Randall Cunningham

Randall Wade Cunningham (born March 27, 1963) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL). He played in the NFL for 16 seasons, primarily with the Philadelphia Eagles. Cunningham is also known for his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings. He is the younger brother of former college and professional football player Sam Cunningham and the father of Randall Cunningham II and world champion high jumper Vashti Cunningham. Cunningham was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

After playing college football at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Cunningham was selected in the second round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Eagles, with whom he remained through the 1995 season. Following 11 seasons with the team, he announced his retirement from football, but returned after a year away from the game to join the Vikings. In 1998, Cunningham enjoyed the strongest season of his career and helped the team set the NFL record for most points in a regular season at the time, although the Vikings would be upset in the NFC Championship Game. He was released by the Vikings following the 1999 season after failing to match his success during the previous year. In his final two seasons, he played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens for one year each, primarily as a backup. Upon retiring for a second and final time, Cunningham became an ordained Protestant minister and a coach at Silverado High School.

Randall Cunningham
refer to caption
Cunningham at the 1999 Pro Bowl
No. 12, 7, 1
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born:March 27, 1963 (age 55)
Santa Barbara, California
Height:6 ft 4.5 in (1.94 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Santa Barbara (CA)
College:UNLV
NFL Draft:1985 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
TDINT:207–134
Yards:29,979
Passer rating:81.5
Rushing yards:4,928
Rushing touchdowns:35
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

High school and college

Cunningham was born in Santa Barbara, California, in 1963. He attended Santa Barbara High School, and was a graduate of the class of 1981.[1] As a senior, he led his team to a League title and the CIF Finals.[2] He also competed in track and field at SBHS in the high jump, his big brother was the state champion in the shot put.[3]

He then went on to attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He was a 1983 and 1984 College Football All-America Team selection as a punter. In 1984, his senior year, he led the UNLV Rebels to an 11–2 season—still the school's only 10-win season ever—however this was adjusted to 0–13 when it was found out several players were ineligible.[4]

Professional career

Philadelphia Eagles

Cunningham was the Eagles' second-round pick in the 1985 NFL Draft. Cunningham was also sought by the United States Football League's Tampa Bay Bandits that same year. Eagles owner Norman Braman refused to negotiate with Cunningham if he accepted offers from the Bandits. Ultimately, the USFL folded, thus ending that issue. In his rookie season he played sparingly as a backup to veteran Ron Jaworski but made a big splash with his uncanny scrambling ability, though he completed just 34 percent of his passes and threw just one touchdown against eight interceptions. In 1986, new head coach Buddy Ryan arrived in Philadelphia and made wholesale changes, many of them unorthodox, mostly due to his defensive-minded philosophy. At the quarterback position, Ryan designated 35-year-old Ron Jaworski the starter but would replace the aging veteran with the fleet-footed Cunningham in third-and-long situations where the youngster’s scrambling would presumably put the defense on its heels. After a hand injury to Jaworski in week 10, Cunningham would replace him as the Eagles’ starter. Despite his limited service and speed, the Eagles' porous offensive line allowed him to be sacked a franchise record 72 times that season. Cunningham was permanently handed the Eagles' starting job for the 1987 season. Cunningham was said to have reached "elite" status during the 1988 season, as he was elected by league players as the NFC starting quarterback for the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl (the first black quarterback to ever be elected a starter). That same year, he combined with fellow Eagle Pro Bowler Reggie White to lead the Eagles to the NFC Eastern Division Championship. In the 1988 Divisional Playoffs, Cunningham threw 54 passes for 407 yards during the "Fog Bowl" 20–12 loss against the Chicago Bears, both of which remain playoff franchise records. Unfortunately, he also shares the franchise record with 3 interceptions in that same game.[5] In the subsequent Pro Bowl a few weeks later, Cunningham was named game MVP as the NFC defeated the AFC, 28–3.

