When The Patriots Were The Punch Line - Alternative Title: Be Grateful, You Have No Frigging Idea How Bad They Once Were

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
13,236
Am I remembering correctly that in the ‘80s, when most of the games were blacked out locally, the Boston TV news crews would film their own highlights of the game to broadcast (since presumably there was no NBC or CBS crew there to film them)? I feel like I often saw replays filmed at sideline height on the TV sports segments after the game.
There were still national network film crews, as they still needed to broadcast the game to the visiting team's home market. The local NBC affiliate, WBZ, would get first access to the game highlight tapes for their news broadcast. The other local channels, however, would not necessarily get them in time for their broadcasts.
 

mwonow

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
6,158
That 1981 game was a 35-21 loss to the Cowboys that dropped the Pats to 0-3 en route to a 2-14 season. Their prize was the opportunity to select eventual bust Ken Sims with the top pick of the 1982 draft. The town of Foxboro basically threatened to pull the stadium's liquor license if the Pats hosted another MNF game; nobody seemed to care at that point.

It was also on a Monday Night Football telecast involving the Patriots, who were playing the Dolphins in Miami in 1980, during which Howard Cosell announced to the world that Jon Lennon was shot dead in NYC. The Patriots John Smith missed a field goal that would have given the Patriots a lead late in the 4th quarter; the Pats lost 16-13 in overtime. As a result of the loss, the Pats would finish 10-6 and miss the playoffs, as 5 other teams in the AFC finished with 11-5 records.

EDIT: FWIW, that Bengals game, which the Pats needed to win to make the playoffs, was blacked out locally because it was not sold out.

You literally could not make this stuff up.
Ah, yes - year of the Stupor Bowl between the Pats and the equally-awful (but had success within the memories of most fans) Colts, for the right to draft Sims... https://www.sunjournal.com/2007/11/03/patriotscolts-matchup-come-long-way-since-81-stupor-bowl-4/
 

gryoung

Member
SoSH Member
How about the Irving Fryar story.

Fryar was the Pats #1 pick, had won the Heisman, and may have been the overall #1 pick that season. He was pretty wild and has a few run-ins with the police.

One home game he got injured early and went to the locker room.

An hour or so later (sometime late in the 2nd half) local police found a Mercedes that had crashed into a pole along Route 1. Fryar was the driver. The game was still on the radio.
 

jaytftwofive

lurker
Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
I remember the 64 season when they were 10-3-1. Lost to the damn! Bills Twice. And the title game the year before to the Chargers like 51-10. The 66 Season was fun with Jim Nance. The Giants were my NFL team. Back in the day a lot of people like me had 2 teams. One NFL, one AFL. A lot of people don't remember when it was 2 leagues not just 2 Conferences. Grew up in Fall River then moved to your town in July of 69 when I was almost 12. Lived there for two years right near the Junior High School, before my Dad was transferred to Philly and hear I remain. Anyway those were the infamous one and a half years of Clive Rush the Jets Super Bowl Genius. Well as you know he lived in Wellesley and one of his sons was in my class and one a year ahead of me. They were both Quarterbacks for the Junior High Varsity and JV respectively. In early November of 1970, when he left that infamous game in Buffalo and resigned they said it was a nervous breakdown I believe or "Nervous Exhaustion" as they might have called it. That winter my Mom who was with my sister in the car were driving on Route 16 not far from the High School. My dad had just got a Toyota Corona Mark 2 form Peter Fullers Toyota. They come to a light and as they go though(It was green) a big Buick Electra 225 with a Mass. License plate "RUSH" runs a red light and nearly hits them but my mom stopped in time. I never heard until after his death in 1980 at only 49 that he had a drinking problem. Didn't he get hired by the Redskins in the spring of 71 then turned it down? I think they made the right choice with Allen. I believe he coached the Merchant Marine Academy to a great season in the mid 70's but got fired near the end because the players did not like him. Sad story.
 

jaytftwofive

lurker
Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
I attended nearly every Boston/New England Patriots game from 1964 until ventured off to college in the autumn of 1973. For nine seasons, I saw the Pats play in four different venues in four different communities within the confines of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Some might say I was a glutton for punishment, given the perpetually wacky state of the Patriots in those days. Perhaps I enjoyed a healthy dose of tragicomedy with my football.

When I started attending their home games as a nine-year-old, the Boston Patriots were prominent members of the American Football League, a league that was often called “rinky-dink” by most scribes. By the time I was a senior in high school, the New England Patriots were part of the AFC East, a conference within the greater National Football League.

Change in professional sports came faster in those days.

As a child, I attended home games at Fenway as the guest of my father. By the time I was 15, I was, according to longtime Patriots beat writer Ron Hobson of The Quincy Patriot Ledger, the youngest season-ticket-holder in all of the professional sports. In 1970, after my father had given up his own season tickets because he could no longer be subjected to the pathos that had come to define the team, I secured a job at the Wellesley (MA) Supermarket so that I could pay my own way as a Pats season-ticket holder. Ultimately, I would spend 60 dollars yearly out of my $1.60 an hour job in order to follow what could only be depicted as disorganized insanity.

Legendary Boston Globe columnist Will McDonough, the most acclaimed chronicler of the franchise in its 60-years-plus-history, once famously called those seasons that I bore witness as “The Goofy Years.”

Indeed, they were. In fact, that may have been an understatement.

In the first five seasons of my Patriots adventure, Dad would usually drive us to their games in the Back Bay. Occasionally, however, we would take the MBTA from Woodland to Fenway Park. The local transportation authority never had extra subway cars for the team when they played at the Fens. At the time, the Pats were deemed too inconsequential by most Bay Staters. In reality, the New York Giants were the region’s number one football team for more than two decades. From 1952 until the end of the 1969 season, every Giants contest was televised live on Channel 5, WHDH Boston. Most football fans I knew growing up in the Boston area referred to the Giants as “us.”

Not me.

Of course, when we finally sat in our seats in Section 12 at Fenway Park, my father would invariably recite from Shakespeare’s Henry V, “We few; we happy few…”

Temporary bleachers covered the left-field wall at Fenway Park during the football season – room for about 5,000 fans. The left end zone stretched from short left field to the Red Sox batter’s circle. The other end zone was situated between mid-center-field to the right-field corner, 15 yards beyond the legendary Pesky Pole.

When I began following the Patriots, nearly one-third of the team was either from BC, BU, Holy Cross, or Northeastern. To save expenses for the then financially challenged Patriots, those local colleges and even high schools in the area would alternate their marching bands for the halftime entertainment. Not surprisingly, Harvard invariably found an excuse not to have its own celebrated band perform for the people at Fenway. As Dad explained before one game, “Harvard probably doesn’t accept payment in green stamps.”

If you sat in the temporary bleachers covered the left-field wall, at the end of the game, you could actually walk across the field in order to get to the exits behind the Red Sox dugout. In a game against the New York Jets in 1965, I did just that, sidling up to Broadway Joe Namath because that I wanted to see for myself if his famed white cleats were painted that way – or had he instead taped them? (They were taped on; his cleats were as white as snow).

I’m sure that wasn’t the juiciest secret from his playing days.

Because of where the Patriots played in those days, the Boston Red Sox’s shadow was everywhere. For instance, the legendary Sherm Feller supplied his distinctive calls as the public address announcer for the Patriots in the mid-1960’s. In addition, the great Ned Martin served as the team’s play-by-play man. (Such Red Sox radio announcers as Art Gleason, Bob Starr, and Curt Gowdy also broadcasted Patriots games through the years on either WHDH or WBZ). The regular Fenway ushers worked the same sections throughout the ballpark each fall. It felt like old home week every time you walked into Fenway during those years.

