Before They Were Wussies: The Best Snow Games In Football History
I was starting to feel like an old fogey yelling about how they were tougher in my day. But then Governor Rendell said exactly what I was thinking also. You tell 'em, Rendell. The NFL is turning into a bunch of wussies. Or Philadelphia is or whoever it was that canceled the Eagle/Viking game on Sunday night.
They canceled the game on the THREAT of snow. No snow had even fallen yet and they canceled the game.
The Viking game when the roof fell in, ok then you have a reason for the cancellation. But to cancel an NFL game not because the teams could not get to the venue, not because the stadium was in shambles, but because it might get bad later is the wussiest thing I have ever heard. It's not like Philadelphia has never had a big snow storm before.
This was not Florida or Hawaii. This is the Northeast in December. It is going to snow.
Oh well. To commemorate the time when the NFL still had its cojones here is an impromptu list of some of the best snow games in NFL history.
8) 1948 NFL Championship: Chicago Cardinals Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Ok, ok it's too far back for anyone to remember. But the stories about this game are too good to pass up.
The tarp was so filled with snow that both teams had to come out and help the grounds crew roll it off the field. Any fan who came and helped shovel was given a free ticket to the game. Can you imagine, a ticket to the championship game for some shoveling? It ended as an Eagle 7 - 0 win after a critical Cardinal fumble late in the game.
I wonder if you could get Urlacher and the Boys and Vick and his crew to come help out with the tarp these days?
7) 2000 Independence Bowl: Texas A & M Vs. Mississippi State
All right, this is not an NFL game. But I remember this one well.
Now Shreveport, La., there’s a place that cancels things on the threat of snow. They cancel things when it rains. But this game went on.
And what a game it was.
The snow did not slow down these offenses and the game went to overtime tied at 35. The Aggies scored on their overtime drive but the extra point was blocked and returned for two points against them. So when Mississippi State scored on their overtime drive it made the final score 43-41 for the Bulldogs.
6) 1985 Snow Bowl: Green Bay Vs. Tampa Bay
I have been to an NFC Championship game and the game with the first-ever Lambeau Leap but this is my most memorable game I ever went to.
It snowed 12 inches the day before the game but my dad drove to Manitowoc to get two tickets from my godfather who did not think he was going to be able to make it. This made us two of the 20,000 or so people who could get to the stadium and see five more inches fall during the game. Green Bay fans would have filled the stadium, but it was just too hard to get there if you lived any distance away.
The Packers had over 500 yards of offense compared to the Bucs 65. The final score of 21-0 was not indicative of how dominating this was. The scene of five Packer players running towards the locker room and then all diving to slide across the snow is one of my fondest memories with my father.
That night I rode in his taxi with him all night to make sure he could get through the drifts as we took nurses to the hospital or factory workers to their shifts. A meaningless game between two losing teams, but my fondest memory so it goes here.
5) 2007 Snow Bowl Game: Buffalo Vs. Cleveland
The snow was hard. The wind was even harder and made offense almost impossible.
Some of the other games listed here the offenses used the snow to their advantage and scoring was pretty high. But this day was so blustery that passing was difficult and both teams stacked the run. The game ended 8-0 for Cleveland.
An odd score for an odd day.
4) 1982 Snow Plow Game: Miami Vs. New England
This one is well known. Again the snow was only half of it and the wind made the snow that even worse.
Offense was negligible and the game looked like it may be the first scoreless tie in a long, long time in the NFL. But then Mark Henderson and his snow plow gave the New England kicker a clear spot to kick the winning field goal for a 3-0 Patriot win. Don Shula probably still has nightmares about it.
3) 2007 NFL Playoffs: Seattle Vs. Green Bay
This one may be high in the rankings but sue me, I am a Packer fan.
The game started out cold and clear but the snow soon became epically heavy. Ryan Grant fumbled twice in the opening minutes but came back to have an outstanding day and get the Packers over their early deficit to a tie and take it into overtime.
The game is known for Matt Hasselback and his, “We’ll take the ball and we’re gonna score” call when he won the overtime coin toss. They were well on their way to making his words prophetic when Al Harris stepped in front of his pass and returned it the distance for a Packers win.
2) 1993 Thanksgiving Game: Miami Vs. Dallas.
The Leon Lett game. It is somewhat of a shame that such a good player is remembered for his two major goof-ups of which this is one.
Snow and that slick ugly green turn at the old Dallas stadium made footing bad and the scoring was low. The Cowboys blocked the late field goal only to have Lett try to pick it up and boot it toward the goal line where it was recovered by the Dolphins for a first down. With one more chance to kick the winning field goal the Fish won the game 16-14.
1) 2002 AFC Divisional Playoff: The Tuck Game, Oakland Vs. New England
What else could it be? For a game of importance and controversy this game snow or no snow would be a game to remember. But add the snow and Vinatieri’s amazing kicks through it and it is a classic of Ice Bowl and Immaculate Reception proportions. The final was Pats 16-13 on the way to their first Super Bowl.
Where is Doctor Who when you need him? What would have happened if this stupid tuck rule did not exist and Woodson gets the fumble against new England and the Patriots lose. Does New England still go on to be such a dynasty? Do the Raiders still become such a laughingstock in a couple years? The alternate history possibilities are as good as this game. And a great game it certainly was.
Ok tell me what I missed and other ones of note. The Packer/Bronco game on Monday night in the '80s was too painful to recall and I was too Packer heavy as it was.