In 1989, on October 2 Cunningham also set the regular season franchise record with 62 pass attempts (now shared with Nick Foles), also against the Chicago Bears. He had been an all-conference quarterback and punter while at UNLV, and unleashed a 91-yard punt against the Giants on December 3, the longest in Eagles history (and the fourth-longest ever).[6] He had 20 punts during his career, with an average of 44.7 yards per punt.[7]

In a 1990 game against the Buffalo Bills, Cunningham, throwing from his end zone, was about to be sacked by Bruce Smith from his blind side. Cunningham ducked and threw a pass 60 yards to wide receiver Fred Barnett, resulting in a 95-yard touchdown. That same year, Cunningham finished with 942 rushing yards, 3rd most ever for a quarterback, 10th best in the league. He averaged 8.0 yards per rush, the most ever by an Eagle of any position with 100 attempts on the season, and third most in NFL history.[8]

In 1991, Cunningham's season came to an abrupt end when he was tackled by Bryce Paup of the Green Bay Packers and tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the first game of the season. He would return to the Eagles completely healed the following season, and led the team to its first playoff victory in 12 years. However, it was evident that the injury he suffered took away much of his speed and athleticism. The 1993 and 1994 seasons would be riddled by a series of nagging injuries and a transition to the West Coast Offense that eventually led to his benching in favor of veteran Rodney Peete. Feeling as if the fans and organization did not fully appreciate his contributions to the team's success, as well as being unhappy with his role as a back-up, Cunningham retired from football after the 1995 season.

He left Philadelphia with the third most rushing yards in Eagles history, with 4,482, behind Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren and Wilbert Montgomery, although he has since fallen to sixth after Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook, and LeSean McCoy all rushed for more yards than him. He also left second only to Ron Jaworski in passing yards, with 22,877, though both were later surpassed by Donovan McNabb. He still holds the Eagles record with 6.62 yards per rush attempt, 422 sacks taken, and 6.5 yards per pass attempt in playoff games.

Minnesota Vikings

Cunningham joined the Vikings in 1997 after being out of football in 1996. Vikings' coach Dennis Green called him when he was on a job site for his granite business. There he reunited with former Eagles wide receiver Cris Carter. In his first year with the Vikings, he orchestrated two late scoring drives to bring them back from a 9-point deficit to defeat the New York Giants in an NFC Wild Card game at Giants Stadium, 23–22. However, the Vikings lost in the Divisional Round to Steve Young and the San Francisco 49ers.

Cunningham enjoyed the greatest season of his career in Minnesota during the 1998 campaign when he guided the Vikings to a 15–1 regular season record with 34 touchdown passes, only 10 interceptions, and 3,704 passing yards. Cunningham had a good supporting cast that year with Cris Carter, rookie Randy Moss, and Jake Reed at wide receiver and Robert Smith and Leroy Hoard at running back. Cunningham led the league with a 106.0 passer rating while the Vikings scored a then-NFL record 556 points during the 1998 season, making him the first black quarterback to lead the league in that category. Cunningham claimed the Vikings' Monday night 37–24 victory over the Green Bay Packers was "the greatest night of my football career".[9] He threw for 442 yards and four touchdowns. However, the Vikings ended up being the first 15–1 team to fall short of the Super Bowl, losing to the underdog Atlanta Falcons in the conference championship game by a field goal.

During the early stages of the 1999 season, after throwing nine interceptions in just six games, Cunningham was benched again, this time in favor of Jeff George. After the team announced that second-year quarterback Daunte Culpepper would be the starter prior to the 2000 season, Cunningham was released.

Dallas Cowboys

Shortly before the 2000 season, Cunningham signed with the Dallas Cowboys to serve as backup to Troy Aikman. After a series of concussions ended Aikman's season, and ultimately his career, Cunningham again took the helm at quarterback. Despite posting a 1–2 record as a starter, he put up respectable numbers (849 yards passing with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions). One notable occurrence during his time with the Cowboys was a return to Philadelphia. Cunningham started the game and dueled the new Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb. The game was decided in overtime, with an Eagles field goal giving them the 16–13 victory. He received a mixed reception of cheers and boos upon his return to Philadelphia. A 5–11 subpar year for the Cowboys led to major roster changes, and Cunningham was one of the many changes. At the end of the season, he reached incentive clauses that voided his contract and made him an unrestricted free agent. He was not re-signed, after the Cowboys signed quarterback Tony Banks instead.

Baltimore Ravens

On May 29, 2001, he was signed by the Baltimore Ravens, reuniting with head coach Brian Billick, who was his offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings. Cunningham was originally intended to serve as the third-string quarterback, but he was named the backup behind Elvis Grbac after performing better than Chris Redman. He went 2–0 as a starter. He was not re-signed, after the Ravens signed quarterback Jeff Blake instead. On August 15, 2002, Cunningham signed a one-day contract with the Philadelphia Eagles to officially announce his retirement.

