1980 Mornhinweg Atrophy: The Saints become the Aints

Tweet 1980 began with high hopes for the Saints and ended with two Dicks. Wow. In 1965 the American Football League chose to hold its all-star game in New Orleans, but the Black players were leery of that choice.  New Orleans still held proudly to its Jim Crow laws and all of the backward-thinking racism that permeated the South at the time, so the players’ concerns about the way they…

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1979 Mornhinweg Atrophy: NFL Takes a Pass On Montana

Tweet The quarterback not taken, and the NFL throws an incomplete to the wide open Big Sky. The first quarterback taken first overall in the Super Bowl era was Terry Bradshaw of the Eagles.  In all aspects of building a football team, the Steelers were miles ahead of every other team in the NFL.  On the opposite end of the spectrum were my Chicago Bears.  The Bears still clung to…

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1978 Mornhinweg Atrophy: Bengals Bungle the Coaching Change

Tweet In 1978 the Bengals failed to earn their stripes.  In other words, they weren’t grrrreat.   In 1978 the NFL made the switch from fourteen game seasons to sixteen game seasons, and reduced the preseason schedule from six games to four games.  It seems ridiculous that the NFL played six preseason games to prepare to play fourteen, but it made sense to the owners.  They charged full price for…

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1977 Mornhinweg Atrophy: Passing Credit Around to Those Who Deserve It.

Tweet Don Coryell, Moe Howard, and those who don’t capture the popular imagination. No matter how many individuals claim they dislike labels, on the whole people prefer labels.  It not only makes conversation easier, it requires much less learning or thought.  For example, in 1940 Charlie Chaplin made history of a sort when he made the film The Great Dictator, using his remarkable comedic talents to spoof Adolph Hitler.  It…

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1976 Mornhinweg Atrophy: The Was no Saban the Bills From Disaster.

Tweet Lou Saban shuffled off from Buffalo, and they never won another game that year. It’s safe to say that Lou Saban was a slightly less than average coach.  His record as a professional coach in the AFL and NFL was 95 -99 – 7, and his record as a college coach was an almost identical 94 – 99 – 4.  His finest moments occurred in Buffalo, where he won…

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1975 Mornhinweg Atrophy: Patriots and Jets Fall Together.

Tweet When do you first realize your new head coach won’t succeed? Ron Wolf remains my favorite NFL executive ever because he acted the way I would like my general manger to work.  When he decided that a second string, second round draft pick on the Atlanta Falcons was a key piece to building a championship, he traded a first round pick to get his man, and Brett Favre proved…

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Let’s Make Like a Baby and Head Out.

Tweet Baby, the rain must fall. At the age of nine I knew that babies grew inside women’s stomachs and never gave much thought to how they got out.  Richie Braun shattered my blissful ignorance one morning although I rejected his theory at first.  In 1969-70 I attended Ole A. Thorp School on Chicago’s northwest side, one of twenty-five fourth-graders in Mrs. McDonald’s class which included nine boys and sixteen…

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1974 Mornhinweg Atrophy: Falcons See the Steepest Decline

Tweet The Falcons’ high hopes took a mighty fall in 1974.   The Atlanta Falcons were supposed to be an AFL team, but at the last second the NFL stepped and convinced the Falcons’ investors to join the NFL.  In response the AFL placed their new franchise in Miami and the Dolphins were born.  The decision to choose money over loyalty would fit right in with the present-day NFL, but…

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1973 Mornhinweg Atrophy: The Giants Continued Their Yoyo Ways.

Tweet Big Blue stayed true blue to their past, and continued their yoyo ways with a 5 1/2 game back slide in 1973. The late sixties and early seventies were a yoyo period for the New York Giants.  Three times in seven years they achieved the biggest drop in wins and losses, although 1973 marked the worst record of the seven.  They seemed to be teasing their fans one year,…

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1972: Baltimore wins the Mornhinweg Atrophy and Eventually loses the Colts.

Tweet A story of capital gains and losing teams, and how Bob Irsay bolts with the Colts. The fans of the Baltimore Colts suffered through a bad year in 1972, but had no idea the future damage the events would inflict on them.  Chicago businessman Robert Irsay purchased the Los Angeles Rams and immediately traded the franchise to Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom.  Rosenbloom avoided paying capital gains taxes on…

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1971: Alex Webster Leads the Giants Backward, and Wins the Mornhinweg Atrophy.

Tweet When team owners went old school, they often made old fools of themselves. The NFL serves as a perfect example of what happens when businesses change from being Mon-and-Pop operations to corporate entities.  As the 1960’s began, the NFL still consisted of family owned franchises who struggled to keep their financial heads above water.  When a young player joined the Chicago Bears, for example, owner/coach George Halas would stress…

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