Uniform Rankings - Wild Card Weekend Edition

Uniform Rankings - Wild Card Weekend Edition
by Tim Brulia

From 16 games to review down to four.

Here's the Wild Card Weekend review.

Bengals-Texans: Bengals go white/white and the Texans go navy/white. Teams tend to go conservative in the playoffs, uni-wise. Perhaps knowing that all games from hereon in go out to 100% of the nation. And maybe the reason we see the Bengals take the all white approach. This is a good color contrast, but I think it would have been nice if the Bengals rocked the black pants, but this was a nice one.

Lions-Saints: Lions in the only choice they could make, white/silver. The Saints could have taken the safe approach with black/gold, but they chose to be daring and chose the black/black fashion statement. And that gets a big thumbs up. Still a lot of metal (Lions silver and Saints gold), but not as conspicuous. I just found this matchup to be a winner.

Falcons-Giants: Nothing notable here, but while predictable and tame, the Falcons white/white and Giants blue/gray was sharp. Falcons with black and red trim and the G-men with the familiar red accessories to the blue and gray, give a pleasant color look.

Steelers-Broncos: Best for last, both in terms of exciting play and exciting uni colors. Steelers go with the normal road togs, white/yellow and the Broncos, who had gone all navy for four straight home games, went to the "safe" combo for the playoffs, navy/white, and it was the right choice. It brightened up the Bronco look and actually complimented the Steeler colors. Well played, team of Tebow.

So, the quartet rankings:

1) Steelers-Broncos
2) Lions-Saints
3) Bengals-Texans
4) Falcons-Giants

As for the Divisional Round?

I think the teams will stay on the low-key side. We'll find out this weekend and let you know what we think. Check in with you then!

A Giant Victory

A couple days ago at the Gridiron Uniform Database, I mentioned an "easter egg" of sorts that I had left on the site as sort of a challenge for you to find.  No one found it the first day, but yesterday BigBlueLarry, aka Larry Schmitt, found the error.  I had typed 'Houston Oilers' instead of 'Houston Texans' on the Week 4 matchup page when I made it back in early October, and left it to see if anyone would notice.  No one ever did, so I decided to make a 'contest' of sorts the other day, and Larry is the winner.

I offered him the opportunity to feature a game of his choosing to be added to the database.  As a big Giants, I had a feeling he would choose a game featuring them.  I didn't let him pick any of the Super Bowls (XXI, XXV, XLII) as we will be covering all of the Super Bowls in coming days.  Larry picked wisely and selected the 1990 NFC Championship game, a great defensive struggle.  Here's Larry with his thoughts on this game:

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A Giant Victory
by Larry Schmitt

This is truly the crown jewel of all the football games I've ever watched in my lifetime. I think it was the most tense, hard-hitting, dramatic, riveting game that I have ever seen the Giants play.  Sixty minutes of no quarter asked - none given. The 49ers' of that era have always been lauded for their prolific offense, but their defense was just as good. Micheal Carter anchored their DL at the nose position and gave Giants All-Pro Center Bart Oates all he could handle. The hits that Ronnie Lott dished out in his final game as a 49er were devastating. San Francisco and New York had a unique rivalry - it was as intense as any Giants-Redskins or 49ers-Rams game from that era.

This was their fifth post season meeting over the previous nine seasons, and their dislike for one another was only exceeded by their mutual respect. 2012 Pro Football HOF finalist Bill Parcells (who was at his gambling best with a fake punt call to Gary Reasons in the 4th quarter) has stated many times that this is the favorite game from his coaching career, and Jerry Markbreit stated it was the best game he ever officiated. NFL Films rated Leonard Marshall's 4th quarter sack of Joe Montana as the #2 tackle of all-time. Bill Belichick revealed himself as a defensive genius with his game-planning throughout the 1990 postseason. The Giants ended San Francisco's attempt for an unprecedented Super Bowl "Threepeat" without even scoring a touchdown! Remarkable! Other brilliant coaches on that Giants staff included Tom Coughlin, Romeo Crennel, Al Groh and Charlie Weis. San Francisco boasted the talents of Mike Holmgren, Jon Gruden and Ray Rhodes. 

Jeff Hostetler made clutch throws to Mark Bavaro, Mark Ingram and Stephen Baker to drive the Giants to hard fought field goals on late possessions.  An Erik Howard forced-fumble on Roger Craig (also playing his final game in San Francisco) that was recovered by Lawrence Taylor, set up a 42-yard Matt Bahr game winning field goal, and a thrilling 15 to 13 upset win. 

The Giants would go on to win Super Bowl XXV against the Buffalo Bills a week later.
NFL Films would be wise to include this contest in their "Best Ever" series.

Uniform wise, the game was standard for the time. The Giants wore their road white with blue numbers that had been standard issue since 1980 and wouldn't change through 1999. San Francisco wore their home red and gold uniforms that featured virtually the same look since 1964 and that they would keep through 1995, save for the removal of the stripes from the socks in 1991.
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Thanks, Larry.  Great job, and a great game to add to our database.   With both the Giants and 49ers still in the playoffs, it's not an impossibility that would could be seeing a rematch of this game in this year's NFC Championship, however, the Packers and the Saints may have something to say about that.

We look forward to future opportunities to feature guest writers here at the Gridiron Uniform Database blog, so if you have any ideas for a game you'd like to see featured here, let us know.