In his final 10 NFL seasons, Cunningham played in only 80 games, but finished his 16-year career completing 2,429 of his 4,289 attempts for 29,997 yards and 207 touchdowns, with 134 interceptions. He was sacked 484 times, third-most all time behind (2nd) John Elway with 516 sacks, and (1st) Brett Favre with 525 sacks. Cunningham also rushed for 4,928 yards on 775 carries and 35 touchdowns. He retired after the 2001 season as the NFL's all-time leader in rushing yards and carries for the quarterback position, (a record broken in 2011 by Michael Vick), and tied for fourth with Steve Grogan in rushing touchdowns by a QB. Cunningham also averaged 30.6 rushing yards per game during his career—second most all-time for quarterbacks, behind Michael Vick.

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
NFL record
Bold Career high
Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles
G GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sck YdsL Fum FumL
1985 PHI 6 4 34 81 42.0 548 6.8 1 8 29.8 29 205 7.1 0 20 150 - -
1986 PHI 15 5 111 209 53.1 1,391 6.7 8 7 72.9 66 540 8.2 5 72 489 - -
1987 PHI 12 12 223 406 54.9 2,786 6.9 23 12 83.0 76 505 6.6 3 54 380 - -
1988 PHI 16 16 301 560 53.8 3,808 6.8 24 16 77.6 93 624 6.7 6 57 442 - -
1989 PHI 16 16 290 532 54.5 3,400 6.4 21 15 75.5 104 621 6.0 4 45 343 - -
1990 PHI 16 16 271 465 58.3 3,466 7.5 30 13 91.6 118 942 8.0 5 49 431 - -
1991 PHI 1 1 1 4 25.0 19 4.8 0 0 46.9 0 0 0 0 2 16 - -
1992 PHI 15 15 233 384 60.7 2,775 7.2 19 11 87.3 87 594 6.3 5 60 437 13 8
1993 PHI 4 4 76 110 69.1 850 7.7 5 5 88.1 18 110 6.1 1 7 33 3 2
1994 PHI 14 14 265 490 54.1 3,229 6.6 16 13 74.4 65 288 4.4 3 43 333 10 3
1995 PHI 7 4 69 121 57.0 605 5.0 3 5 61.5 21 98 4.7 0 13 79 3 2
1997 MIN 6 3 44 88 50.0 501 5.7 6 4 71.3 19 127 6.7 0 7 60 4 1
1998 MIN 15 14 259 425 60.9 3,704 8.7 34 10 106.0 32 132 4.1 1 20 132 2 1
1999 MIN 6 6 124 200 62.0 1,475 7.4 8 9 79.6 10 58 5.8 0 15 101 2 2
2000 DAL 6 3 74 125 59.2 849 6.8 6 4 82.4 23 89 3.9 1 8 45 4 1
2001 BAL 6 2 54 89 60.7 573 6.4 3 2 81.3 14 40 2.9 1 12 66 4 0
Career 161 135 2,429 4,289 56.6 29,979 7.0 207 134 81.5 775 4,928 6.4 35 484 3,537 45 20

After retiring

After retiring from football, Cunningham returned to UNLV to finish his college degree in Leisure studies. Cunningham has also been active in the Gospel music business since his retirement from the NFL by opening a recording studio and producing a Christian worship music. Cunningham, a born again Christian, became an ordained Protestant minister and founded a church called Remnant Ministries in Las Vegas in 2004.[10]

In December 2009 Cunningham was hired by Silverado High School in Henderson, Nevada as the offensive coordinator of the school's varsity and junior varsity football team. His son, Randall Cunningham II, was a freshman quarterback for the Skyhawks.[11]

On June 29, 2010, one of Cunningham's children, two-year-old son Christian, drowned in a hot tub while unattended at the family home in Las Vegas.[12][13]

In August 2011, following a rumored spat with Silverado's head coach, Cunningham resigned his coaching position at SHS. His son, Randall Jr, withdrew from SHS and registered the same day at Bishop Gorman High School, a private Roman Catholic school in Las Vegas.[14]

In July 2012, Cunningham was named the 23rd greatest quarterback of the NFL's post-merger era, according to Football Nation.[15]

