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A very interesting matchup of two pretty different, but pretty good teams in the 82 Falcons and Vikings. The Falcons of the late 1970s and early 1980s, were a power running football team. With a strong offensive line and very good running backs in William Andrews and Lynn Cain and added Gerald Riggs in 1982. That had a good strong-arm quarterback in Steve Bartkowski. Who could go deep to wide receivers Alfred Jackson and Alfred Jenkins. And on defense, they had what was called the Grits Blitz. Very similar to the Chicago Bears 46. But they did it out of a 3-4, but like the Bears would rush and blitz everyone on their defense.
The Vikings, no longer had their dominant Purple People Eater Defense. But they were solid on defense and still had a very good offense. That was now led by quarterback Tommy Kramer instead of Fran Tarkenton. That would throw the ball a lot and throw the ball to everyone with their possession passing Spread Offense. And then could run Ted Brown, Tony Galbreath and Darin Nelson out of the backfield. So this was a matchup of a power football team in the Falcons on both offense and defense. Against a more finesse but tough Vikings team, that could beat anyone in the NFL.
I think at least and I bet a lot of Vikings and Bears fan agree with this, but I believe this is one of the most under appreciated rivalries in the NFL. It is not the Bears-Packers rivalry, or the Vikings-Packers rivalry, but it is at least as good the Packers-Lions rivalry, which use to be a very good rivalry at least. I don’t know if there are two better teams that better represent the old NFC Central, or as ESPN’s Chris Berman called it the NFC Norris Division, play better than the Vikings and Bears. Both teams, are traditionally tough and physical on defense and come right at you on offense. And both teams love to play in cold weather and won a lot of big games in cold weather.
The 1985 Vikings, were a lot different from the traditional Vikings teams that we saw in the 1960s and 70s and the late 1980s. They no longer had the great defense or running game that they could count on. They were a pass first and almost pass all the time team. And the running game they got was from their passing game. And defenses having to respect their passing game a lot. Tommy Kramer, was a very good if not a Pro Bowl quarterback, but not the type of quarterback that could put his team on his back and lead them to championships on his own. He needed a good running game and defense to play their part as well. And the Vikings from 1983-86, missed the NFC Playoffs four straight seasons. Which never happened again until the 2000s. The Vikings missing the playoffs at least four straight seasons. And a big part of that was they no longer had that great defense and running game to complement their powerful passing game.
Teams like the 85 Vikings, played into the Bears 46 Defense perfectly. The Bears were always going after the quarterback with their defensive line and blitzes. And probably blitzed 90% of the time. And if they didn’t have a running game to have to worry about and giving up a big running play on a blitz, it meant they could blitz all the time and attack the quarterback every single play. Remember, the 85 Bears were 18-1 including playoffs and Super Bowl. The only team that beat them in 85 were the Dan Marino Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins had Dan Marino, but they also had a very good offensive line, that could pick up their own man and pick up blitzers on the same play. And they also had 4-5 really good and quick receivers. And could spread the Bears out on defense. And had enough of a running game to keep defenses honest. The Vikings, weren’t that good of a football team.
Going into this game, it is no wonder why CBS Sports had their top broadcast duo of Pat Summerall and John Madden call this game. Great matchup at least on paper with perhaps the two best teams in the NFC in 1985. The history of the two great franchises and the members of both clubs that worked with the other team, or was from Chicago or Texas, or played there. Like Mike Ditka, who was a long time assistant coach under Tom Landry in Dallas. And then of course of how dominant the Bears were in 85, 10-0 at this point going up against a Cowboys team that was still very good, at least as far as talent. That dominated the NFC and NFL in the 1970s and was still one of the better teams in the league at this point.
But when you don’t protect your quarterback, you don’t protect your punter and get punts blocked and turn the ball over the way the Cowboys did in the second quarter that led to 17 points and 24-0 halftime Bears lead, horrible things happen to you. The student’s teams beat the hell out of the teacher’s team in this game. The Bears played on completely taking your offense out of the game. And beating the hell out of your quarterback and runners with their 46 Defense. That dared teams to throw deep against them. And if your receivers didn’t get open quickly and your quarterback didn’t get rid of the ball quickly, horrible things happened to you. Huge sacks and turnovers. That Bears the offense could score from and many times that season the Bears defense did the scoring.
It was already pretty clear that Cowboys at this point in the 1980s had started stagnating, if not in decline. With the San Francisco 49ers, Redskins, Bears and New York Giants already taking steps up to becoming the new powers in the NFC. And they all had great games against each other in that decade. But this 44-0 ass kicking by the Bears in 1985 was sort of that tipping point and perhaps final nail. That the Cowboys not only were not the main power in the NFC, but several teams had passed them. And the Cowboys were no longer a team that was expected to go to the Super Bowl or even NFC Championship. But a team that making the NFC Playoffs, or winning the NFC East was a good year for them. When in the 1970s and early eighties that was expected of them.
