1949 NFL Championship Game

The 1949 National Football League Championship Game was the 17th title game for the National Football League (NFL), played on December 18 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.[1] It is remembered for the driving rain that caused the field to become a mud pit. Its paid attendance was 27,980, with only 22,245 in the stadium.[2][3][4]

The game featured the Eastern Division champion Philadelphia Eagles (11–1), the defending NFL champions, against the Los Angeles Rams (8–2–2), winners of the Western Division. This was the first NFL title game played in the western United States. The Rams had last appeared in a title game in 1945, a victory and the franchise's final game in Cleveland.

The Eagles were favored by a touchdown,[5][6][7] and won 14–0 for their second consecutive shutout in the title game. Running back Steve Van Buren rushed for 196 yards on 31 carries for the Eagles and their defense held the Rams to just 21 yards on the ground.[4][8]

Philadelphia head coach Earle "Greasy" Neale did not like to fly, so the Eagles traveled to the West Coast by train.[9] On the way west, they stopped in Illinois for a workout at Stagg Field at the University of Chicago on Wednesday morning.[10]

1949 NFL Championship Game
Philadelphia Eagles Los Angeles Rams
14 0
1234 Total
Philadelphia Eagles 0770 14
Los Angeles Rams 0000 0
DateDecember 18, 1949
StadiumLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
RefereeRonald Gibbs
Attendance27,980 (paid); 22,245 (actual)
TV in the United States
NetworkABC
AnnouncersHarry Wismer, Red Grange
Los Angeles is located in the United States
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Location in the United States

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 18, 1949
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. PST [11][12]

Officials

  • Referee: Ronald Gibbs
  • Umpire: Joseph Crowley
  • Head Linesman: Charlie Berry
  • Field Judge: William McHugh
  • Back Judge: Robert Austin [2][5]
  • Alternate: Rawson Bowen
  • Alternate: Cletus Gardner [1]

The NFL added the fifth official, the back judge, in 1947; the line judge arrived in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

Players' shares

The Eagles players earned $1,090 each and the Rams got $789, about one-third of what was expected with fair weather.[3][13] Anticipating 70,000 or more in attendance and a large payoff from the gate,[11][14] the players and owners wanted to postpone the game for a week, but were overridden by Commissioner Bell, reached at home in Philadelphia.[3][4]

Ticket prices were $5 between the goal lines and $3.60 elsewhere.[1][12]

Television

This was the first NFL game which was broadcast on television, although only on the West Coast, under the auspices of NFL Commissioner Bert Bell.[15] The traditional 60–40 player bonus for playing in a championship game was augmented by $14,000 (presently, $147,421) from the NFL.[15] Although sources are unclear, a source writes the NFL received $20,000 (presently, $210,601) from the broadcasting rights.[16]

Sources

  • Lyons, Robert S. (2010). On Any Given Sunday, A Life of Bert Bell. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 978-1-59213-731-2
  • Coenen, Craig R. (2005). From Sandlots to the Super Bowl: The National Football League, 1920–1967. Knoxville, TN: The University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 1-57233-447-9