In March 2013, Cunningham authored Lay It Down: How Letting Go Brings Out Your Best (Worthy Publishing, ISBN 9781617951275). The book shows readers how to work out the “lay it down” principle in all phases of life.[16]

In December 2014, Cunningham was named head coach at Silverado High School.[17] In his rookie season as head coach, he and his staff turned the football program around from a previous record of 3–7 to a 2015 record of 7–4. The team recorded its first playoff victory since the year 2007. He helped coach two National All-Americans who were chosen to participate in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl games.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Santa Barbara High School". Archived from the original on September 15, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
  2. ^ "Randall Cunningham practices with Santa Barbara High". Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
  3. ^ http://lynbrooksports.prepcaltrack.com/ATHLETICS/TRACK/stateres.htm
  4. ^ "Members of UNLV's 1984 football team converge for reunion". Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  5. ^ Three interceptions in a single playoff game, record shared with Ron Jaworski and Donavan McNabb (who did it twice).
  6. ^ "Where are they now? Randall Cunningham". Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  7. ^ "Career Stats-NFL.com". Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  8. ^ Third to Michael Vick's 8.45 yards/rush in 2006, and Beattie Feathers' 8.44 in 1934. Jim Brown holds the record for rushers with over 200 carries in a season, with 6.40 in 1963.
  9. ^ Freeman, Mike (October 6, 1998). "PRO FOOTBALL; Big Plays, Big Victory For Vikings". The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved November 28, 2006.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Keefer, Case (December 14, 2009). "Silverado hires Randall Cunningham as offensive coordinator". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
  12. ^ "Randall Cunningham's son dies in hot tub accident". USA Today. June 30, 2010.
  13. ^ Koster, Kyle (June 30, 2010). "Randall Cunningham's 2-year-old son drowns in hot tub". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2010.
  14. ^ "Cunningham resigns as Silverado aide". Nevada Preps. August 17, 2011.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Modern Quarterbacks: 40-21". Football Nation. July 26, 2012. Archived from the original on October 30, 2012.
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ "Ray Brewer" (December 29, 2014). "Silverado High hires NFL great Randall Cunningham". Las Vegas Sun.

External links

1984 California Bowl

The 1984 California Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on December 15, 1984 at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, California. The game pitted the UNLV Rebels and the Toledo Rockets.

1985 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1985 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 53rd in the National Football League (NFL). The team improved upon their previous output of 6–9–1, winning seven games. This was the fourth consecutive season in which the team failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Philadelphia was in position to earn a wild-card berth with a 6–5 record by late November, but a four-game losing streak, which included a home loss to the Minnesota Vikings in which the Eagles squandered a 23-0 fourth quarter lead, foiled their playoff hopes. That losing streak also cost head coach Marion Campbell his job before the season finale at Minnesota. Under interim coach Fred Bruney, the Eagles pulled off a 37–35 victory at the Metrodome to finish the season on an up note.

Two bright spots emerged at the quarterback position as Ron Jaworski returned from the broken leg suffered at the end of the 1984 season, and performed well enough (3,450 passing yards, 17 touchdowns) to be considered for comeback player of the year, though no award was given out. In addition, second-round draft pick Randall Cunningham made his debut on September 22 at Washington and earned his first career victory at RFK Stadium. On November 10, at Veterans Stadium, Jaworski combined with wide receiver Mike Quick for a club-record 99-yard touchdown pass in overtime to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 23–17.

1986 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1986 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 54th in the league. The team was unable to improve upon their previous output win total of seven. Instead, the team finished with five wins, ten losses and one tie. This was the fifth consecutive season in which the team failed to qualify for the playoffs.

The season was coach Buddy Ryan’s first with the team after serving as the defensive coordinator of the 1985 Chicago Bears, who had won the Super Bowl in that season.

Quarterback duties were split between 35-year-old veteran Ron Jaworski, who started nine games in his final season with the team, and second-year quarterback Randall Cunningham. Veteran quarterback Matt Cavanaugh also started two games. The Eagles’ passing game struggled, with the third-fewest passing yards in the league (2,540), and the fewest yards-per-attempt (4.1).