When I started to attend football games in the Back Bay, Dom and Emily DiMaggio had season tickets a few seats from my parents. At the time, Dom, a former Red Sox outfielder and the younger brother of the legendary Joe, was pining to purchase the Patriots outright from Billy Sullivan. From 1963-67, the younger DiMaggio was a part-owner of the team. (Sitting behind us was the young wife of Patriots defensive back, Ross O'Hanley. When Ross was on the field, the young Mrs. O'Hanley would regularly chant hall-Mary's.)

Please don't get the idea, however, that the Boston Red Sox rolled out the carpet for their neighboring football brothers. The Patriots normally practiced at decrepit White Stadium near Logan Airport because Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey refused to let them use Fenway for anything but games. In actuality, “Uncle Tom” tolerated the Patriots during those years, thus mirroring his views on African-Americans at the time. They were allowed on his field, but only at his expressed invitation.

The ever-popular Twins’ Souvenir Shop, situated on what was then known as Jersey Street, was open before all AFL games and did sell a few Patriots jerseys and banners near the famed front entrance. However, their Patriots section was pitiably small in comparison to their sizable Red Sox inventory. Nevertheless, I did purchase a Jim Nance jersey there one Sunday afternoon prior to an important Bills game in 1966.

In my first year as a fan of the Boston Patriots, 1964, the team ended up with an impressive 10-3-1 record, tied with the hated Buffalo Bills for the AFL Eastern Division. That year, they were led by such veterans as quarterback Babe Parilli, wide receiver and placekicker, Gino Cappelletti, local linebacking legend Nick Buoniconti, and the four members of “The Boston Pops,” defensive linemen Houston Antoine, Jim Hunt, Bob Dee, and Larry “Ike” Eisenhower.

In the end, the Patriots hosted an AFL game in mid-December against the rivals, the Bills, in an unforgiving blizzard – yes, we took the Green Line in for that game. (It was the only way we could have made it.) In a contest that would decide the AFL East Division Championship, over 15 inches of snow fell at Fenway that afternoon. Sadly, the Pats lost by 8 points to a Buffalo team led by their intrepid quarterback, the late Jack Kemp, who would later serve in Congress and as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Reagan Administration. Kemp was pretty successful in his first career as well. (By the way, he was “Jackie Kemp” back then until he entered politics). The ’64 Bills went on to defeat the San Diego Chargers in the league championship game, and, with a 13-2 overall record, they are still regarded as one of the most dominant AFL teams of their time. Such was the Patriots' luck.

During the Fenway days, backup offensive lineman Justin Canale used to kick off Lou Groza style. (That’s straight-on, boys and girls.) Ol’ Justin’s kickoffs would inexorably soar and then tumble out of the sky. One time, he struck a pigskin so long that it landed deep in the end zone and one-hopped into the Red Sox bullpen where it was retrieved by the legendary Fenway usher, “The Whale,” a three-hundred-pound behemoth from Southie. Needless to say, he did not attempt to return the kick.

Because the Pats were members of the American Football League, their games were occasionally covered nationally by NBC with Curt Gowdy and color man Al DeRogatis at the mike. The AFL officiating staff all wore orange and white striped shirts – the league’s official colors at the time. It was said that Al Davis chose the fierce black, silver, and white colors of his Raiders because he was so embarrassed by the AFL’s pastel color scheme.

In 1965, I witnessed the Patriots play in a classic, wide-open style AFL game – a 42-42 tie with the Oakland Raiders at Fenway that featured 13 touchdown passes, a contest that renowned football raconteur Angelo Coniglio of Buffalo once called…” the quintessential AFL game.“

In 1966, Billy Sullivan, the Patriots principal owner, a man who had once been the Boston Braves publicity director, made a big deal about having two former Heisman Trophy winners on the squad – Joe Bellino and John Huarte. Because quarterback Babe Parilli got hurt at the end of a game, Huarte was announced as the starter for the next contest. Sullivan did a big PR push on “our two Heisman winners in the Pats’ backfield.”

Of course, the first time that Huarte got the ball, he flubbed the handoff to Bellino who promptly fumbled it. One can imagine how loudly Sullivan must have groaned at that moment.

Nevertheless, for the first three years that I saw them play, the Patriots were one of the two or three most respected AFL franchises. In retrospect, they were probably the best team in the league in 1966 until they were derailed on the way to a championship by Joe Namath and the Jets on the last game of the season at Shea Stadium. Broadway Joe later admitted that he played that important game in a drunken stupor, a pre-Suzy Kobler moment for the legendary quarterback. If Namath had been sober for that game, the Pats might well have gone to the first Super Bowl. Instead, it was the Kansas City Chiefs who represented the AFL against Vince Lombardi and the mighty Green Bay Packers of the NFL. Once again, the Pats were merely a footnote in history.

In 1968, when the Patriots, who had won only 3 games the previous season and were averaging 23,000 fans at Fenway, decided to host a “home game” in Birmingham, Alabama. My father pointed out that it was nothing but Billy Sullivan trying to make another fast buck on the fly. “Look who they are playing,” he exclaimed to me before the contest, “the New York Jets! He’s trying to sell out a stadium in Alabama to take advantage of the Joe Namath connection to the Crimson Tide.” Donald Trump would have approved Billy’s acumen. And, of course, Dad was right. Fate had its revenge on Mr. Sullivan, however. Only 22,000 fans showed up at Legion Field in Birmingham that day. In retrospect, the Patriots’ “home game” turned out to be a road game. Not surprisingly, everyone in the stadium was rooting for Broadway Joe and the Jets that afternoon.

That December, in a contest between the Pats and the then-expansion Cincinnati Bengals, the city of Boston would host its last professional football game on December 20, 1968. At the end of that season, the Red Sox unceremoniously kicked the Pats out of their Back Bay perch. The rumor was that Tom Yawkey had had enough of Billy Sullivan’s shenanigans, but the public explanation was that the Red Sox field was getting too torn up as a result of some “challenging autumnal usage.”

Thus, Boston College’s Alumni Field became the Patriots home for the 1969 season with the capacity at their new venue listed as 26,500. Because the fortunes of the team had taken a turn for the worse the previous two seasons, the team had less than 13,000 season-ticket holders at the time. Therefore, the franchise would not be inconveniencing anyone with a move to nearby Chestnut Hill. As my father said when the Pats relocated to BC, “At least they’re still located on the Green Line.”

In those days before it was entirely rebuilt, Alumni Stadium was nothing more than an outsized high school field. In reality, when NBC used to show a Patriot or opposing player punting the ball, all one could see on TV was the football spiraling into the air with a veritable forest of evergreen trees in the background. (Yes, the stands were that low.) When a family friend from Ohio witnessed a game on TV at Alumni Field back in Cleveland, he remarked, “The Patriots really do play in the sticks.”

By that time, we could only shake our heads. Despite the fact that the team had played pretty well over the previous five years, the bush-league element that had always defined the owner of the Patriots worked its way down, with unexpected consequences, no matter who was representing the organization on the field. As the Pats entered a period of unswerving ineptitude that would come to define them, humiliation and embarrassment would then form the emotional bookends for us Patriots fans.

From this lens, it all began to truly unravel in 1969, when the late Clive Rush (pronounced Cleeve – not Clive), ended up coaching the team. The former offensive coordinator of the then World Champion New York Jets, Rush brought in such ex-Jets as Randy Beverly and Bake Turner to bring “a winning attitude” to the Pats.

He should have brought an electrician instead.

At a press conference introducing new General Manager George Sauer, Sr., Clive Rush almost died when a live wire he touched electrocuted him to his very core. According to those who knew him, he was never the same man again. He would last 21 games as the Patriots coach, losing 16 of them.

As the Patriots began to sputter pathetically that season, the volatile Rush began to drink – heavily. When the Pats lost a blowout game in San Diego late in the 1969 season, ol’ Clive actually ordered the bus driver to drive down the off-ramp of a California freeway in the opposite direction in order to punish the players. “We hung on for our lives,” reported one survivor of the experience. “The BC and Holy Cross graduates on the team all began to say prayers as the bus sputtered along the highway with every car whizzing by the other way.” Sadly, Coach Rush’s devotion to Scotch coupled with a team ladened with mediocrity had become a heady concoction for disaster.

