It’s May and we’re talking about the NFL.
The draft is over and we’re talking about the NFL. The season doesn’t kick off for four more months and we’re talking about the NFL. Hell, teams aren’t even allowed to open official training camps until July and we’re talking about the NFL.
That’s because, despite all of Supreme Leader Goodell’s best efforts, the NFL has captured our collective sports focus for the entire year. It’s far and away the most popular sport in America and when it’s not right there in front of us, we still long for it.
Well, the NFL has given everyone another gift to make sure their stranglehold on your attention span is secure. They just renewed their “strategic partnership” with YouTube, which, on the surface, probably doesn’t mean much to you. But, hidden alongside the gift of real-time footage uploads (irrelevant to those of us with the magical world of RedZone access) is the fact that they are in the process of uploading a number of classic games, allowing fans to relive the greatest moments in the Shield’s history whenever they want.
Three great games per team will be uploaded, with more to follow and — while there’s no list available yet — we have a wish list of classics we’d love to spend a summer night avoiding family vacations watching.
1. November 28, 2004 - Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns
Yes, eye rolls. We get it. Who would want to go back and watch a Bengals-Browns game? Those that like scoring. This was the second highest scoring game in NFL history (the highest scoring was a 71-41 shellacking by the Redskins over the Giants in ’66 and that kind of sounds boring, so it was disqualified) and came at the peak of fantasy football’s rise. Still relevant: Carson Palmer threw for 4 TDs, only to be topped by the legendary Kelly Holcomb, as the Browns bested the Bengals 58-48 for a combined shootout total of 113.
2. January 3, 1993 - Houston Oilers vs. Buffalo Bills
Behind the arm of Frank Reich, who took over for the injured Jim Kelly, the Buffalo Bills overcame a 28-3 halftime deficit to take out the Warren Moon-led Houston Oilers in this AFC Wild Card matchup for the greatest comeback in NFL history. To get our Stefan on, this game had it all: touchdowns, overtime, unintentional squib kicks, illegal catches by white wide recievers, and that thing of when a kicker recovers his own onside kick.
3. January 12, 1969 - New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts
"We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it.” The immortal words are all you really need to get fired up and go back and watch as the 18-point underdog Jets defeated the Colts in Super Bowl III. If you want to move your cursor forward just to see Joe Willie Namath jog off the field holding up the number one and then replay it, we won’t blame you.
4. February 3, 2008 - New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
Super Bowl XLII was supposed to be a given. Brady, Moss and Belichick’s hoodie walked into Glendale, AZ, with a perfect 19-0 record and the greatest offense the NFL had ever seen. Then Eli happened. And Plaxico happened (a year before Plaxico really happened). And David Tyree’s helmet happened. David hath played Goliath on one of the most unforgettable drives in football history ... unless you're a Patriots’ fan.
5. November 30, 1987 - Los Angeles Raiders vs. Seattle Seahawks
We could have put “The Catch” here. We could the ’58 Colts-Giants matchup that’s often called the greatest game ever played here. We could have put Brett Favre’s Wrangler ads here. But none of those games had Bo Jackson. The NFL only got Bo for a short amount of time before Kevin Walker got to his hip, so each moment is even more special. The culmination of all things Bo happened on this Monday night in November of ’87, in front of a sold out Kingdome. First, he ran the Tecmo Bowl play and took it 91 yards and however long the tunnel in the Kingdome is. Later, he would run flat over The Boz, before finishing with 221 yards on 18 carries. It was magical. Go back and watch it (hopefully soon).