The Eagles set dubious NFL records by giving up a record number of sacks (a still-standing NFL-record of 104) and yardage allowed on sacks (708). No other team in football history had ever given up more than 78 sacks or 554 yards on quarterback sacks. The team gave up three-or-more sacks in every single game of the 1986 season, the only team in NFL history to do so.The lone highlights of the season came on the road. On October 5, the Birds entered Fulton County Stadium and shut out the previously-undefeated Atlanta Falcons, 16–0. then gained a comeback 33–27 OT win against the Raiders at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 30, the Eagles’ first win over the club since the 1980 season and first-ever victory on the road against the Oakland/LA franchise.

1987 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1987 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 55th in the National Football League (NFL). Despite the interruption of the schedule by the second strike in six seasons, the team improved upon their previous output of 5–10–1, going 7–8. However, three of those losses came during the three-game stretch during the strike when teams were staffed primarily with replacement players, or "scabs," who crossed the picket lines to suit up. Despite the improvement, the team once again failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Defensive lineman Reggie White nonetheless had a breakout season, establishing a new NFL record by exploding for 21 sacks in only 12 games.

On October 25 at Veterans Stadium, in the first game back after the strike was settled, Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan called for the infamous "fake spike" in the final seconds with the hosts leading the Dallas Cowboys by 10 points. The fake eventually led to another late touchdown, payback for Cowboys head coach Tom Landry running up the score with starters who crossed the picket line to play two weeks earlier at Texas Stadium. One week later, Philadelphia won its final road game against the Cardinals at the old Busch Stadium, before the franchise moved to Phoenix for the 1988 season.

1989 Pro Bowl

The 1989 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 39th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1988 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 29, 1989, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,113. The final score was NFC 34, AFC 3.Marv Levy of the Buffalo Bills led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka. The referee was Ben Dreith.Randall Cunningham of the Philadelphia Eagles was named the game's MVP. Players on the winning NFC team received $10,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $5,000.It was the last Pro Bowl game played in January for two decades, until the 2010 Pro Bowl.

1990 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1990 Philadelphia Eagles season was the team's 58th in the National Football League.

The team made the postseason yet again with a 10–6 overall record, despite beginning the season with disappointing early-season records of 1–3 and 2–4.

The Eagles ran for 2,556 rushing yards in 1990, which is the most of any team in a single season in the 1990s.Other season highlights were a 28–14 win at Veterans Stadium over the Washington Redskins on November 12, known as the Body Bag Game, since the defense managed to knock both Redskins quarterbacks from the contest plus several other key players. At Buffalo in a 30–23 loss on December 2, Randall Cunningham made one of the signature plays of his career, eluding Bills Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith in the end zone before launching the ball into the middle of the field to wide receiver Fred Barnett, who completed the 95-yard touchdown play.

One week prior, the Eagles avenged an opening-night loss at the Meadowlands, whipping the 10–0 Giants by a 31–13 score.

1991 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1991 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 59th season in the National Football League.

Despite having a 10–6 record and finishing with the top-ranked defense in the NFL, the Eagles failed to make the playoffs. During Week 1, quarterback Randall Cunningham was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Statistics site Football Outsiders ranks the 1991 Eagles as the greatest defensive team in their ranking's history. Says Football Outsiders, The 1991 Eagles completely lap the field in terms of defensive DVOA. Only the 2002 Bucs had a better pass defense, and only the 2000 Ravens had a better run defense, and the Eagles were much more balanced than either of those teams.

It's crazy to imagine how few points the Eagles might have given up if they were playing with a halfway-decent offense instead of losing Randall Cunningham to a torn ACL in the first game of the season. The Eagles were stuck depending on an over-the-hill Jim McMahon for 11 starts, plus Jeff Kemp for two and Brad Goebel for two. McMahon actually wasn't half bad ... but the other two quarterbacks were awful, especially Goebel who had no touchdowns with six interceptions. And the running game was dreadful, with 3.1 yards per carry as a team.

Still, the Eagles were fifth in the league in points allowed, and first in yards allowed by nearly 400 yards – and the team that was second in yards allowed is also on that top-ten defenses list, the 1991 New Orleans Saints. The Eagles allowed 3.9 yards per play, where no other team allowed fewer than 4.5. As bad as their running game was, their run defense was even better, allowing 3.0 yards per carry. Three-fourths of the starting defensive line was All-Pro (Reggie White, Jerome Brown, and Clyde Simmons). Linebacker Seth Joyner and cornerback Eric Allen made the Pro Bowl as well.