The next season, 1970, the team announced that it would play its regular-season schedule at Harvard Stadium, the Crimson having acquiesced on their previous disdain for the Patriots after the team offered to front the university a rental fee in cash. However, the Stadium was not available for the preseason as the university’s president, Dr. Nathan Pusey, did not want the NCAA to somehow think that a professional team would corrupt his Harvard varsity players through repeated exposure. “Perhaps Pusey means that he doesn’t want the Crimson to play like the Patriots,” my father surmised.

Accordingly, the Pats played a well-attended game against the mighty Washington Redskins on a blistering August afternoon at BC’s Alumni Field that turned suddenly hotter.

Yes, I was there – running for my life after some malcontent had discarded a cigarette in a trash heat under the stands which had then ignited the wooden structure that served as the frame of Alumni Stadium at the time. In a scene out of a Mack Sennett short, some 10,000 of us hurled ourselves onto the field while the game was still being played, literally running for our lives. The play was immediately stopped, and we all began to mingle with the stunned players on the field. I ended up chatting with Skins’ quarterback Sonny Jurgensen as the smoke engulfed much of the Alumni Stadium.

When I returned to my seat that still felt hot to the touch, I flipped on my transistor radio to find out what had just happened. It has been left on to the local rock station in Boston at the time – WRKO. When I heard what Dale Dorman, one of the station’s deejays, was playing when I returned to my seat, all I could do was smile. Yes, it was “Fire,” by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Even our local rock station thought that the Pats were a joke.

Needless to say, Billy Sullivan’s Patriots never played at BC again.

However, they did play a preseason game in Alston at Harvard Stadium – due, of course, to the Alumni Stadium fire – against the Philadelphia Eagles in which “access” to the locker rooms was denied because the Crimson’s varsity squad was conducting preseason tryouts. Consequently, the two professional football teams had to dress for the game at the Colonnade Hotel in Cambridge.

Imagine if you were a guest in the hotel when two dressed-and-ready-to-play NFL squads began to show up in the lobby, waiting for a bus ride to Harvard Stadium. When both teams began to alight from the buses outside the Stadium for the game in full dress, my father began to shake his head and mumble to himself, “Oh, Billy, Billy…‘

A week later, at the opening game at Harvard Stadium against the Miami Dolphins, one of the Patriot's special team players, Bob “Harpo” Gladieux, who had been cut by Clive Rush the previous Thursday, decided to make a sentimental visit to see his old team play. He had “pahtied hahd” the night before, had smoked a lot of pot with a girl from Brighton, and was finishing his sixth beer in the stands before game time when he heard a blaring announcement over the Stadium’s PA system, “Bob Gladieux, please report to the Patriots locker room!”

A shout that sounded like a rifle came from the stands as “Harpo” stumbled to the locker room below the stands. He had been one of the more popular players the previous season (his long, stringy blonde hair was instantly recognizable and thus, he been given the nickname, “Harpo,” after the third Marx Brother). Remember, for the previous hour, Gladieux had been cavorting with the fans in the stands. Those same fans now found themselves erupting in laughter as Gladieux rushed to get dressed for the game. Five minutes later, much to our astonishment, we saw Harpo race in full gear onto the field just as the team lined up for the opening kickoff.

Wobbly, pale, and completely looped, Gladieux ended up making a solo tackle on the opening kickoff. The entire section at the Stadium where Harpo had been drinking shouted out in unison, “Holy shit!”

When the great Johnny Unitas and the World Champion Baltimore Colts came to Cambridge to play the Boston Patriots in October that year, the Pats miraculously played their best game of the season. With less than a minute left in a spirited contest, Gino Cappelletti struck a field goal to make the score, 7-6, Colts. Pats’ Head Coach Clive Rush then logically called for an onside kick. To his enormous surprise, the kick went to one of the up-men, Tom Matte, who picked up the ball and ran untouched for six points – and the game.

How had that occurred? Because the entire Patriots kickoff team had overrun the ball. The Colts fan sitting next to me laughed so hard that he cried. The concept of tears of joy remained unfamiliar to Patriots fans.

A few weeks later, Henry Olken, who owned the famed sporting goods store, Olken's in downtown Wellesley, paid Patriots starting quarterback Mike Taliaferro two-hundred dollars to appear at his store on Friday night. I took note and showed up with my older brother, Mark, to get his autograph and chat for a spell. When we showed up, Henry Olken practically treated us like royalty. Just two fans had shown up to shake Taliferro's hand the previous hour - with countless others avoiding the native Texan altogether. When we left, Henry Olken said, "I owe you one, Shaun." Eventually, he hired me to work there part-time, thanks to my "kindness" in showing up and greeting the Pats' QB that evening.

Later that season, when Billy Sullivan decided to sign holdout Joe Kapp, the celebrated former quarterback of the NFC Champion Minnesota Vikings, he had the temerity to put Kapp in a Patriots’ uniform after arriving in Boston two hours before game time in front of 40,000 drunken louts at Harvard Stadium.

For the next two hours, Pats fans continuously screeched and bellowed for Kapp to get into the game. When Mike Taliaferro had his bell rung in the fourth quarter, the people in the stands began to scream for Kapp to come onto the field, simultaneously cheering when Taliaferro was helped to the sidelines on a stretcher.

Of course, ol’ Joe entered the huddle not knowing a single Patriots play. Thinking quickly, Kapp fingered in the Stadium dirt where each receiver and running back should go. As Dad remarked at the time, “Only the Patriots would reintroduce the concept of pick-up football to the professional ranks.”

For the rest of the 1970 season, Kapp proved to be a failure (what a surprise). While he was a determined leader in Minnesota, he was a mediocre (at best) quarterback with an arm that reminded Dad of noodle-armed Red Sox utility man, Jose Tartabull. As my father exclaimed after watching the Patriots’ quarterback warm-up before a game, “Kapp’s throws look like kickoffs and move like hanging sliders.”

Ironically, Joe Kapp’s best game as a Boston Patriot occurred against his old Vikings team the day after a raging snowstorm in December when he nearly knocked Minnesota lineman Alan Page out after tackling him following an interception.

Another funny thing about that game: the employees of Harvard Stadium forgot to plow the ancient concrete stands. Thus, we all sat in three-foot snowdrifts, which made snowball-throwing that day a must. The referees almost called the game for the Vikings when two entire sections of fans decided to target a solitary Viking in order to hurl their snowballs at the unfortunate player, quarterback Gary Cuozzo. I well remember an entire section of fans targeting Cuozzo during one TV timeout. We (me included), threw on “three,” as is in “1, 2, 3!” and Cuozzo was nearly encased in an instant drift. A PA announcement soon warned that any more throwing of snowballs would result in a forfeit. We all thought long and hard about ending the game right there and then. When the gun finally signaled the end of that contest, another Patriot loss, it would prove to be the last game ever played by the Boston Patriots.

For the previous five years, there had been some talk that the city of Boston would build a stadium for the Patriots in South Boston. In fact, a design for a domed stadium in South Boston had even been approved by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1966, only to see funding halted when the local reps came to their senses.

By 1969, legendary sports icon, Bill Veeck, who ran Suffolk Downs at the time, actually offered the infield of his racetrack to be converted to a playing field for the Pats. “We could have a series of horse races at halftime!” Veeck exclaimed to stunned reporters one afternoon. Never a man to say no, owner Billy Sullivan actually considered the idea for a spell.

However, by 1970, the wheel of fortune had turned for the franchise. When Phil and David Fine offered a generous land grant on the grounds of the Foxboro Racetrack, the Pats announced a move to that Southeastern Massachusetts community for the 1971 season.