References

  1. ^ a b c Warren, Harry (December 18, 1949). "Eagles play Rams today for N.F.L. title". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  2. ^ a b Warren, Harry (December 19, 1949). "Eagles keep title in Los Angeles rain". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 3.
  3. ^ a b c "Small payoff irks Eagles and Rams". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 19, 1949. p. 22.
  4. ^ a b c "Eagles submerge Rams for title, 14-0". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 19, 1949. p. 20.
  5. ^ a b Warren, Harry (December 16, 1949). "Eagles 7½ point choice for title". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 4.
  6. ^ "Rams point for upset over Eagles". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. United Press. December 17, 1949. p. 7.
  7. ^ "Eagles, Rams battle for NFL title today". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 18, 1949. p. 2B.
  8. ^ "Eagles retain title, beat Rams in rain". St. Petersburg Independent. Florida. Associated Press. December 19, 1949. p. 21.
  9. ^ Forbes, Gordon (August 28, 1980). "Steve Van Buren". St. Petersburg Independent. Florida. Knight-Ridder Newspapers. p. 6C.
  10. ^ Warren, Harry (December 14, 1949). "Eagles pause in Chicago for drills today". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 4.
  11. ^ a b "Los Angeles Rams seek pro grid crown today from Eagles". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. December 18, 1949. p. 44.
  12. ^ a b Myers, Bob (December 18, 1949). "Philadelphia, Los Angeles meet in NFL playoff today". Youngstown Vindicator. Associated Press. p. E1.
  13. ^ "Eagles get $1,090 each for victory". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. INS. December 19, 1949. p. 21.
  14. ^ "Eagles on coast ready for championship". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 17, 1949. p. 11.
  15. ^ a b Lyons: 156–157
  16. ^ Coenen: 155–156

External links

Coordinates: 34°00′50″N 118°17′13″W / 34.014°N 118.287°W

1950 NFL Championship Game

The 1950 National Football League Championship Game was the 18th National Football League (NFL) title game, played on Sunday, December 24th at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.In their first NFL season after four years in the rival All-America Football Conference, the Cleveland Browns defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 30–28. The championship was the first of three won by Cleveland in the 1950s under head coach Paul Brown behind an offense that featured quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley, and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie.

Cleveland began the season with a win against the Philadelphia Eagles, who had won the previous two NFL championships. The Browns won all but two of their regular-season games, both losses coming against the New York Giants. Cleveland ended the season with a 10–2 win–loss record, tied with the Giants for first place in the American Conference. The tie forced a playoff that the Browns won, 8–3. Los Angeles, meanwhile, finished the season 9–3, tied with the Chicago Bears for first place in the National Conference. The Rams won their playoff, setting up the championship matchup with the Browns, in which the Browns were four-point favorites at home.The game began with a long touchdown pass from Rams quarterback Bob Waterfield to halfback Glenn Davis on the first play from scrimmage, giving Los Angeles an early lead. Cleveland tied the game later in the first quarter with a touchdown from Graham to Dub Jones, but the Rams quickly went ahead again on a Dick Hoerner touchdown run. Cleveland scored two unanswered touchdowns in the second and third quarters, retaking a 20–14 lead. A pair of Rams touchdowns in the third quarter, however, gave Los Angeles a two-possession advantage going into the final period. Cleveland responded with a diving touchdown catch by Rex Bumgardner in the final minutes of the game, followed by a field goal by placekicker Lou Groza with 28 seconds left to win, 30–28.

Lavelli set a then championship-game record with 11 receptions, and Waterfield's 82-yard pass to Davis on the first play of the game was then the longest scoring play in championship history. Los Angeles had 407 total yards to Cleveland's 373, but Cleveland had five interceptions, compared to just one for the Rams. The Browns' Warren Lahr had two interceptions in the game. After the game, NFL commissioner Bert Bell called Cleveland "the greatest team ever to play football".

Alex Wojciechowicz

Alexander Francis "Wojie" Wojciechowicz (; August 12, 1915 – July 13, 1992) was an American football player from 1935 to 1950. He was a two-way player who played at center on offense and at linebacker on defense. He has been inducted into both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, was a founder and the first president of the NFL Alumni Association, and was the third player to receive the Order of the Leather Helmet.

Wojciechowicz played college football for the Fordham Rams from 1935 to 1937 and was a member of the line that became known as the Seven Blocks of Granite. He was selected as the consensus first-team All-American center in both 1936 and 1937.

Wojciechowicz was selected by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 1938 NFL Draft and played for the Lions from 1938 to 1946. He was selected as a first-team All-NFL player in 1939 and 1944. In 1946, he was released by the Lions and then sold to the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he played from 1946 to 1950. He won two NFL championships with the Eagles, in 1948 and 1949.