1997 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1997 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 37th in the National Football League and their sixth under head coach Dennis Green. The team finished with a 9–7 record and qualified for a wild card berth in the playoffs. In the wild card round against the New York Giants, the Vikings came back from a 22–13 deficit with 90 seconds to play to win 23–22, their first playoff victory since 1988. In the divisional round, the Vikings were defeated 38–22 by the San Francisco 49ers.

Vikings defensive tackle John Randle led the league in sacks with 15.5. Wide receiver Cris Carter's 13 touchdown receptions also were most in the league.

Before the season, the Vikings acquired Randall Cunningham after a year out of the game, a move that reunited Cunningham with his former Philadelphia Eagles teammate Cris Carter.

1998 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1998 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 38th in the National Football League. The Vikings became the third team in NFL history to win 15 games during the regular season, which earned them the National Football Conference (NFC) Central division championship and the first overall seed in the NFC playoffs. The team entered the playoffs as the favorite to win Super Bowl XXXIII, but their season ended when they were upset by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1998 NFC Championship Game.

The 1998 Vikings team is known for its offense, which featured veteran quarterback Randall Cunningham, running back Robert Smith, and Hall of Fame wide receivers Cris Carter and a rookie Randy Moss. The team scored an NFL record 556 points during the season, and Moss set an NFL record by catching 17 touchdown passes, the most ever by a rookie. On special teams, Gary Anderson became the first placekicker in NFL history to convert every field goal and extra point he attempted. The Vikings defense ranked sixth in the league in points allowed and was led by Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle.

During the NFC Championship Game, Gary Anderson missed a field goal for the first time that season. Had the field goal been converted, it would have given the Vikings a nearly insurmountable 10-point lead late in the game. Instead, the Falcons tied the game on their ensuing drive and won by a field goal in sudden death overtime.

The 1998 Vikings were the first NFL team to compile a regular season record of 15–1 and not win the Super Bowl, and numerous publications have recognized the team as one of the greatest to never win the league championship. Their loss in the NFC Championship Game is also considered by their fans to be one of the most devastating losses in NFL history.

1999 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1999 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 39th in the National Football League. After going a near perfect 15–1 record in 1998, the Vikings began the 1999 season with high expectations of another great season. Randall Cunningham resumed duties again in 1999, but after a struggling 2–4 start to the season, he was benched and Jeff George was given the starting job as quarterback.

George finished the season with an 8–2 record, and led the Vikings into the postseason once again, with an overall team record of 10–6 failing to match their record from the 1998 season. Minnesota beat Dallas in the Wild Card Game 27–10 and faced playoff newcomer Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams in the Divisional Round. The game was a shootout which Minnesota led 17–14 at halftime, but the Rams outscored Minnesota 35 to 20 in the second half to win 49–37. St. Louis would then go on to win Super Bowl XXXIV against the Titans.

Fog Bowl (American football)

In American football, the Fog Bowl was the December 31, 1988 National Football League (NFL) playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears. A dense fog rolled over Chicago's Soldier Field during the 2nd quarter, cutting visibility to about 15–20 yards for the rest of the game. Philadelphia moved the ball effectively all day and Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham had 407 passing yards despite the low visibility; but they could not get the ball into the end zone. Many players complained that they could not see the sidelines or first-down markers. The Bears ended up winning 20–12. The game eventually was named #3 on NFL Top 10's Weather Games.The game was also notable in that it involved head coaches who had been previously worked on the same staff of a Super Bowl winning team. Eagles coach Buddy Ryan had been the defensive coordinator for Mike Ditka on the Bears when the team won Super Bowl XX. An NFL Network special on the game highlighted how unusual the conditions were: the fog was caused by a very rare late-December mix of cold and hot air in the atmosphere, and the fog itself covered a very small part of Chicago (less than 15 city blocks) for a very short amount of time (less than three hours). If the game had been played in the late afternoon or at night, there would have been no fog during the game at all.

Fred Barnett

Fred Lee Barnett (born June 17, 1966 in Gunnison, Mississippi) is a former professional American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. He played college football at Arkansas State University and was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 1990 NFL Draft.