One day, my brothers and I decided to scout out the team’s new location as construction began that winter. We soon noticed a sign on the Bay State Racetrack that proclaimed proudly, “Welcome – Bay State Patriots!”

Yes, Billy Sullivan had impulsively changed his team’s home name in order to honor the racetrack that had saved his franchise. Thankfully, it took an intervention on behalf of NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to have the Pats’ owner change the name from the Bay State to the New England Patriots.

We were there in August of 1971 for the opening game – a preseason contest against the hated New York Giants. A stadium that had been built in less than 200 days and cost only six million dollars had a myriad of problems that day, not the least, of course, were toilets that would not flush and a traffic flow that would not budge. The two season-ticket owners next to me finally arrived midway through the third quarter after fighting traffic for three hours on Route 1. Not surprisingly, there was a flood in one underground restroom which seeped out of one of the exits and began slowly to spill onto the field – on the Patriots side, of course.

When Schaefer Stadium officially opened up with a regular season contest against the hated Oakland Raiders a few weeks later, some Pats fans hired a local airplane sign firm out of Norwood Airport that flew over the Stadium with a banner that read, “Keep Gayle Knief!” At the time, Gayle Knief was a hardworking, overachieving, diminutive wide receiver who had just been cut earlier the previous week by Head Coach John Mazur.

“Who the fuck is Gayle Knief?” a Raider fan asked me when he saw the plane’s sign lingering overhead.

Mazur, who had taken over when Clive Rush resigned in November 1970, had his problems with bigger-name players as well. Enigmatic running back Duane Thomas of the Dallas Cowboys was traded to the Patriots early on in Coach Mazur’s tenure. During the 1971 training camp at Amherst, the Patriots’ coaching staff insisted that Thomas get down in a three-point stance, something the former Cowboy hadn’t done since junior high school. Coach John Mazur kicked Thomas off the field, and Thomas then returned to Dallas on the next plane where he later helped Dallas win another Super Bowl.

While 1971 saw the team improve with its heralded pair of Stanford rookies, quarterback Jim Plunkett and wide receiver, Randy Vataha, the team suffered another setback the subsequent year. Ultimately, former Green Bay Packers Coach Phil Bengtson replaced John Mazur as the interim head coach in the middle of that horrendous campaign. Bengston, who had been Vince Lombardi’s number one assistant and had even replaced him as the Packers coach, quit as Patriots head coach at season’s end saying, “That’s it. I am never going to do anything connected to pro football again.” A man who had devoted his life to the sport for almost four decades refused to associate himself with football on any level ever again. Like many people, the Patriots had killed his spirit for the game.

One of the most popular players on the team during the Mazur-Bengtson years was Steve Kiner, the team’s own version of the Red Sox’ iconoclastic pitcher, Bill Lee. Kiner also happened to be a pretty damn good linebacker at the time. In reality, Steve was a long-haired, mustached Californian who actually resided in a VW bus in the Schaffer Stadium parking lot along with his hippie girlfriend from San Mateo. According to people in the know, he and his babe used to smoke pot mixed with granola on the bus and then take long walks around the parking lot. It was well known that Steve was an avowed Deadhead; “Truckin'” and “Box of Rain” could be heard blaring from his VW bus all hours of the day. When you walked by his digs in the parking lot back then, it invariably reminded you of Woodstock. Thus, when I sauntered by his van one day on my way to buy season tickets, it was not at all surprising to see him out there smoking a bone. After I greeted him one afternoon, Steve Kiner shouted out to me, “Dude!”

Kiner’s best buddy on the Pats at the time was fellow linebacker Jim Cheyunski, who had been working at a local gas station in nearby Canton, MA when one of the team coaches stopped by for a fill-up. The coach was so impressed with “Chey’s” physique that he invited him to try out for the team. The former gas attendant soon found himself in the starting lineup. “It beats filling up 500 cars with gas each work shift,” he admitted to Will McDonough that fall.

In 1972, in their first foray in Foxboro on ABC’s Monday Night Football the day before the presidential election, the Pats decided to hire a circus performer named “Jumping Joe” Garlick to jump from 300 feet above the stadium and free-fall to a large ballooned mattress in the middle of the field during halftime. Just as the circus aerialist jumped, a gust of wind picked up, and his descent suddenly seemed out-of-kilter, Jumping Joe ended up landing half on the edge of the mattress and nearly died. After Garlick staggered off the field, the fan next to me muttered, “I wonder if that guy works for the McGovern campaign?”

At the end of the 1972 season, I gave up my season tickets, knowing that I would be heading 1,300 miles south for college the next season. While I had seen the Patriots in triumph, it had been the lovable losers – the Mel Witts, the Ike Lassiters, the Halvor Hagans, and the Johnny Outlaws who had won me over beginning with the first time I saw them in person in September 1964. They might have been hapless, but they were mine.

And, so, when I see what the franchise has achieved over the last two decades – Colin Cowherd recently called them the greatest dynasty in professional sports’ history since the dawn of free agency – I still shake my head in wonder.

What would my late father, who died more than 35 years ago, say about all of this? Probably something along the lines of - “Well, son, it’s obvious that Billy Sullivan doesn’t own the team anymore. And it’s sure a hell of a long way from the days of ‘Bring Back Gayle Knief!“
Is it a true story as far as you that after the 68 season the final 2 choices for the Pats job were Clive Rush of the Jets, and a young unknown assistant coach for the Colts? I don't know if Will McDonough said it or not. Well that assistant coach for the Colts was Chuck Noll of course, and the rest is history, LOL. I don't know if it's urban legend or not, but there are fans and writers who believe that had the Colts won the Super Bowl, Sullivan would have hired Noll. I guess we'll never know.
 

jaytftwofive

lurker
Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
I always loved the story of the 1981 Monday Night Football game where Pats fans were so unruly that they were handcuffed to the chain link fences so the cops could restore order. Memorialized by the ITP guys here. The Pats didn’t host another MNF game for 14 years after that.

Then there was the 1985 game against the Bengals when fans stormed the field during a storm, tore down the goalposts and headed for the parking lot, only to be halted when some of the fans were electrocuted when the goalpost came in contact with a live wire.
Zap!
Like the Veterans Stadium Court that they had here in Philly. Judge Seamus McCaffery ran it for unruly drunk Volatile Eagles Fans. Such a bad rap the fans have hear. Yeah right. Not only booed Santa Claus in Philly, when Eduardo Perez(Tony's son) was a batboy for the Phillies he missed catching a bouncing foul ball and the fans booed him. Nice!
 

Dr Strangeglove

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Jul 14, 2005
45
Mililani, HI
Thanks to JackLamabe65 and the previous posters for a wonderful read. I'm originally from Rhode Island, and the first professional football game I ever saw was The Game, the 1958 NFL championship. As Sean noted, local football fans were Giants fans, based primarily on their TV broadcasts, and many remained so even after the establishment of the Patriots. My primary loyalties then were to the Red Sox and Celtics, and my interest in pro football diminished when I went off to college and the Giants performance steadily declined. I really became a Patriots fan after returning home from Vietnam in 1970, and have followed them enthusiastically ever since, even when I was living in upstate New York, and later in Thailand, and even when they were the "Patsies."
My own anecdote of those times comes from the Ben Drieth Game. My wife and I had been evacuated from Vietnam in April 1975, and the poor lady had to undergo a rapid introduction, not only to a strange new culture, but also to her husband's sports passions, first with the '75 Red Sox, then with the Patriots. The Vietnamese refugees had gradually, during the previous several months, formed a small community. They planned to have a Tet (Lunar New Year) celebration in 1976, which happened to fall on the same day at the Patriots' playoff game. I watched the game until the last possible minute, then drove my wife to pick up a couple of her older Vietnamese friends to go to the Tet celebration. I kept the game on the radio all the way to the venue. And I started thinking to myself, "They've got a chance!" all the time talking to the radio, to the consternation of my wife and her friends. As the fourth quarter drew down, I got louder, "They're actually going to win this game." And when the Pats sacked Stabler on fourth down, I started to shout. But then Drieth threw that unforgettable, unforgiveable, utterly unreasonable penalty flag. I lost it and almost crashed the car from pounding the steering wheel. I had to spend a good deal of time during the Tet party apologizing to my wife and her friends. But they couldn't understand what we'd all been through as Patriots fans during the previous years
Sean's post brought it all back, and then some.
So when Raiders fans whine about the Tuck Rule Game, we shove the Ben Drieth Game right back at them.
Thanks again to Sean and the previous posters.
And thanks to the Krafts for two decades of excellence.
 

lexrageorge

Member
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Jul 31, 2007
13,236
I really cannot top the stories posted here by the OP and others. I'm also too young to recall the Fenway Park days; the first time I remember the Patriots being good was that 1976 season where they annihilated the Oakland Raiders during the regular season and truly looked like the best team in the AFC anyway. Only Shank thinks that roughing the passer call was the correct one; at least the Tuck Rule was properly applied by the officials.