Bob Waterfield

Robert Stanton Waterfield (July 26, 1920 – March 25, 1983) was an American football player and coach and motion picture actor and producer. He played quarterback for the UCLA Bruins and Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. His No. 7 jersey was retired by the Los Angeles Rams in 1952.

Born in Elmira, New York, Waterfield moved to Los Angeles as an infant. He played college football for the UCLA Bruins in 1941, 1942, and 1944. In 1942, he led UCLA to a Pacific Coast Conference championship and was selected as the quarterback on the All-Pacific Coast team.

From 1945 to 1952, he played quarterback for the Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League (NFL). He led the Rams to NFL championships in 1945 and 1951 and was selected as the NFL's most valuable player in 1945. He was the first-team All-Pro quarterback in 1945, 1946, and 1949. Known as one of the best passers, punters, and place-kickers in the NFL, he set NFL career place-kicking records with 315 extra points and 60 field goals, as well as a single-season record with 54 extra points in 1950, and a single-game record with five field goals in a game.

Waterfield was married to movie actress Jane Russell from 1943 to 1968. During the 1950s, Waterfield also worked in the motion picture business, initially as an actor and later as a producer. He remained involved in football as an assistant coach during the 1950s and served as the head coach of the Rams from 1960 to 1962.

Card-Pitt

Card-Pitt was the team created by the temporary merger of two National Football League (NFL) teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Cardinals, during the 1944 season. It was the second such merger for the Steelers, who had combined with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1943 to form the "Steagles". The arrangement was made necessary by the loss of numerous players to World War II military service, and was dissolved upon completion of the season. The war ended before the start of the 1945 season, and both teams resumed normal operations.

Card-Pitt finished with a 0–10 record in the Western Division, which led sportswriters to derisively label the team the "Car-Pitts", or "carpets".

Dick Hoerner

Lester Junior "Dick" Hoerner (July 25, 1922 – December 11, 2010) was an American football player. He played fullback for the University of Iowa in 1942 and 1946 and for the Los Angeles Rams from 1947 to 1951. He helped lead the Rams to three consecutive National Football League championship games from 1949 to 1951, played for the 1951 Los Angeles Rams team that won the 1951 NFL Championship Game, and was selected to play in the inaugural 1951 Pro Bowl. He was the Rams' all-time leading rusher at the end of his playing career with the team. He concluded his professional football career as a member of the Dallas Texans in 1952.

Greasy Neale

Alfred Earle "Greasy" Neale (November 5, 1891 – November 2, 1973) was an American football and baseball player and coach.

Hal Dean

Hal Stone Dean (October 30, 1922 – February 12, 2011) was a left guard for the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League, playing three seasons from 1947 to 1949.

List of Los Angeles Rams head coaches

The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Rams compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) West division. The Rams played their first season in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio. During World War II, the Rams did not play during the 1943 season because of wartime restrictions and shortages. The team became known as the Los Angeles Rams after it moved to Los Angeles, California in 1946. After the 1979 season, the Rams moved south to the suburbs in nearby Orange County, playing their home games at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim for 15 seasons (1980–1994) but kept their Los Angeles name. The club moved east to St. Louis, Missouri before the 1995 season, and moved back to Southern California before the 2016 season.

The Rams franchise has had 26 head coaches throughout its history. Damon Wetzel became the first head coach of the Cleveland Rams in 1936. He served for one season before he was replaced by Hugo Bezdek in 1937 as the Rams became a National Football League franchise. But after losing 13 of 14 games, Bezdek was dismissed and replaced by Art Lewis three games into the 1938 season. Dutch Clark, who was later one of the charter inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, became head coach of the Rams and coached the team for four seasons until the franchise suspended operations for the 1943 season. When the Rams resumed play in 1944, Aldo "Buff" Donelli became head coach and was 4-4 in his only season. In 1945, Adam Walsh became head coach and proceeded to lead the Cleveland Rams to a 9-1 record and the franchise's first NFL championship. Walsh was named the league's Coach of the Year.