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After featuring Super Bowl XI yesterday, the earliest Super Bowl ever played on January 9, today there is no Super Bowl to feature for "On This Day...", as there never was a Super Bowl played on January 10.  There has, however, been two memorable playoff games through the years played on January 10, and we are featuring them today:

The game known simply as "The Catch" was thirty years ago today.  Dwight Clark hauled in Joe Montana's final minute pass for a touchdown in the NFC Championship and the 49ers defeated the Cowboys and went on to Detroit to beat the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI and begin their 1980's dynasty.

Twenty-two years later, a playoff game went into a second overtime for only the third time ever.  On the first play of the second overtime period, Steve Smith caught a 69-yard touchdown pass from Jake Delhomme, and the Panthers were headed to the NFC Championship game on their way to Super Bowl XXXVIII.  That pass was the longest overtime postseason play from scrimmage in NFL History, a record which stood until Sunday, when Tim Tebow's 80 yard pass to Demaryius Thomas broke the record.  The 2003 Panthers and the 2011 Broncos, of course, were both coached by John Fox.

The Start of The Super Season

The Start of the Super Season
by Rob Holecko

Way back in the old days, football always ended in December.  The famous 1940 Championship game, the 73-0 rout of the Washington Redskins by the Chicago Bears, was played on December 8.   As the league schedule expanded to 12 and then 14 games the NFL season moved later and closer to January.  The 'Greatest Game Ever Played', the 1958 Championship was on December 29, and by the time the Packers won Super Bowl I in January 1967, it was on the fifteenth.  When the league schedule expanded to 16 games in 1978, and then added bye weeks in the 1990, the Super Bowl was played later and later.  When the 9/11 cancellations in 2001 moved everything back a week, Super Bowl XXXVI became the first to be played in February.

Before the 1978 expansion to 16 weeks, however, the earliest Super Bowl ever in the calendar year was played on January 9, 1977, as the Oakland Raiders, coached by John Madden and with Ken Stabler at quarterback, defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI.   The Vikings were appearing in their fourth (and to this date, last) Super Bowl, and they lost every one of them.

We are happy to add Super Bowl XI to our database, and tomorrow we will debuting a new feature on the website which over the next month will see us add all of the Super Bowls to the Gridiron Uniform Database.

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A new feature already on the website, you will see you can now click on '2011' and see the team pages for the teams that have already completed their 2011 season.  As the remaining teams in the playoffs lose, we will be added them to this page.  Also coming soon, we will be adding the '2011' graphics to the individual team's year pages linked to the right.
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Yesterday, we mentioned an "Easter Egg" of sorts here in the Gridiron Uniform Database, an intentional error that I left on the site to see if anyone would notice it.  It isn't anything that will lead to a compromise of the accuracy of our data.  It is more accurately described as not really a "typo", but a "mis-type".  We mentioned we will continue to give hints until someone finds it, and today's hint is:

Have a good Monday and enjoy the BCS Championship Game tonight.

Wild Card Sunday

Wild Card Sunday
by Rob Holecko

Well today is Wild Card Sunday, a couple good games on tap today -- the Falcons take on the Giants in Game 1 and the Steelers take on the Broncos in the last game of the weekend.  It's been a good weekend for all three Gulf coast teams.  The Texans and the Saints stamped their ticket into the next round, and for the first time in ten weeks, the Bucs won't have a loss this weekend.

We now take you back to our "On This Day..." segment.  Twelve years ago, on January 8, 2000, the Titans pulled off the Music City Miracle, as Frank Wycheck threw across the field to Kevin Dyson on a kickoff return, who took it down the sideline and to the end zone for the winning score.  The Titans went on to defeat the Colts and the Jaguars before coming up a yard short in Super Bowl XXXIV to the Rams.

We are proud to add this game to our collection of past games in our database.

 Things have picked up over the last week, so we haven't been bringing you a "On This Day..." religiously everyday, however, there was another one from a couple days ago we'd like to mention anyhow.  Friday was the anniversary of the January 6, 1980 playing of the 1979 NFC Championship.  The fourth-year expansion Bucs were the story of the NFL in 1979, making it all the way to nine points away from the Super Bowl.

Also regarding a recent "On This Day.." I corrected a typo regarding the January 5 On This Day, I erroneously said that the Giants had come back from a huge deficit in their 2002 Wild Card win against the 49ers. It was actually the 49ers that came back from trailing in that game, and I was corrected by our own Bill Schaefer.  I don't know which was worse, that I again displayed such a blatant disregard for fact-checking, or that of our 98,000+ visitors, none of them noticed the error.  Which reminds me, there is a hidden "Easter Egg" of sorts on our site, an intentional error that I left on the site in early October, to see if anyone noticed.  I'm not going to give any more hints, but it involved a team that won a game yesterday.  First one to notice and reply in the comments will receive recognition in tomorrow's blog and will be allowed to select a favorite game of theirs from any game in NFL History for us to add to our database.  (Tim & Bill not eligible, this time.)

Another thing we'd like to mention is we will soon be rolling out the 2011 team pages for all of the teams that missed the playoffs, as well as further teams as they are eliminated, will be added soon.  These pages will be added to the links in the left and right columns on the main page.  Look for these soon.

Tomorrow is my birthday, but more importantly it is also the earliest date that a Super Bowl was ever played, so our "On This Day..." segment will be kicked up a notch to "Super" status beginning tomorrow.  All Super Bowls will be added to the site in the next month, as they will be featured in upcoming "On This Day..." segments.

Have a good, enjoy the football.


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