A great week 15 matchup even though it was an inter-conference matchup between the Bears and Jets. The Bears were 15-1 in the 1985 regular season and the Jets were 11-5. The Jets, Los Angeles Raiders and perhaps the Cleveland Browns were the top three underachievers of the NFL in the 1980s, at least in the AFC. You could argue that even though the Bears won Super Bowl 20 and won an NFC Championship and played in three NFC Finals in the 1980s, they or the Raiders were the biggest underachievers of that decade.
Because as dominate as the Raiders were in 1985 they almost looked mediocre at least in comparison for the rest of that decade. The Raiders won two Supers Bowls in the 1980s. But continued to have great talent throughout that decade and yet were barely a playoff team after they won Super Bowl 18 in 84. But the Jets were just as good talent wise as the Raiders and Bears on both offense and defense from 81-82, until 86. And only played in one conference championship. When they lost to an inferior Miami Dolphins team in 1982. This was a great matchup on paper, but a battle of underachievers, in the Bears-Jets.
I just looked it up and the Baltimore Stars were 10-7-1 in 1985 and yet they won the USFL Championship that season. Not exactly a great record for a championship team. That would be like a 9-7 record in the NFL. Teams with records like that generally barely make the playoffs and don’t do much in the playoffs, or just miss the playoffs. But generally don’t go all the way. But if you listen to the commentary of this game, they are talking about after the first two games of the season, the Stars were still winless. And turning the ball over a lot and not scoring touchdowns in the red zone.
The Memphis Showboats were 11-7 in 1985 and also made the playoffs, but didn’t go very far. Solid record with a solid team, but not exactly championship material as their record would indicate. A defensive oriented running team, that played fairly conservatively on offense. The Stars were fairly similar in style, but with a better quarterback in Chuck Fusina, a better passing game and a great running back in Kelvin Bryant. Who would go on to the NFL with the Redskins. And be a major factor in the 1987 Redskins Super Bowl Championship team. So this was a very good matchup with two very tough teams with very good defenses.
Reason: Hit & Run: Nick Gillespie: Penn Jillette on Indiana RFRA: You’re Not Being Forced to Have Gay Sex
This whole so-called religious freedom law debate which is really what this isn’t about, but about creating some new right for people who are lets face it, are homophobic and hate homosexuality, is not about expanding religious freedom, or protecting religious freedom. It’s about creating a right for people who are so against homosexuality to the point they view gays as second-class citizens and not deserving of the same rights as straits, to discriminate against people simply because they are gay.
When business’s go public and are open for the public, they are exactly that. Whose the public? It’s all of us and all of our races, ethnicities and yes even sexualities. If you don’t want to serve the public, then open a private club and have it open for private membership only. And with your club you could only allow Christians, or Anglos, or Caucasians in general, or men, or straits of whoever you want your club to be open to, to serve. But if you run a store or a restaurant or some other business that is open to the public, than that is what you are. And you can’t deny service to people simply because you don’t like their race, color, ethnicity, or sexuality.
Protecting gays equal access to America is not about creating new rights for people. Since they already have the same rights as straits anyway. Fundamentalists Christian men aren’t being told that they have to bang men, or go to jail! And fundamentalist Christian women aren’t being told they have to bang women, or go to jail! If they want to continue to believe that gay sex and homosexuality is immoral and should be illegal, but people banging their cousins, or aunts, or uncles is perfectly legitimate and if anything should be expanded, then they are more than welcome to continue to believe in those things. And be looked down upon as the ignorant idiots that they are. But a public business can’t deny access to people simple because of who they are.
First of all, just to speak of Susan Rook at CNN. I miss her, I wish she would come back. She’s so freakin cute and sweet and makes hard news worth listening to and watching just with her beautiful baby-face and sweet voice. She still looks great today from the few shots I’ve seen of her online. And works as a photographer and as an agent. She’s still pretty active, just not as a news anchor.
Now as far as Pelican Bay, maybe I should be careful how I put this, but if there’s such a thing as a human zoo it would be called Pelican Bay. Or the Colorado State Maximum Security Prison. Except that animals at zoos are able to move around in their yard and are probably outside most of the day. And can eat as much as they can handle and get plenty of exercise. As well as both human and animal contact. You get almost none of that if you’re an inmate at Pelican Bay.
I’m sure most if not all the inmates at Pelican Bay are quite frankly hard-core assholes who deserve to be at a maximum security prison. But there’s a right way to do that and the wrong way. The wrong way treats these people as if they’re wild animals like grizzly bears or tigers or something. And when you treat people like that, that is how they’re going to behave. But if you punish bad behavior while at the same time giving people incentive to improve, that is what will happen in most cases. The whole carrot and stick approach.