Despite the title, the Rams' faltering financial fortunes in Cleveland sparked a move to Los Angeles by owner Dan Reeves. Walsh remained head coach, but left after the Rams finished 6-4-1 in their inaugural season on the west coast. Walsh was succeeded by Bob Snyder, who went 6-6 in his only season in 1947. Clark Shaughnessy took over for the next two seasons and led the Rams to the 1949 NFL Championship game (losing to the Philadelphia Eagles), but he was dismissed for reportedly for creating "internal friction" within the club. Line coach Joe Stydahar was elevated to head coach and guided the Rams back to the NFL championship game in 1950, where they again lost, this time to the Cleveland Browns 30-28. A year later, the teams would rematch, but this time the Rams prevailed 24-17 over the Browns to win the 1951 NFL Championship. Although he was successful as head coach, an internal dispute between Stydahar and assistant coach Hamp Pool spilled over into the public and Stydahar resigned one game into the 1952 season. Pool was elevated to head coach and led the Rams to their fourth straight postseason appearance in 1953, this time losing to the Detroit Lions in a playoff. Pool stayed as head coach for two more seasons before giving way to Sid Gillman, who led the Rams to the 1955 NFL Championship game where they again lost to Cleveland. Although his innovative offensive style would influence pro football for decades to come, Gillman never equaled the success of his first season, and left after five seasons to coach the American Football League's Los Angeles Chargers. The Rams continued without success under head coaches Bob Waterfield and Harland Svare.

In 1966, George Allen was hired as head coach and instantly turned around the Rams' on-field fortunes. In his five seasons, Allen never had a losing record and led the Rams to division titles in 1967 and 1969. But the Rams fell both times to the eventual NFL champion, and that combined with ongoing friction between himself and owner Dan Reeves, made Allen's situation unstable. Allen was originally fired in 1968, but after players interceded on his behalf, Reeves retained him for two more seasons. After failing to make the playoffs in 1970, Allen was released once his contract expired, and he was replaced by former UCLA coach Tommy Prothro, who led the Rams for two unsuccessful seasons.

By this time, Dan Reeves had died, and the franchise was then sold to Robert Irsay, who then immediately traded the franchise to Carroll Rosenbloom in exchange for the Baltimore Colts. Following the 1972 season, Rosenbloom dismissed Prothro and brought in as his replacement Chuck Knox. Installing his trademark "Ground Chuck" offense, Knox led the Rams to a 12-2 record and their first NFC West title, and was named NFL Coach of the Year for 1973. Los Angeles would repeat as division champions four more times under Knox, while also reaching the NFC Championship Game three consecutive years from 1974 through 1976. But the Rams were frustrated each time in their attempt to reach the Super Bowl, and after an upset loss to Minnesota in a 1977 NFC Divisional Playoff, Knox left Los Angeles to take the head coaching job with the Buffalo Bills.

Although he considered hiring future Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh (then the head coach at Stanford, Rosenbloom brought back George Allen to great fanfare. However, Allen's rigid ways clashed with both players on the roster and team administration, including general manager Don Klosterman. The effect of the turmoil on the team was evident, and after the Rams played poorly in a pair of exhibition losses at home, Rosenbloom fired Allen and promoted defensive coordinator Ray Malavasi to head coach.

