Before a hometown of 700 fans, The Montreal Wanderers defeated the Toronto Arenas by a score of 10-9. It was the first NHL game ever played.
A foot of snow fell. Hall of fame running back Steve Van Buren couldn’t get his car out of the garage. “I had to catch three trolleys and walk about six blocks to the stadium,” he said. He did manage to get to Shibe Park (Later known as Connie Mack Stadium) in time to score the one and only touchdown of the game. That’s all the Eagles needed to beat the Chicago Cardinals (later the St. Louis Cardinals and now Arizona) for the Eagles first NFL championship.
Wayne Gretzky scored his 1,000th point at the age of 23. He is by far, the youngest NHL player to have scored that many points It was only the 424th game of his career.
Coincidentally, Gretzky reached his milestone on the anniversary of the NHL’s very first game which was played in Montreal on December 19, 1984.
From The New York Times
Los Angeles December 18, 1949 The Philadelphia Eagles marched through the mud and sailed through the air today to crush The Los Angeles Rams, 14-0, and win the National Football League Championship for the second straight year.
It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours – (Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood)
And that’s what it did in Los Angeles, the whole night before and during most of the game; but that didn’t stop Eagles quarterback Tommy Thompson from hitting Pete Pihos on a 31-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Nor did it stop Hall of Fame running back Steve Van Buren from rushing 196 yards on 31 carries.
The Eagles second score came in the third period when Leo Skladany blocked an attempted punt from the Ram’s two-yard line by quarterback Bob Waterfield; and fell into the end zone with the ball.
Meanwhile, the Eagles nasty defense, maybe with a little help from the rain and mud, held the Rams to 21 stinkin’ yards on the ground and a measly 98 yards in the air.
At halftime Cleveland was up twenty, a blowout in the making for sure, but teams have been known to comeback from 20-point deficits. In third quarter though, The Heat barely phoned it in, as Cleveland outscored them 33-14. Now The Cavs lead by 39. In the completely ridiculous fourth quarter, Cleveland tacked another another 29 points onto their lead, outscoring The Heat 42-13. 21 years later, we’re still talking about the all time worst blowout in NBA history.
Roger Staubach won his last game on December 16, 1979. The win didn’t come easy. The Dallas Cowboys were playing the Washington Redskins. The ‘Skins needed to win in order to make the playoffs.
Staubach and his Dallas Cowboys let Washington jump out to 17-0 lead early in the second quarter. Then the Cowboys came back and scored three unanswered touchdowns, taking a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter.
But the Redskins were far from dead. They kicked a field goal and followed that up with two more touchdowns. With 5:21 left in the game, and Washington leading 34-21, much of the Dallas faithful began shuffling toward the exits. Some of those folks got to hear a great finish on their car radios.
With 2:20 left Roger the Dodger hit Ron Springs for a 26-yard touchdown. Then with 39 seconds remaining he caught Tony Hill in the end zone for an eight-yard strike.
Two weeks later Staubach played his last game, a loss in the division championship game to the Los Angeles Rams.
The New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, faced off against each other on December 14, 1958. It was the last game of the regular season. The Browns were 9-2 and the Giants were 8-3. In a heavy snow storm, Pat Summerall kicked a game winning 47 yard field goal for the Giants, with just under two minutes to play. Summerall had missed on a 33 yard attempt, with five minutes left in the game. The Giants’ win set up a rematch playoff game with the Browns, which the Giants won 10-0. Having won the Eastern Conference Championship, the Giants went on to play the Baltimore Colts for the championship, in a game that is considered by many to be one of the greatest ever in the history of the NFL.