You might like The Ice Bowl better, or maybe you prefer The Epic in Miami, or perhaps your favorite NFL game was The Immaculate Reception. That’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion. However, Sports Illustrated, The Football Hall of Fame, NFL Films, ESPN, and Bleacher Report; all agree that the game which has now been branded The Greatest Game Ever Played, was the NFL championship played on December 28, 1958.
..a roll call of NFL royalty. Johnny Unitas. Raymond Berry. Alan “The Horse” Ameche. Sam Huff. Frank Gifford. More than a dozen Pro Football Hall of Famers in all. Steve Myhra? He’s not in Canton, but his kicking shoe is. Myhra was a second-year pro from the University of North Dakota on the 1958 Colts, a two-way reserve at guard and linebacker. And, in an era before kicking specialists, he was also the kicker for PATs and short-range field goals.
From ESPN.com, read more
Professional football was on the rise in the 1950s and reached a crescendo during the latter part of the decade. Much of the popularity can be traced to a single game – the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants. The game played at Yankee Stadium in New York attracted a national television audience and became known in football lore as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” More importantly, the game captured the collective attention of the nation and as a result, pro football exploded across the country in the following years. By the mid-1960s, professional football became the nation’s favorite sport to watch and has remained on top ever since. From Pro Football Hall of Fame, read more
Never has there been a game like this one. When there are so many high points, it is not easy to pick the highest. But for the 60,000 and more fans who packed Yankee Stadium last Sunday for the third week in a row, the moment they will never forget—the moment with which they will eternally bore their grandchildren—came when, with less than 10 seconds to play and the clock remorselessly moving, the Baltimore Colts kicked a field goal which put the professional football championship in a 17-17 tie and necessitated a historic sudden-death overtime period. From Sports Illustrated Vault, read more
Tim Hardaway Sr. had an impressive NBA career that spanned three decades, but on December 27, 1991 he was spectacularly bad. Maybe some day, somebody will have a worse shooting night than the 0-17 that Hardaway put up that night, but so far his record has stood the test of time.
Tim Hardaway Career Stats
With 67,325 Philadelphia fans watching at Franklin Field (Still home to University of Pennsylvania Quakers), the Eagles won their last NFL championship, eleven years after having won their second consecutive title in 1949. They defeated the Green Bay Packers who were coached by the iconic Vince Lombadi, and featured Hall of Fame players; Quarterback Bart Starr, halfback/kicker Paul Hornung, fullback Jim Taylor, and linebacker Ray Nitschke.
It was a seesaw game that saw several lead changes. Early in the fourth quarter the Packers took a 13-10 lead after Starr threw a 7-yard touch down pass to Max McGee. On the next play the Eagles’ Ted Dean returned the kick off, 58 yards, to the Packers’ 39 yard line. The Eagles continued to move the ball and with 5:21 remaining, Dean took a 5-yard sweep into the end zone. The Packers launched a final drive, but the game ended when Taylor caught a last ditch Starr pass and ran to the Eagles 10 yard-line, where he was tackled by Chuck Bednarik.
For Eagles Fans Only, the Long Video
Call it a quota, call it a gentlemen’s agreement, call it what you like. Before December 26, 1964, five Black players wearing the same uniform had never taken the court for the start of an NBA game.
That night in St. Louis, Willie Naulls replaced the injured Tommy Heinsohn, and the Celtics had an all Black starting five, for the first time in the history of the NBA.
An all Black starting team would have been an impossibility until the start of the 1963-1964 season, when the Celtics broke the gentlemen’s agreement (or whatever it was) and acquired Naulls from The San Francisco Warriors. The other starters for the Celtics in 1963-1964 and 1964-1965, were Satch Sanders, K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, and Bill Russell.
The “experiment” got off to a less than auspicious start as Boston fell behind the Hawks by 15 points in the first quarter. The Celtics came back, but the Hawks still led by 10 at the end of the second period. The rest of the game however, was all Boston. The Celtics outscored St. Louis 48-25 in the second half, and went on to win by a score of 97-84. Boston won the next 11 games, with Naulls starting in place of Heinsohn.
Celtics coach Red Auerbach claimed to have been completely oblivious
about having anything to do with anything historic, and said he wasn’t aware of what he had done until a writer pointed it out to him a few weeks later. The event also went unreported in the press.
Another piece of unreported trivia, was that for those 12 games, in addition to their five Black starters, the Celtics had an all White bench.
From the New York Times
Jack Johnson Wins;
Police Stop Fight
Negro’s Punishment of Champion
Burns Causes Authorities
To End Bout
News of Saturday Morning’s Battle in
Australia Received Last Night
In New York
Sydney, Saturday Noon, Jack Johnson, the big Negro from Galveston, Texas, is the world’s champion, heavyweight pugilist. He won the title in the big arena at Ruschutters Bay, from Tommy Burns, the French Canadian, who had held it since James J. Jefferies relinquished it, and after a chase of Burns that led half way round the world.
The end came in the fourteenth round when the police, seeing Burns tottering and unable to defend himself from the savage blows of his opponent, mercifully stopped the fight.
Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, whose reign lasted from 1908 to 1915, was also the first African American pop culture icon. He was photographed more than any other black man of his day and, indeed, more than most white men. He was written about more as well. Black people during the early 20th century were hardly the subject of news in the white press unless they were the perpetrators of crime or had been lynched (usually for a crime, real or imaginary). Johnson was different—not only was he written about in black newspapers but he was, during his heyday, not infrequently the subject of front pages of white papers. Read More
Easy question: Who was the man named Jack who broke a color barrier in sports?
Harder question: Name another.
Harder because it happened so long ago. But in 1908, 39 years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball, there was Jack Johnson — the first black man to hold the world heavyweight championship. Read More
Jan Stenarud shanked a 32 yard field goal that would have won the game for Kansas City in regulation time. The game finally ended at 7:40 of the second overtime when Garo Yepremian nailed one from 37 yards.
Celitcs Set NBA Rebound Record
While most of their fans were home with their families on Christmas Eve, 1960 –
2,046 of the Celtics faithful, and a national TV audience, got to see them have their way with the Detroit Pistons. Not only did the Celtics outscore their Motor City rivals 150-106, they also set an NBA record (that still stands) by pulling down 112 rebounds. Bill Russell led the Celtics with 29 boards. 6’4″ guard, Sam Jones pitched in with 16. The over matched Pistons had a total of 60 rebounds for the game.