Malavasi, the lone holdover from Knox's staff, was well-liked by players, and the chemistry showed as the Rams roared to a 7-0 start in 1978 on the way to a 12-4 record and the team's sixth straight NFC West title. Los Angeles finally defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs, but again were denied a chance to play in the Super Bowl when they were shut out 28-0 by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1978 NFC Championship Game. Injuries racked the Rams at numerous positions in 1979 and stumbled to a 9-7 mark, which was still good enough for Los Angeles to claim a then-record seventh straight division championship. In the playoffs, the Rams upset the Cowboys in Dallas, then shut out the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the NFC Championship and, at last, advance to play in the Super Bowl. Though they were more than 10-point underdogs to the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV, the Rams had the advantage of playing in the Los Angeles area, and led their opponent after each of the first three quarters. But big plays on offense and a critical interception late in the fourth quarter sealed the game for the Steelers 31-19. In 1980, the Rams moved to Anaheim Stadium and after an 0-2 start, won 11 of the next 14 to earn their eighth straight trip to the NFC playoffs, where they were defeated at Dallas. A contract dispute with quarterback Vince Ferragamo marred the 1981 season, as the Rams fell to 6-10. Next season was even worse, as Los Angeles finished with a 2-7 record in 1982, which was disrupted by a players strike that lasted 57 days. Malavasi was then fired after five seasons.

Rams owner Georgia Frontiere, who had taken over the team following the death of her husband Carroll Rosenbloom in 1979, hired former USC head coach John Robinson for the 1983 season. Bringing a host of former Trojan assistants with him, Robinson installed his trademark running game that worked perfectly with the Rams' powerful offensive line and explosive running back Eric Dickerson. Robinson led the Rams to playoff appearances in six of the next seven seasons, including an NFC West title in 1985 as well as reaching the NFC Championship Games in 1985 and 1989. But back-to-back losing seasons in 1990 and 1991 doomed Robinson, who stepped down after a 3-13 campaign. Robinson ended his NFL career with the most wins (79) in Rams franchise history.

Again, the Rams had the opportunity to go with a well-regarded young offensive mind, having interviewed then-San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren. But as her late husband had once done, Georgia Frontiere opted to play it safe by bringing back Chuck Knox, who had just weeks earlier stepped down from coaching the Seattle Seahawks. But Knox was unable to recreate the magic of his earlier tenure with the Rams, as Los Angeles finished 6-10 in 1992 and got progressively worse each following season. Additionally, Frontiere openly flirted with a possible franchise move to St. Louis, and Knox was fired following the Rams' 4-12 finish in 1994.

Making a fresh start in St. Louis, former Oregon head coach Rich Brooks was installed as head coach. After struggling to win, Brooks was fired after just two seasons and replaced by Dick Vermeil. The former Philadelphia Eagles head coach, Vermeil had not coached on any level since retiring in 1982. But after two double-digit loss seasons, Vermeil shepherded the Rams to remarkable turnaround in 1999. Led by the arrival of running back Marshall Faulk and the emergence of quarterback Kurt Warner, the St. Louis Rams took the NFL by storm and went on to win Super Bowl XXXIV 23-16 over the Tennessee Titans. Vermeil then retired and was succeeded by his offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who would ultimately lead the Rams back to the Super Bowl. But after being upset 20-17 by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI and then losing to the Carolina Panthers in double overtime during the 2003 NFC Divisional Playoff, Martz began to fall out of favor with Rams management. Five games into the 2005 season, Martz took a leave of absence to treat a bacterial infection in his heart. For the remainder of the season, Martz was replaced on an interim basis by Joe Vitt. The Rams finished 6-10 overall and both Martz and Vitt were fired following the season.

Scott Linehan became the new head coach of the St. Louis Rams in 2006 and showed some promise during an 8-8 campaign in which the Rams rallied to win their final three games to finish just one game behind Seattle in the NFC West standings. But St. Louis faltered to 3-13 in {2007 St. Louis Rams season|2007]] and after an 0-4 start in 2008, Linehan was fired. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was elevated to interim head coach, having previously been head coach with the New Orleans Saints. Though he began his brief tenure with two straight wins, the Rams under Haslett ended the 2008 season with 10 straight losses, and Haslett was not considered as a candidate for the permanent head coaching position. The Rams then hired Steve Spagnuolo as head coach after Spagnuolo's successful stretch running the New York Giants defense. But as dismal as St. Louis was in 2008, when the Rams went 2-14, it was even worse in 2009 as St. Louis went 1-15, with only a 17-10 win at Detroit staving off a winless season. Fortunes improved in 2010 thanks to a strong season from rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, as the Rams went 7-9 and were in the playoff hunt until the season's final week, when Seattle defeated them 16-6 to win the NFC West. But the Rams reverted to their losing form in 2011 with a 2-14 record. After losing their final seven games, Spagnuolo was fired along with general manager Billy Devaney.