From what I can tell, the first pro football team in New England were the Providence Streamrollers, who joined the 20 team NFL in 1925, won the league championship in 1928, and then folded during the Great Depression. The Hartford Blues joined in 1926, but lasted just one season. The NFL's first foray into the metro Boston area came in 1929 when the Pottsville Maroons relocated to Boston's Braves Field and became the Bulldogs. The Maroons were controversially denied the right to claim the 1925 NFL Championship after they played a supposedly approved exhibition game in Philadelphia, and the title went to the Chicago Cardinals instead. The Bulldogs would last all of one season in Boston before folding after going 4-4.

The NFL's hiatus from Boston would last only 2 seasons, as owner George Marshall would assemble a team from the remains of the defunct Newark Tornadoes and form the Boston Braves. The Braves would play one season with their baseball counterparts in Braves Field before new Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey lured them to Fenway Park in 1933. Renamed the Boston Redskins, the team would hover around 0.500 until a disastrous 2-8-1 campaign in 1935 caused the region's football fans to lose interest. The area's football loyalties were still with the Harvard Crimson. As a result, the Redskins' successful 1936 season, in which the team went 7-5-1 to earn a berth in the league's title game, was mostly ignored, and the frustrated Marshall decamped to Washington to stay. The Washington Redskins would, of course, win the NFL Championship the following season, beating the Chicago Bears.

The NFL would make one more attempt in Boston, with the formation of the Boston Yanks in 1944. The team was named after the hated New York Yankees by team owner Ted Collins, who wanted to place a franchise in Yankee Stadium, but was blocked by the New York Giants. The team briefly merged with the Brooklyn Tigers in 1945 due to a shortage of players due to World War 2, but returned to Boston full time again the following season as the Tigers owner decided to join a rival league, the All-America Football Conference. Collins was subsequently allowed to fold the Boston Yanks in 1949 and form the New York Bulldogs. The Bulldogs would fare poorly, however, and subsequently folded after 3 seasons. Generally near or at the bottom of the league standings, the Boston Yanks would "earn" the #1 pick in the NFL draft 2 times in their short and mostly ignored existence in Boston.

Pro football would not return to the Boston area until the formation of the AFL and the Boston Patriots in 1960.

FWIW, it was during the Brady/Belichick era that the Patriots would finally eclipse the 0.500 mark for franchise record, a level not achieved since their early AFL days, and have since climbed to 5th overall behind the Packers, Cowboys, Bears, and Ravens. Meanwhile, the team's 37-21 overall playoff record leads all NFL franchises in winning percentage at 0.638, and wins at 37, besting both the Packers and Steelers by one.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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Drexel Hill Pa.
Was anybody at that monsoon rain game at B.C. in 69 against the Bills?? All I remember was running back Carl Garrett running like an 80 yard TD. Clark Booth of Channel 4 WBZ called it the highlight of the day.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
One of my favorite teams was the 74 team with Plunkett. Mini Mack Herron etc..Sam Bam. They started out 6-1 and were looking real good. Were 3-3 against playoff teams that year. But faltered the 2nd half and finished 7-7. It was a preview of the Good Fairbanks years from 74-78, then the Colorado job fiasco and temp. Re-hiring. 79 and 80 they teased with us, especially 1980 when they started 6-2 I believe.
 

jacklamabe65

A New Frontier butt boy
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Was anybody at that monsoon rain game at B.C. in 69 against the Bills?? All I remember was running back Carl Garrett running like an 80 yard TD. Clark Booth of Channel 4 WBZ called it the highlight of the day.
I was there. Ridiculous. And they ruined Alumni Field's playing surface in the process. I have never seen football players play in such mud.
 

jacklamabe65

A New Frontier butt boy
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One of my favorite teams was the 74 team with Plunkett. Mini Mack Herron etc..Sam Bam. They started out 6-1 and were looking real good. Were 3-3 against playoff teams that year. But faltered the 2nd half and finished 7-7. It was a preview of the Good Fairbanks years from 74-78, then the Colorado job fiasco and temp. Re-hiring. 79 and 80 they teased with us, especially 1980 when they started 6-2 I believe.
The Bob Windsor catch to win an incredible game at the old Met in Bloomington, MN was incredible - a vastly underrated Pats win.
 

jacklamabe65

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Am I remembering correctly that in the ‘80s, when most of the games were blacked out locally, the Boston TV news crews would film their own highlights of the game to broadcast (since presumably there was no NBC or CBS crew there to film them)? I feel like I often saw replays filmed at sideline height on the TV sports segments after the game.
They were blacked out then - another embarrassment because they never sold out Schaefer Stadium. This also happened during the BC and Harvard Stadium days but not at Fenway until 67-68 when they sucked.
 

jacklamabe65

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I was living in LA on a temporary work assignment that fall. Not sure if there was a single Pats game televised on the local broadcasts. I was back home in Boston for the final game; because of the generosity of the Giants fans coming up to watch their team, the game was televised in Boston area, the only game that season that was not blacked out locally. Typically, maybe one home game per season would be sold out in time to allow it to be broadcast locally (some seasons none).

The funny part about that game is that after falling behind 10-0, the Patriots tied it up behind Tommy Hodson's 4th TD pass that season and a Jason Staurovsky field goal. You could literally see the steam coming out of Bill Parcells head. But future Patriot kicker Matt Bahr would kick a field goal to end the half, and the Giants defense stifled the Patriots the rest of the way to put that 1990 team out of its misery.

The Pats prize was the top pick in one of the worst NFL drafts in recent memory. The Pats traded the pick and ended up with Pat Harlow (OK) and Leonard Russell (one year semi-wonder). Dallas drafted Russell Maryland. The Pats did at least get Ben Coates and their radio color announcer out of that draft, so it at least wasn't all bad. The more astute football fans will recognize that draft as the one where Brett Favre was drafted by the Falcons in the 2nd round. And among running backs drafted after Leonard Russell was Ricky Watters, who appeared in 5 more Pro Bowls than Russell.

