SUDDEN DEATH AT KANSAS CITY
Above, capturing THE moment of one of the most amazing NFL games ever played, the moment the Miami Dolphins beat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in double-overtime at Municipal Stadium, December 25, 1971, as "Miami's Garo Yepremian Ends the Longest Game"; the placekick holder is Karl Noonan.
Sports Illustrated of January 3, 1972.
And only one of the most joyous days of my life!
Today on the 40th Anniversary of NFL's "Longest Game" between the Dolphins and Chiefs, a divisional playoff game I remember like it was yesterday, the NFL Network will air a special commemorative program at 6 pm tonight, with old NBC-TV footage from the ballgame, and, apparently, sideline conversations, which I can only imagine will be augmented by NFL Films footage.
Teaser alert: watch out for Marv Fleming, #80, in the end zone on this next play.
As of today, Sunday morning at 1 a.m., according to DirecTV's on-screen schedule, there is no scheduled encore of this program scheduled, so make sure you have your DVR/VCR's at the ready.
But if you know how many times they will run a special program over-and-over, they'll do it -eventually.
Two short sneak peeks of the one-hour program are here; sorry, no embedding possible because that's how the NFL rolls.
You have to go to their sites so that way you have to see the advertising of their partners.
Sort of makes you wonder if they've never heard of blogs, since they can load the ads into the video if they want.
(Code Red head's-up to Google and Blogger: Blogger is NOT one of the NFL Network's listed "SHARE" partners. Why?)
In that afternoon game on Christmas Day 40-years ago today -the Christmas where my family finally got into the 20th Century and bought more than just a half-way decent stereo system- the pressure from the game got to be so much for my father.
He had to walk out of our apt. in North Miami Beach and pace out in the hallway, refusing to watch with me and my mother and two sisters as Garo attempted his winning 37-yard field-goal.
Less than an hour after the game, my family and I and tens of thousands of other Dolfans from all over South Florida had driven out to Miami International Airport to greet the team on their Eastern Airlines charter.
We had lived in South Florida for three years by then and I heard South Florida yell that day like I'd never heard it before.
One of the most joyous times of my life!!!
Chiefs running back and return man Ed Podolak's performance that day was one of the greatest individual football performances that I ever saw in my life, ranking at the top with there with watching a very sick Bob Griese go from Mercy Hospital to throwing some long bombs to Paul Warfield, in-person at the Orange Bowl, in a 1971 MNF comeback win against Pittsburgh; watching O.J. Simpson make one amazing move after another against the Dolphins, in-person at the Orange Bowl in the mid-'70's; Bert Jones, Roger Carr and the Baltimore Colts throttle a good Dolphins team at the Orange Bowl, showing amazing athletic ability and speed at the ballgame in 1975 where the stadium was used as footage for the film, Black Sunday that had a story-line involving Middle East terrorism and the Goodyear blimp possibly crashing into a stadium during the Super Bowl; and finally, in 1981 up in Bloomington at Memorial Stadium, seeing Marcus Allen personally destroy IU with 274 yards rushing, the year he won -and earned!- the Heisman Trophy.
As one of the many Dolphin fans who purchased the record albums that WIOD put out after the 1971 season and the 1972 Perfect Season, I have listened to that call by Rick Weaver about a thousand times.
"Noonan to hold..."
They were stolen from my apt. while I was attending IU, along with my high school ring, my beautiful blue satin NMB Soccer Florida State Champs jacket, my NMB letterman patch for gymnastics for being the manager of the Women's team that won the 1979 State championships at a meet I ran and coordinated at NMB, easily one of the lowest days in my life, to say nothing of the money that got stolen.
It was like I was having my identity stolen before it was the thing to do on the Internet...
And who would steal THOSE two Dolphin albums?
That's what made me think it was personal -the items stolen versus what was left behind.
By the way, I still have all my Dolphin PRO game programs, starting from the first game I went to in December of 1970 against Buffalo, a 45-3 win that clinched a playoff spot, their first ever, to the last Dolphin game I saw before leaving for college at IU in August of 1979.
Plus, I also have the various pro football annuals like Street & Smith and Athlon, great for reading on car trips to North Carolina seven months after this ballgame, still smarting from the Super Bowl loss to the Cowboys and seeing Roger Staubach on the face of every guide cover.
I probably have about 100 of the programs and guides in total.
And to think, about 25-years ago, I almost sold them -my precious memories!
Thank goodness I didn't!