New Rams owner Stan Kroenke made his first hire with former Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher taking over. The Rams did show overall improvement during a 7-8-1 season. But it was the best that Fisher would be able to do, as the Rams went 7-9, 6-10, and 7-9 in their final seasons in St. Louis. Following the end of the 2015 season, the Rams were approved to return to Los Angeles, ending the NFL's 21-year absence from the market. Fisher, who had guided the Oilers/Titans franchise in its relocation from Houston to Memphis and ultimately to Nashville, was retained and shepherded the Rams through the turmoil of the move. And while the newly-rebranded Los Angeles Rams began the 2016 season 3-1, the team would win only one of its remaining 12 games. Though he had acquired strong talent in successive drafts with Aaron Donald in 2014, Todd Gurley in 2015, and Jared Goff in 2016, Fisher was unable to put together a consistently winning combination on the field. And after a 42-14 loss at home to the Atlanta Falcons that tied him for the most regular season losses by a coach in NFL history, Fisher was fired on December 12, 2016. Special teams coordinator John Fassel was named interim head coach, but was winless in the final three games of the season.

The Rams interviewed a variety of candidates, but surprised many observers by hiring then 30-year-old Sean McVay as head coach on January 12, 2017. With a work ethic and reservoir of knowledge that belied his age, McVay refashioned the team in his own image. The youngest head coach in modern league history hired longtime NFL coach Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator and retained Fassel as special teams coordinator. The results were overwhelmingly positive as McVay's new-look Rams went 11-5 in 2017 and clinched their first NFC West title since 2003, and McVay was named NFL Coach of the Year. In 2018, the Rams improved to 13-3, tying for the second-most regular season wins in team history, and qualified to play in Super Bowl LIII against the New England Patriots.

Sid Gillman and George Allen have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as coaches. To this date, Dick Vermeil is the only coach to win a Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

NFL playoff records (team)

This is a list of playoff records set by various teams in various categories in the National Football League during the Super Bowl Era.

Steve Van Buren

Stephen Wood Van Buren (December 28, 1920 − August 23, 2012) was an American football halfback who played professionally for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL) from 1944 to 1951. Regarded as a powerful and punishing runner with excellent speed, through eight NFL seasons he won four league rushing titles, including three straight from 1947 to 1949. At a time when teams played twelve games a year, he was the first NFL player to rush for over ten touchdowns in a season—a feat he accomplished three times—and the first to have multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons. When he retired, he held the NFL career records for rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.

Van Buren played college football for Louisiana State University, where he led the NCAA in scoring in his senior season for the LSU Tigers. After leading LSU to victory in the Orange Bowl, he was drafted by the Eagles with the fifth overall pick in the 1944 NFL Draft. Van Buren acquired many nicknames over his career in reference to his running style, including "Wham Bam", "Moving Van", and "Supersonic Steve". He was the driving force for the Eagles in the team's back-to-back NFL championships in 1948 and 1949; he scored the only touchdown of the 1948 NFL Championship Game against the Chicago Cardinals, and in the next year's championship game against the Los Angeles Rams he set postseason records with 31 carries and 196 rushing yards.

After his playing career, Van Buren coached in minor league football, winning an Atlantic Coast Football League (ACFL) championship with the Newark Bears in 1963. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. Van Buren is a member of the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team and the National Football League 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. Considered one of the greatest players in Eagles franchise history, his number 15 jersey is retired by the team, and he is enshrined in the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. For his college career, he was inducted into the Louisiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1944 and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1961.

Super Bowl LIII

Super Bowl LIII was an American football game played to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2018 season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Los Angeles Rams, 13–3. The game was played on February 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the first Super Bowl played at that stadium, and the third one held in Atlanta.

