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
Sam’s Celtics Forum
Bill Russell’s first game as a Celtic took place on December 22, 1956. It was a matinee with the St. Louis Hawks at Boston Garden that was televised nationally as the NBA Game of the Week. Attendance at Celtics games had averaged less than 7,000 so far that year. More than 11,000 fans who could have watched at home bought tickets to see the rookie sensation in person.
Bill was a phenomenon if ever there was one, a 6’ 10” center with the speed and agility of a guard. He had won back to back NCAA championships and an Olympic gold medal. He had performed the most noble act at the Olympics, giving up his chance to compete for a medal in the high jump, so that a friend could have a spot on the track and field team. Red Auerbach was so impressed that, before the draft, he traded smooth scoring, fan favorite Ed Macauley, an All-Star, and a highly touted prospect, Cliff Hagen, to the St. Louis Hawks to obtain Bill’s rights.
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.