1972 just after the far more famous, incredible Steelers slot 1 win vs another “Bay Area” team, the Oakland Raiders and does not get enough publicity) after the franchise dissipated a big lead and lost (30-28) to Dallas (Cowboys) and Ron Sellers.

Speaking of dissipating big leads, in the unofficial, but pretty surely, 33rd consecutive year “Alfalfa” Michaels wild card (almost all on Saturdays, more than half Saturday nights) round tilt, though they trailed (27-0), home standing, 2 plus point(s) “dog,” Jacksonville, rallied to (31-30)– the “bad NFL history franchise,” Chargers now of L.A. (Michaels’ town), in what manifested as at least the third time “Alfalfa” “presided” over a Chargers season ending loss. (’94 season Supe and the Raiders field goal in the Sunday night NFL “reg” finale last season, )

Alas, though I slept/ missed all of both tilts yesterday, so be it, on this the 56 year anniversary of the NFL/AFL Championship Game played in L.A. with the Coliseum two thirds full, won by Lombardi’s Pack (35-10) vs Stram’s Chiefs.


Howard Cosell - News Anchor, Talk Show Host - Biography

The great Howard Cosell pictured above called Al Michaels “Alfalfa.”

I “battled” Mr. Cosell fairly well in a classic phone call in ’84, but had to take it, as he “dressed me down” regarding my caring so much that Clell “Butch” Wynegar had kept the Yankees’ 1985 season ‘offs hopes alive, the night before.

So much I could opine, but I just add with Mr. Michaels in studio that day, I guess I knew the Yankees were done. Check the history.