The Patriots' victory was their sixth, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl championships. New England, after finishing the regular season with a 11–5 record, advanced to their 11th Super Bowl appearance, their fourth in five years, and their ninth under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. The Rams, who finished the regular season with a 13–3 record under 33-year-old head coach Sean McVay and third-year quarterback Jared Goff, made their fourth Super Bowl appearance overall, and their first one since moving back from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016. Super Bowl LIII was a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI, a 20–17 Patriots win over the Rams that gave the Belichick–Brady tandem its first Super Bowl championship. With the Rams now playing in Los Angeles, Super Bowl LIII marked the first Super Bowl appearance of a Los Angeles-based team since the then-Los Angeles Raiders' victory in Super Bowl XVIII. This marked the 14th meeting in a major sports championship between the Los Angeles and Greater Boston areas.

Super Bowl LIII was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, eclipsing the previous record of 14–7 held by Super Bowl VII, and the lowest-scoring league championship contest since a 14–0 score was recorded during the 1949 NFL Championship Game. It also marked the first Super Bowl with no touchdowns scored by either team in the first three quarters, as the Patriots and the Rams held the contest to a 3–3 tie as they entered the fourth quarter. New England then scored 10 unanswered points for the victory, as their lone touchdown tied them with the New York Jets in Super Bowl III for the fewest touchdowns by a winning Super Bowl team. The Rams ended up as only the second losing team to not score a touchdown, joining the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI. Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who caught 10 passes for 141 yards, was named Super Bowl MVP.The broadcast of the game on CBS had the smallest Super Bowl audience in 10 years. The halftime show was headlined by U.S. pop group Maroon 5, joined by rappers Big Boi and Travis Scott as guests.

Tom Skladany

Thomas Edward Skladany (born June 29, 1955) is an American football former punter who is widely considered to be, along with Ray Guy, one of the two greatest punters in college football history. Skladany later played in the NFL from 1978-1983. Skladany, the only 3-time first team All American punter in college history, made Big 10 history in 1973 when he became the first specialty player given a football scholarship in Big 10 football history. Skladany was considered by Street & Smith's and Parade to be the consensus number one high school kicker/punter in America in 1972. Skladany turned down scholarship offers from Michigan, Penn State and hometown Pittsburgh to sign with Woody Hayes and Ohio State. Skladany was a three-time All-American at The Ohio State University—(1974, 1975, 1976).

Skladany, the Cleveland Browns #2 pick in 1977, made professional sports history when he held out the entire season in a contract dispute, becoming the first-ever NFL draft pick to hold out a full season. His rights were traded to the Detroit Lions after the 1977 season. Skladany was named first team All-Pro after the 1978 and 1981 seasons with Detroit, leading the NFL in punting average both years. He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1981 season. A back injury ended Skladany's career prematurely in 1983 while punting for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Skladany comes from a football family of note. Tom's uncle Leo Skladany blocked a punt as regulation time expired in the 1949 NFL championship game to propel the Philadelphia Eagles to the 1949 NFL title over the Los Angeles Rams. Another uncle, Joe "Muggsy" Skladany is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1941 before enlisting in World War II. Tom's uncle Ed Skladany turned down the Chicago Bears to sign with the Cincinnati Reds in 1945. Tom's brother Joe Skladany was an All-American linebacker at LaFayette University in 1981, and played for Arizona Wranglers of the USFL in 1982. After retiring from the NFL in 1983, Tom opened an American Speedy Printing Center in suburban Columbus, Ohio, and raised 4 daughters, all of whom played Division I collegiate soccer. His daughter, Karly, married 'N Sync singer Chris Kirkpatrick in 2013, and his youngest daughter, Camryn, has excelled both athletically and professionally. Camryn is currently a leading executive in the professional staffing and recruitment industry. Tom Skladany is a past President of the NFL Alumni Association of Ohio (1989–2013).

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