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|08-19-2002, 12:52 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 09, 2001
ESPN Picks the Most Shocking Moments In NFL History
10. The Replacement Football League (Oct. 4, 1987)
Less than two weeks after NFL players went on strike, NFL stadiums were open for business, but the real pros were outside the stadium, picketing. Who was inside? Not too many fans (there was record-low attendance at almost every game), and a bunch of guys who not too long ago were tending bar, selling stocks or cashing unemployment checks. A few "real" pros also crossed the picket lines to play.
Mercifully, the strike ended after 24 days; one of the replacement games was stricken from the record, though the other three counted in the final standings.
9. Vikings' Korey Stringer dies from heatstroke (Aug. 1, 2001)
On a sweltering hot day early in Vikings training camp last summer, All-Pro offensive tackle Korey Stringer collapsed of heatstroke after morning workout drills, and lost consciousness. He was taken to the hospital with a body temperature of 108.8 degrees, and died about 15 hours later. Stringer, just 27, became only the second NFL player to die at summer training camp.
8. Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI as time expires (Feb. 3, 2002)
Adam Vinatieri's kick capped an amazing season for the 2001-02 Patriots.
Nobody thought much of the Pats coming into the 2001 season -- they had been 5-11 in 2000 and oddsmakers said they had only a 50-1 chance to win it all.
Even in the topsy-turvy world of the NFL, those odds seemed low. But New England won the AFC East division title with an 11-5 record, led by soph QB Tom Brady. They won the AFC Championship over Pittsburgh, but still came into the Superdome as two-TD underdogs to the mighty Rams. You know the rest of the story -- with the score tied at 17-17, Brady drove the Pats 53 yards to set up a 48-yard field goal attempt by Adam Vinatieri, who nailed it just before the clock ticked to 0:00.
7. The Immaculate Reception (Dec. 23, 1972)
With only 73 seconds remaining in the AFC semifinal playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium, the Steelers trailed the Raiders 7-6. But they had the ball, on their own 40 when Terry Bradshaw threw to Frenchy Fuqua. The ball bounced off DB Jack Tatum, Fuqua or both, and right into the outstretched hands of Franco Harris, who dashed into the end zone for a game-winning TD with only five seconds left on the clock.
6. Jets make good on Namath's guarantee in Super Bowl III (Jan. 12, 1969)
Three days before the AFL's Jets faced the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami, Namath uttered what might be the most repeated quote in football history. He said, simply, "We're going to win Sunday. I guarantee it." Quite a statement, considering the Jets were 17-point underdogs. But, as the world now knows, Namath and the Jets lived up to his word in style, dominating the Earl Morrall-led Colts from the opening kickoff. Even the insertion of the injured Johnny Unitas into the QB slot couldn't lift Baltimore, and the Colts went down to a 16-7 defeat in front of 75,389 fans at the Orange Bowl. Namath, the game's MVP, was 17-for-28 for 206 yards.
5. "Heidi" (Nov. 17, 1968)
With 65 seconds left in the Jets-Raiders game and the Jets up 32-29, NBC followed its schedule and cut off its broadcast, lest those waiting for the movie "Heidi" be kept waiting. The Raiders rallied for two touchdowns and won 43-32, and NBC received thousands of angry calls, causing its switchboard to break down
4. Colts steal away (March 29, 1984)
The Colts, who had been in Baltimore since 1953, reached a tentative agreement to play in Indianapolis and began moving overnight. A fleet of moving vans cleaned out the team's training facility in Owings Mill, Md., in the middle of the night and headed for Indianapolis. The sudden departure stunned Baltimore. "It's unbelievable, the callousness of this man," said fan Brian Yaniger of owner Jim Irsay. "Just because he has a couple of bucks, he can tear a whole city down on his whims."
3. Detroit Lions receiver Chuck Hughes dies of heart attack during game (Oct. 24, 1971)
The Lions trailed the Bears 28-23 late in the fourth quarter, and had the ball. With the Lions running a two-minute drill, wide receiver Chuck Hughes came into the game, and went deep over the middle on a play that ended with an incomplete pass intended for another receiver. As he headed back to the huddle, he collapsed. Bears middle linebacker Dick Butkus got to him first and alerted the Lions bench. Team doctor Richard Thompson came onto the field and tried to resuscitate Hughes, unsuccessfully. The game was finished in silence.
2. Karras and Hornung suspended for gambling (April 17, 1963)
Paul Hornung, the Green Bay Packers running back who had scored an NFL record 176 points in 1960 and been named MVP in 1961, and Alex Karras, the Detroit Lions All-Pro defensive tackle, were suspended by Pete Rozelle for betting on NFL games and associating with gamblers. Hornung, said Rozelle, had bet up to $500 on NFL games, and Karras, he said, had placed at least a half dozen $50-$100 bets.
Both players sat out for a full season, before being reinstated. Five other Detroit players were fined for betting on the 1962 championship game. Hornung apologized. "I made a terrible mistake," he said. "I am truly sorry." Still, he was later inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1. O.J. Simpson charged with double murder (June 17, 1994)
"It's like the president died," said one Bills fan after the legendary Buffalo running back was charged with murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in the driveway of his Brentwood house the night of June 12.
He had won the Heisman Trophy, set the NFL's single-season rushing record, and was a Hall of Famer, despite playing most of his pro career with the hapless Bills. He'd been a "Monday Night Football" regular, a popular Hertz pitchman, and a B-movie star. Simpson was, undeniably, incredibly well-liked.
The charges weren't the beginning of the bizarre story, and the criminal trial, which ended with Simpson's acquittal, wasn't the end. After he was officially charged, Simpson didn't surrender and was declared a fugitive, leading to a bizarre, live, televised low-speed pursuit -- in the infamous white Bronco -- that hypnotized the U.S. viewing public.
When Simpson finally surrendered, he was arrested and held without bail. He went on to hire his "dream team" of pricey lawyers, and on Oct. 3, 1995, after the lengthy, circuslike "trial of the century," Simpson was acquitted. Later, in a civil suit filed by the families of Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, Simpson was found to have "willingly and wrongfully" caused the deaths. He was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages.
|08-19-2002, 08:58 PM||#2|
Join Date: May 15, 2001
Interesting. I didn't know about the trouble that Alex Karras had gotten into. By the way, for those who don't know, Alex Karras went on to play George Papadapolis on the sitcom Webster.
Marge: There are only 49 stars on that flag.
Abe: I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missouri!
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