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Monday Night Game Similarities 40 Years Apart Part 2

December 29, 2016

The similarities continue regarding Monday night football games played just over 40 years apart with one “tie in” taking place exactly (to the date) forty years later.

As stated yesterday, both the 1976 Raiders and 2016 Cowboys took the field, on a Monday night, in the penultimate week of the season, with no playoffs incentive and respectively defeated Bengals and Lion’s (all we need is Chicago and it is a song from “The Wizard of Oz”—Lions and Bengals and Bears oh my, forgive me) teams, that had much such incentive. Oh, in that their ninth season and first without the great Paul Brown, (need I insert that in an utter disgrace, ESPN left Mr. Brown off its list of the greatest coaches in sports) the Bengals’ coach was Bill “Tiger” Johnson.

Talk in 1976 was that the Raiders would not “try” vs the Bengals, as a win by “Oak,” would have helped the surging Pittsburgh Steelers.

Oak won vs Cincy and survived in a second slots/divisional game filled with controversy vs New England, (the reverse would happen 25 years later), and advanced to a home AFC Title game vs the favored Steelers.

Then on December 26, 1976 in a game in which “The Snake,” the great Oakland quarterback Ken Stabler “went to” Bankston, i.e. a huge touchdown pass to little used Warren Bankston, the Raiders made the Supe and eventually won it all. Of course the great Steelers, who won 4 Supe titles in 6 seasons (1974-1979), played the title tilt sans Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier.

Now after a similar Monday night win exactly 40 years after Oakland was perhaps rewarded for its effort in a Monday night tilt they entered with no playoffs incentive, similar Dallas wins a game in which they had no playoffs incentive.

In the history repeats or at least manifests with past similarities mode, consider NFC one seed Dallas and the current top three AFC seeds are the Raiders (the current 2, though sans Derek Carr, now a long shot to gain Supe entry) and their two 1976 AFC playoffs opponents, the top seed New England Patriots and third seed, you guessed it, Pittsburgh Steelers.

 

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Warren Bankston is number 46. I needed the picture identification note to gain the knowledge that #52 is Gary Weaver.

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