And there were two players in that draft that did play a key role in the Pats Super Bowl era. The 49'ers selected nose tackle Ted Washington with the 25th pick, and big Ted would end up coming to New England to play a key role in contributing to the 2003 team's Lombardi. The other player was drafted in the 3rd round, appeared in 3 Pro Bowls and was named to the All Pro once:

With the 63rd pick of the NFL draft, the New York Jets select linebacker out of Georgia, Mo Lewis

Should note that the Patriots selected Calvin Stephens at the top of the 3rd round.
When you typed Tommy Hodson, I just experienced PTSD.
 

bankshot1

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Feb 12, 2003
21,409
where I was last at
They were blacked out then - another embarrassment because they never sold out Schaefer Stadium. This also happened during the BC and Harvard Stadium days but not at Fenway until 67-68 when they sucked.
I was living in Brighton/Watertown in the early 70s-early 80s and I remember taking a few mini-road trips with my buddies to flea-bag hotels with decent TV reception outside of the 50 or 75 mile black-out area to watch local Pats games.
 

cornwalls@6

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Apr 23, 2010
3,305
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They were blacked out then - another embarrassment because they never sold out Schaefer Stadium. This also happened during the BC and Harvard Stadium days but not at Fenway until 67-68 when they sucked.
Such a weird time in the mid 80's. They were always on the WMASS NBC affiliate, channel 22, but so often blacked out in Boston. Despite WMASS, at the time, having, anecdotally, significantly more NYG fans than Pats fans. I'm wracking my brain to remember if I was at that infamous Bengals game in '85. I was definitely there for a December game that year with a bunch of buddies from college, but can't remember which one. Though vividly remember the media reports of the idiots getting electrocuted with the goalposts. The last game I ever went to at the old stadium was the first game after 9/11, against the Jets. Bledsoe getting cleaned out by Mo Lewis, and some skinny second year guy from Michigan coming into the game.......... The other thing I remember from that day was lingering after the game to let the traffic onto RT. 1 thin out a bit, and just looking out at several trash can fires in the parking lot, along with hordes of twenty somethings getting hammered around them. The whole thing had a dystopian, lord of the flies vibe to it. The guys I was with and I all said, "screw the traffic, let's get in line, this is getting weird". I have zero nostalgia for that dump.
 

Humphrey

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Aug 3, 2010
1,808
The Bob Windsor catch to win an incredible game at the old Met in Bloomington, MN was incredible - a vastly underrated Pats win.
The beginning of the end after they got to 6-2 was the game w/the Browns, a game I attended. The Browns ran back the opening kickoff for a TD. Then on the ensuing kickoff, the Pats fumbled and it was returned for a TD as well. So, 0-14 before a play from scrimmage had been run. The Pats tied it up by the half but ended up losing 21-14.
 

Humphrey

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Aug 3, 2010
1,808
Such a weird time in the mid 80's. They were always on the WMASS NBC affiliate, channel 22, but so often blacked out in Boston. Despite WMASS, at the time, having, anecdotally, significantly more NYG fans than Pats fans. I'm wracking my brain to remember if I was at that infamous Bengals game in '85. I was definitely there for a December game that year with a bunch of buddies from college, but can't remember which one. Though vividly remember the media reports of the idiots getting electrocuted with the goalposts. The last game I ever went to at the old stadium was the first game after 9/11, against the Jets. Bledsoe getting cleaned out by Mo Lewis, and some skinny second year guy from Michigan coming into the game.......... The other thing I remember from that day was lingering after the game to let the traffic onto RT. 1 thin out a bit, and just looking out at several trash can fires in the parking lot, along with hordes of twenty somethings getting hammered around them. The whole thing had a dystopian, lord of the flies vibe to it. The guys I was with and I all said, "screw the traffic, let's get in line, this is getting weird". I have zero nostalgia for that dump.
The current Bills stadium, which they want to replace; was built a couple years after Schaefer and used a lot of the same blueprints; just made it bigger. Here's some old photos of the place. https://www.buffalobills.com/photos/ralph-wilson-stadium-through-the-years-9160212#e6e06e46-87aa-49f5-aedf-ff39449d4743
 

Dr Strangeglove

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Jul 14, 2005
45
Mililani, HI
Pro football would not return to the Boston area until the formation of the AFL and the Boston Patriots in 1960.
There was a brief resurrection of the Providence Steam Roller at about the same time, as a member of the equally evanescent Atlantic Coast Football League. Emilio Di Nitto, the football coach at my high school, was their quarterback.
 

Dr Strangeglove

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Jul 14, 2005
45
Mililani, HI
I have zero nostalgia for that dump.
I brought my family there a couple of times to watch the New England Tea Men, which was actually a very pleasant experience. It was a much smaller and less rowdy crowd than was customary for Patriots games, so we missed the bad things that other posters have mentioned.
 

54thMA

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Aug 15, 2012
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The Bob Windsor catch to win an incredible game at the old Met in Bloomington, MN was incredible - a vastly underrated Pats win.
He tore up his knee on that play as he managed to cross the goal line, that was a great win against a very good Minnesota team.
 

54thMA

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Aug 15, 2012
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The beginning of the end after they got to 6-2 was the game w/the Browns, a game I attended. The Browns ran back the opening kickoff for a TD. Then on the ensuing kickoff, the Pats fumbled and it was returned for a TD as well. So, 0-14 before a play from scrimmage had been run. The Pats tied it up by the half but ended up losing 21-14.
My cousin as a kid was a big Browns fan, he had tickets to that game and went as well, he asked me if I wanted to go, I had a pop warner game that day, I declined, glad I did, he was so happy after that win...............I wanted to strangle him.
 

54thMA

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One of my favorite teams was the 74 team with Plunkett. Mini Mack Herron etc..Sam Bam. They started out 6-1 and were looking real good. Were 3-3 against playoff teams that year. But faltered the 2nd half and finished 7-7. It was a preview of the Good Fairbanks years from 74-78, then the Colorado job fiasco and temp. Re-hiring. 79 and 80 they teased with us, especially 1980 when they started 6-2 I believe.
The Fairbanks situation was beyond bizarre, aka, typical New England Patriots, fired prior to the final game in Miami, game they lost, then rehired back to coach them in the playoff game vs Houston, they got demolished and Fairbanks was booed off the field at the end of the game.

He went on to do nothing with Colorado; one of the great "what if's" was how would things have played out in 1978-1980 had he stayed, 79 and 80 were huge missed opportunities, as was 78.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
My only game at Alumni Field was the 1970 BC-Holy Cross game. My Dad was a BC grad class of 51(WWII Student) Eagles won 54-0. I actually felt bad for the Crusaders. Another memory was all the Liquor bottles being smashed after people dropping them from the stands. My Dad was actually disappointed that BC dropped Holy Cross years later. He was kind of glad in 77 when Holy Cross upset them big because he felt they might drop Holy Cross from the schedule. The Eagles were 8-2 or 9-2 that year. Not a bad team. Led by Fred Willis a really good running back out of Natick High School. Red Harris the Quarterback and others. Hey Jack.... My dad in 1970 saw 3 Wellesley High football games that year and thought your classmate, Mike Gibson was as good as any sophomore high school player he ever saw. He compared him to Joe Andrews who he saw play many times at Durfee High school games. Andrews of course was later drafted by the Braves and was a good friend and protector of Hank Aaron.
 
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jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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Drexel Hill Pa.
Another thing that the younger fans don't understand is that many of us Pats fans did not despise(I don't like to use hate) the Jets or the Colts or Steelers like we do today. To me it was the Dolphins. Still to this day they are my most despised team in the AFC. I found Shula arrogant and others on those 70's teams. Plus many fans jumping on their bandwagon when they got good like the Cowboys and other teams. Our Pats didn't win a game in the Orange Bowl from 1970 till the Title game in 85. That game to me was just as good as a Super Bowl win in many ways. Crushed them 31-14. We knew the Pats would be a big underdog to the Bears but to me it didn't matter. We upset those arrogant bastards and finally won in that Chamber of Horrors. It was like the Red Sox winning the Pennant in 67. To this day through all our titles of the 21st century and before I still consider that one of my ten greatest moments in Boston sports history. My 2nd most despised AFC team in the 70's and 80's was the Raiders. For the 76 playoff rip off and Jack Tatum hitting and paralyzing Darryl Stingley. Any of you baby boomers agree on the disdain of the Fins?
 
