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Similar Monday Night Games/Results Forty Years Apart

December 28, 2016

The now (13-2), NFC one seed Dallas Cowboys, with no playoffs incentive, scored 28 straight points and knocked out all Detroit Lions’ “teasers,” in a (42-21) Monday night victory.

I doubt that one of the few truly good current broadcasters, Sean McDonough noted the similarity between the Dallas win two days ago and a Monday night win by the Oakland Raiders, 40 years back in time.

In both games, the home/winning team took the field in the penultimate week of the NFL “reg” with no playoffs incentive, against a team (the Lions two days ago, and in Oakland’s case vs the Cincinnati Bengals 40 years ago) fighting for entry into the NFL ‘offs.

You know or can read regarding what the Lions had at stake (a chance to gain ‘offs entry with a win at Dallas) and now face (likely a game for playoffs entry, at home vs Green Bay.)

The ’76 Bengals, who were denied by the eventual Supe champion Raiders, had even more at stake. A loss at Oakland, meant they needed help in the last week, an unlikely loss by surging 2 time Supe champion, Pittsburgh, to make the ‘offs.

Many felt (I THINK Cincy was favored, could certainly be wrong on that, Dall was favored by 7 plus before the Eagles’ Thurs night win clinched the NFC one seed for the so called “Pokes.” After that, the line only moved one point in Det’s favor) Oak would not try hard that night in ’76, to avoid a potential playoffs tilt against a great, surging Steelers’ team that had roared to 8 straight victories, 4 in shutouts, after a (1-4) start.

That incredible Steelers’ defense which included “Mean” Joe Greene, (yesterday I cited Joe Green and you should hear what he said, regarding that season), incredibly, allowed but one touchdown in their eventual 9 straight victories.

Additionally “Pitts,” under their great coach, Chuck Noll (seems there was talk by a Steelers’ great Terry Bradshaw, regarding current “Pitts” coach, Mike Tomlin in the past week), a man given relatively little credit, had knocked the Raiders, under their vastly over publicized coach John Madden, out of the ‘offs in 3 of their 4 playoffs tilts in consecutive seasons (’72-’75), including the last two AFC Title games, en route to titles.

That December 6th Monday night, Madden’s team was ready to play and easily defeated Cincinnati. More on 1976 and some I feel interesting similarities with now, 40 years later, after I energize with “manna” in “traveling” back and forth those “you can not get back,” FORTY years. (Alas I liked, admired, and corresponded with another “40,” this one the great director and college hoops star, Chet Forte, surely the director that Monday night in ’76,  and do wonder if he fell for the “they need the game “b.s.” as I did 2 days ago. Thankfully “give or take” 40, is a relatively small number.



The great player, Joe Greene, better known as “Mean Joe” Greene, pictured above.

He is called “Mean Joe” in loving terms, by Tommy Okon, in the iconic commercial, a click away, below.

Coca-Cola Classic ad: Mean Joe Green [Full Version] (1979)




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