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Detroit Lions Post-Season Notes Part 1, “The Glory”

January 4, 2017

Before the NFC/AFC configuration began in 1970, a season in which the Detroit Lions suffered the first of what are 11 post-season defeats in 12 such post configuration games, the team had a glorified post-season history.

Even now, despite the horrible record in what were first expanded playoffs and now is a tournament, (yet by default, the least prostituted version in the 4 major North American sports leagues), one looks back with admiration at Detroit Lions’ glory including a (6-1) playoffs record leading to 4 NFL titles.

The first was in 1935 (a year both the Lions and Tigers brought titles to The Motor City) then three more with their fabulous 1950’s teams when names like Bobby Layne, Dick “Night Train” Lane and coach Buddy Parker resonated, as they still do, as Gordon Mc Clendon said on 10/3/51, ” down the corridors of time” (note the date Verne Lundquist, who minimum should have had to “stay after” a CBS production meeting and “blackboard” 100 times, that Bobby Thomson’s home run was in 1951 (October 3rd, Bobby and Ralph Branca are dead, Lundquist whose arrogant, assured statement that we all know where we were when Thomson homered in nineteen FIFTY TWO, was not only never sanctioned, but this year sent off to “born again glory,” in myriad Trump carried states that constitute (pray for our Constitution) the lucrative CBS college football package. I saw ‘them’ put up SEC promos, while waiting to see Southern, Trump voted state of Louisiana’s Harry Connick on his show in 2016).

Jack Webb, one I still admire despite reactionary views, apparently regarding marijuania–for the record a Ringo Starr song yielded “I don’t smoke it no more,” essentially I never did—since they have some excuse per their time, just “called” saying please “just the facts.”

The law now and in days past, true respect for police officers, such as those portrayed by Webb on “Dragnet,” manifest in my “obeying” the request, as will follow below.

The Lions ARE (4-1) in NFL title tilts and (2-0) in unscheduled playoffs to determine a conference winner, in Detroit’s “case” (another ode to Jack Webb, sorry for the “high corn”) the NFL’s Western Conference in 1952 and 1957, the latter when the “bomb went off,” Tom “The Bomb” Tracy leading Detroit’s great comeback win at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco vs the 49ers. I could opine on another bomb and the related 1950’s injustice, but I “promised” Jack Webb, just the facts.

The Lions with the great Bobby Layne as their quarterback and Buddy Parker as their coach, won 2 of 3 NFL title games against the truly great Cleveland Browns’ teams quarterbacked by Otto Graham and coached by Paul Brown.

Detroit won at Cleveland in 1952 and at home in 1953 ( broadcaster Dick Enberg has recounted how much the ’53 game with its Layne to Jim Doran, decisive touchdown pass meant to him) before losing at Cleveland in 1954.

In 1957, George Wilson, he of the great block that sprung Bill Osmanski to open the scoring in the famed Chi Bears’ (73-0) rout of the Wahington Redskins in the 1940 NFL title tilt, (do you think Joe Buck, even the great Bob Costas knows that?!!), was the Lions’ coach and Tobin Rote (Rock’s father, remember him as a WCBS sports newsman, signed by Parker before he left before the season) was the quarterback when the Lions annihilated the Browns (59-10) in the title game, which ended the great Cleveland player, Jim Brown’s first season on a sour note. (Parker by the way was a first year player on the 1935 Lions’ title team, thus when one considers the acquisition of Rote for 1957, a big part of all 4 Lions’ title winners.)

In a future post, I will continue to “Jack Webb” it, stick to the facts, limit my anger and give you notes those in charge, for many reasons, none good, will never dispense your way, those notes to be concerning the Lions’ awful playoffs record since “operative 59,” that number points, that many years ago to gain their last title.



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