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Dr Strangeglove

Member
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Jul 14, 2005
45
Mililani, HI
Another thing that the younger fans don't understand is that many of us Pats fans did not despise(I don't like to use hate) the Jets or the Colts or Steelers like we do today. To me it was the Dolphins. Still to this day they are my most despised team in the AFC. I found Shula arrogant and others on those 70's teams. Plus many fans jumping on their bandwagon when they got good like the Cowboys and other teams. Our Pats didn't win a game in the Orange Bowl from 1970 till the Title game in 85. That game to me was just as good as a Super Bowl win in many ways. Crushed them 31-14. We knew the Pats would be a big underdog to the Bears but to me it didn't matter. We upset those arrogant bastards and finally won in that Chamber of Horrors. It was like the Red Sox winning the Pennant in 67. To this day through all our titles of the 21st century and before I still consider that one of my ten greatest moments in Boston sports history. My 2nd most despised AFC team in the 70's and 80's was the Raiders. For the 76 playoff rip off and Jack Tatum hitting and paralyzing Darryl Stingley. Any of you baby boomers agree on the disdain of the Fins?
For me it was the Raiders, largely due to the two events you mention. My disdain for them continues, as I may have inadvertently demonstrated in my earlier post on this topic. The 'Phins, the Jets, the Steelers, etc. were just among that group of teams that were good (definitely better than the Patsies) but not as good as either they, or the fawning national broadcasters would have you believe (well, the Steelers, maybe). I like your comparison to the 67 pennant victory. That was the best Boston sports moment of my life, to that point. I was 20, screaming my head off in my best friend's car when the third out was broadcast.
 

54thMA

Member
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Aug 15, 2012
8,668
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Another thing that the younger fans don't understand is that many of us Pats fans did not despise(I don't like to use hate) the Jets or the Colts or Steelers like we do today. To me it was the Dolphins. Still to this day they are my most despised team in the AFC. I found Shula arrogant and others on those 70's teams. Plus many fans jumping on their bandwagon when they got good like the Cowboys and other teams. Our Pats didn't win a game in the Orange Bowl from 1970 till the Title game in 85. That game to me was just as good as a Super Bowl win in many ways. Crushed them 31-14. We knew the Pats would be a big underdog to the Bears but to me it didn't matter. We upset those arrogant bastards and finally won in that Chamber of Horrors. It was like the Red Sox winning the Pennant in 67. To this day through all our titles of the 21st century and before I still consider that one of my ten greatest moments in Boston sports history. My 2nd most despised AFC team in the 70's and 80's was the Raiders. For the 76 playoff rip off and Jack Tatum hitting and paralyzing Darryl Stingley. Any of you baby boomers agree on the disdain of the Fins?
You don't have to convince me, I've always hated the Dolphins more than any opposing team.

That tomato can schedule the played in 1972, then they played the over the hill gang Redskins in the Super Bowl.

And they and their fans have lived off of it ever since.

Shula whining about the snowplow grave to the day he died is rich considering he did not cover the field the night before the AFC Championship game vs the Jets and their pass rush and a monsoon rolled through turning the field into mush, slowing down the Jets pass rush.

Beating them in the AFCCG in their building was one of the highlights of my sports life, being there to see it was even better, what a bunch of assholes their fans were before, during and after that game. As I said earlier in this thread, that was my Super Bowl, so satisfying after years of torture and failure in that shithole of a stadium.

Fuck that team, their fans, Shula, Dolphin Denny and Dan Marino's Isotoner gloves.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
For me it was the Raiders, largely due to the two events you mention. My disdain for them continues, as I may have inadvertently demonstrated in my earlier post on this topic. The 'Phins, the Jets, the Steelers, etc. were just among that group of teams that were good (definitely better than the Patsies) but not as good as either they, or the fawning national broadcasters would have you believe (well, the Steelers, maybe). I like your comparison to the 67 pennant victory. That was the best Boston sports moment of my life, to that point. I was 20, screaming my head off in my best friend's car when the third out was broadcast.
It's funny I always rooted for the Steelers over the Raiders in the 70's and 80's. Now I despise the Steelers and would root for the Raiders over them now no problem. I rooted for the Jets over Steelers(went back and forth till deciding) in 2010 AFC Title game, and the Jets over the Fins in that 82 monsoon game title game when Shula wouldn't cover the field. Never cared for Al Davis though. And I found the Colts-Pats games great in the Peyton era and I find it dumb that some of us Pats fans call him a choker. Brett Favre was way more of one. I consider Peyton one of the top 3 or 4 QB's of all time. Maybe Higher.
 
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jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
You don't have to convince me, I've always hated the Dolphins more than any opposing team.

That tomato can schedule the played in 1972, then they played the over the hill gang Redskins in the Super Bowl.

And they and their fans have lived off of it ever since.

Shula whining about the snowplow grave to the day he died is rich considering he did not cover the field the night before the AFC Championship game vs the Jets and their pass rush and a monsoon rolled through turning the field into mush, slowing down the Jets pass rush.

Beating them in the AFCCG in their building was one of the highlights of my sports life, being there to see it was even better, what a bunch of assholes their fans were before, during and after that game. As I said earlier in this thread, that was my Super Bowl, so satisfying after years of torture and failure in that shithole of a stadium.

Fuck that team, their fans, Shula, Dolphin Denny and Dan Marino's Isotoner gloves.
And the 73 team was better then the Undefeated 72 team. They played a tougher schedule and blew every team out in the playoffs. I agree, that 85 title game was like a Super Bowl win for us.
 

jaytftwofive

lurker
Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
You don't have to convince me, I've always hated the Dolphins more than any opposing team.

That tomato can schedule the played in 1972, then they played the over the hill gang Redskins in the Super Bowl.

And they and their fans have lived off of it ever since.

Shula whining about the snowplow grave to the day he died is rich considering he did not cover the field the night before the AFC Championship game vs the Jets and their pass rush and a monsoon rolled through turning the field into mush, slowing down the Jets pass rush.

Beating them in the AFCCG in their building was one of the highlights of my sports life, being there to see it was even better, what a bunch of assholes their fans were before, during and after that game. As I said earlier in this thread, that was my Super Bowl, so satisfying after years of torture and failure in that shithole of a stadium.

Fuck that team, their fans, Shula, Dolphin Denny and Dan Marino's Isotoner gloves.
And the Browns outplayed them in the playoff game in 72 and almost beat them. I was going nuts when the Browns took the lead and were driving. Fins barely pulled it out 20-14, and nipped the "Stillers" 21-17. in Title game. Like I said, the 73 team was better.
 

54thMA

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And the Browns outplayed them in the playoff game in 72 and almost beat them. I was going nuts when the Browns took the lead and were driving. Fins barely pulled it out 20-14, and nipped the "Stillers" 21-17. in Title game. Like I said, the 73 team was better.
And that title game was at Pittsburg for some reason.
 

j-man

Member
Dec 19, 2012
2,328
Arkansas
You don't have to convince me, I've always hated the Dolphins more than any opposing team.

That tomato can schedule the played in 1972, then they played the over the hill gang Redskins in the Super Bowl.

And they and their fans have lived off of it ever since.

Shula whining about the snowplow grave to the day he died is rich considering he did not cover the field the night before the AFC Championship game vs the Jets and their pass rush and a monsoon rolled through turning the field into mush, slowing down the Jets pass rush.

Beating them in the AFCCG in their building was one of the highlights of my sports life, being there to see it was even better, what a bunch of assholes their fans were before, during and after that game. As I said earlier in this thread, that was my Super Bowl, so satisfying after years of torture and failure in that shithole of a stadium.

Fuck that team, their fans, Shula, Dolphin Denny and Dan Marino's Isotoner gloves.
and marino does not want bill to beat shula record well too bad because he will shula was overrated as a coach did not care about def after 82 u rep what u sow
 

j-man

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Dec 19, 2012
2,328
Arkansas
And that title game was at Pittsburg for some reason.
back then they rotale by div that year it was pitt turn and the raiders from 68-77 couild had won the super bowl every year but always fail at it ex in 76 when the pats shouild had won and whouild had beat minn in 76
 

54thMA

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Aug 15, 2012
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back then they rotale by div that year it was pitt turn and the raiders from 68-77 couild had won the super bowl every year but always fail at it ex in 76 when the pats shouild had won and whouild had beat minn in 76
Yup, that should have been their first SB win, they got utterly and royally screwed.
 

Dr Strangeglove

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Jul 14, 2005
45
Mililani, HI
i saw that play that was not a facemask at best for them it was bang-bang but in 76 u couild hit the qb
More than 40 years passed before there was a worse call in a playoff game. I'm thinking o how the Saints got jobbed a couple of years ago on a non-call of what should have been pass interference in any era.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Nov 29, 2005
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This could just be my middle-aged memory playing tricks on me- but I seem to remember the Dick MacPherson team with Millen at QB always being competitive for the first half. And at halftime, DM would say "What we are doing is working, let us keep doing it", while the opposing team would make adjustments. Or, that's what it seemed to my mid-teen mind at the time.
 

Bowhemian

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Bow, NH
Another thing that the younger fans don't understand is that many of us Pats fans did not despise(I don't like to use hate) the Jets or the Colts or Steelers like we do today. To me it was the Dolphins. Still to this day they are my most despised team in the AFC. I found Shula arrogant and others on those 70's teams. Plus many fans jumping on their bandwagon when they got good like the Cowboys and other teams. Our Pats didn't win a game in the Orange Bowl from 1970 till the Title game in 85. That game to me was just as good as a Super Bowl win in many ways. Crushed them 31-14. We knew the Pats would be a big underdog to the Bears but to me it didn't matter. We upset those arrogant bastards and finally won in that Chamber of Horrors. It was like the Red Sox winning the Pennant in 67. To this day through all our titles of the 21st century and before I still consider that one of my ten greatest moments in Boston sports history. My 2nd most despised AFC team in the 70's and 80's was the Raiders. For the 76 playoff rip off and Jack Tatum hitting and paralyzing Darryl Stingley. Any of you baby boomers agree on the disdain of the Fins?
The Dolphins were to the Patriots as the Yankees were to the Red Sox. To me, the Squish the Fish game was just as meaningful as the Sox beating the Yankees in '04. Neither seemed very likely at the time. In fact, both seemed damn near impossible.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
The Dolphins were to the Patriots as the Yankees were to the Red Sox. To me, the Squish the Fish game was just as meaningful as the Sox beating the Yankees in '04. Neither seemed very likely at the time. In fact, both seemed damn near impossible.
Yes, it was. I was 10 on Oct.1st 1967 and living in Mass where I grew up. I was in Pa. January of 86 by then. What was it like in the area after beating the Fins. Were there people honking horns? Celebrating the title on Kenmore Square, bars etc...? Was it like the Sox winning the pennant in 67? Just curious.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
More than 40 years passed before there was a worse call in a playoff game. I'm thinking o how the Saints got jobbed a couple of years ago on a non-call of what should have been pass interference in any era.
Oh the pain, Sugar Bear Hamilton. Today that would probably be a penalty, but not then. The announcers were surprised by the call if I remember.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
Marv Fleming who played for both the Packers of the mid to late 60's and the Dolphins of the early 70's says Shula was way more sadistic then Lombardi during practice and training camp. He says when the Packers would be dry heaving and gaging during summer heat etc.. Vince would stop the practice and have them shower. Not Shula, he would have them practice till 6 or 7. Sick! And Mercury Morris. Is any sports figure more annoying then him?? He spends his time speaking at places telling people how the 72 Dolphins were the greatest team of all time. Not paying attention to his coach and many of his teammates who say the 73 team was better. Tougher schedule, and blowing teams out which the 72 team didn't do. He says he cried when the Giants beat us in SB 42 because he was overjoyed. Then had the hypocrisy to say he rooted for the 2011 Packers to go undefeated because they deserved it more then the 07 Pats who were cheaters. WHAT!? You spend your time going around and celebrating with your coach and former teammates when a team loses their first game late in the year, yet in 2011 you decide to root for someone to go undefeated 19-0?? What an arrogant A-Hole. I think maybe he was trying to push our buttons.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
And that title game was at Pittsburg for some reason.
Up until the 73 season teams alternated home field, even if the other team had a better record. It was dumb and unfair. From 74 on they changed it to the team with the better record(Or a Div. Titlist vs. the Wild Card). Had the Pats not got ripped off in Oakland in 76, they would have had to travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in the Title game because they were a Div. winner and the Pats were a WC. The Steelers were missing both Harris and Bleier so the Pats would have had a good chance. In 05 of course had the Pats gotten by the Broncos, they would have hosted the title game. And the Steelers who had the better record were a WC.
 
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jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
More than 40 years passed before there was a worse call in a playoff game. I'm thinking o how the Saints got jobbed a couple of years ago on a non-call of what should have been pass interference in any era.
Yes Ben Dreith, the Ref. That name is cursed more then Larry Barnett in New England or at least eastern New England.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
3,305
from the wilds of western ma
You don't have to convince me, I've always hated the Dolphins more than any opposing team.

That tomato can schedule the played in 1972, then they played the over the hill gang Redskins in the Super Bowl.

And they and their fans have lived off of it ever since.

Shula whining about the snowplow grave to the day he died is rich considering he did not cover the field the night before the AFC Championship game vs the Jets and their pass rush and a monsoon rolled through turning the field into mush, slowing down the Jets pass rush.

Beating them in the AFCCG in their building was one of the highlights of my sports life, being there to see it was even better, what a bunch of assholes their fans were before, during and after that game. As I said earlier in this thread, that was my Super Bowl, so satisfying after years of torture and failure in that shithole of a stadium.

Fuck that team, their fans, Shula, Dolphin Denny and Dan Marino's Isotoner gloves.
Mind boggling in today's context that the league allowed him to do that, with no intervention or repercussions. Another reason to have had utter contempt for him and his pontificating bullshit during spy gate. Bloviating old hypocrite. So hope BB gets his record, and has him spinning in his grave.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
Oh Broncos are on my list for honorable mention for despised teams, mainly because the Pats through the good years have have not had a successful record against them. And the annoying big mouth Shannon Sharpe. We got revenge on him in 96 when they choked to the Jaguars and Pats went to the Super Bowl.
 

Bowhemian

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2015
3,738
Bow, NH
Yes, it was. I was 10 on Oct.1st 1967 and living in Mass where I grew up. I was in Pa. January of 86 by then. What was it like in the area after beating the Fins. Were there people honking horns? Celebrating the title on Kenmore Square, bars etc...? Was it like the Sox winning the pennant in 67? Just curious.
Well no, it was nothing like that as far as I know. I was in college in NH, and I know that we celebrated like crazy. But then again, we would celebrate pretty much anything. It was a HUGE win for the Pats for sure, but I don't recall any downtown Boston celebrations. I see your point, and maybe comparing that Patriots win to the '04 Sox was not appropriate in the broad sense. But that's how it felt for me. Just like the Red Sox could never beat the Yankees when it mattered, the Patriots could not beat the Dolphins, especially in Miami.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
972
Drexel Hill Pa.
Well no, it was nothing like that as far as I know. I was in college in NH, and I know that we celebrated like crazy. But then again, we would celebrate pretty much anything. It was a HUGE win for the Pats for sure, but I don't recall any downtown Boston celebrations. I see your point, and maybe comparing that Patriots win to the '04 Sox was not appropriate in the broad sense. But that's how it felt for me. Just like the Red Sox could never beat the Yankees when it mattered, the Patriots could not beat the Dolphins, especially in Miami.
Yes even after the Fins moved to Joe Robbie after moving from that chamber of horrors, I believe the Pats record hasn't been much better there. I can consider those 2 Stadiums the worst chamber of horrors for Boston teams. Worse then The Montreal Forum (Shudder) and Yankee Stadium where they at least could play competitively. Of course they only played once a year in Miami but still, such a bad record there. Or even worse then the LA Forum and Staples Center.