Barnett played in eight NFL seasons from 1990 to 1997 for the Eagles and the Dolphins. He made the Pro Bowl following the 1992 season and was known for his ability to make acrobatic catches. He was the receiver on one of the Eagles' longest plays of all time, a 95-yard touchdown pass from Randall Cunningham in a 1990 game against the Buffalo Bills. Barnett was later the tight ends coach of the Memphis Maniax of the XFL.Barnett's cousin Tim Barnett played the same position, WR, with the Kansas City Chiefs.

List of Minnesota Vikings starting quarterbacks

The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). A franchise was granted to Minneapolis businessmen Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter in 1959 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). The ownership forfeited their AFL membership in January 1960 and received the National Football League's 14th franchise on January 28, 1960 that started play in 1961.The Vikings have had 36 starting quarterbacks in the history of their franchise; they have never had more than three starting quarterbacks in one season. The Vikings' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Fran Tarkenton, Brett Favre and Warren Moon. The team's first starting quarterback was George Shaw; he was replaced by Tarkenton in the franchise's first game, and the future Hall of Famer retained the starting role for most of the remainder of the season. As of the 2018 season, Minnesota's starting quarterback is Kirk Cousins.

List of Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. In the 2017 season the team won Super Bowl LII, their first Super Bowl win in franchise history and their fourth NFL title overall, after winning the Championship Game in 1948, 1949, and 1960.

The franchise was established in 1933 as a replacement for the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets, when a group led by Bert Bell secured the rights to an NFL franchise in Philadelphia. Bell, Chuck Bednarik, Bob Brown, Brian Dawkins, Reggie White, Steve Van Buren, Tommy McDonald, Greasy Neale, Pete Pihos, Sonny Jurgensen, Terrell Owens, and Norm Van Brocklin have been inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The team has an intense rivalry with the New York Giants. This rivalry is the oldest in the NFC East and is among the oldest in the NFL. It was ranked by NFL Network as the number one rivalry of all-time and Sports Illustrated ranks it amongst the Top 10 NFL rivalries of all-time at number four, and according to ESPN, it is one of the fiercest and most well-known rivalries in the American football community. They also have a bitter rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys, which has become more high-profile since the 1960s, as well as a historic rivalry with the Washington Redskins. Their rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers is another bitter rivalry known as the battle of Pennsylvania, roughly dating back to 1933, that mostly arises from the two teams' statuses as being from opposite ends of the same state.The team consistently ranks among the best in the league in attendance and has sold out every game since the 1999 season. In a Sports Illustrated poll of 321 NFL players, Eagles fans were selected the most intimidating fans in the NFL.

Randall Cunningham II

Randall Cunningham II, sometimes Randall Cunningham, Jr., (born January 4, 1996) is an American collegiate high jumper for the USC Trojans Men's track & field team who is a senior during the 2017–18 school year. He was a high jumper and quarterback at Bishop Gorman High School. He is a five-time Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) state champion (three times in track and twice in football). He is a 2-time NCAA Track Champion, and 4-time NCAA All-American, U.S. Junior National Champion and Pan American Junior Athletics Championships Champion.

In track, he set USA Track & Field (USATF) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national 15–16-year-old boys high jump records with a heights of 2.16 metres (7 ft 1.0 in) and 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 m), respectively, as a sophomore. As a junior, he posted the highest jump of the year by an American high school student in Spring 2013 with a height of 7 feet 3.25 inches (2.22 m). He was the 2013 Nevada Track & Field Gatorade Athlete of the Year. He won the NIAA state high jump championship as a freshman, as a junior and as a senior.

In football, he led Gorman to its fifth consecutive Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) state championship in 2013 and declined numerous Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) scholarship offers as well as an offer to play football at Yale University. He is the son of retired National Football League quarterback Randall Cunningham, nephew of retired NFL fullback Sam Cunningham and older brother of World Champion Vashti Cunningham.

During his freshman year at USC, he became an All-American by placing 8th in the year-end National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) outdoor championships. During the subsequent summer he became the U.S. Junior National high jump Champion and won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships. He won the 2016 NCAA outdoor championships as a sophomore and was an All-American as a junior. He won the NCAA indoor championship as a senior.

UNLV Rebels football

The UNLV Rebels football program is a college football team that represents the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). The team is currently a member of the Mountain West Conference, which is a Division I Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) conference of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). The program which began on September 14, 1968, is coached by former Bishop Gorman High School head coach, Tony Sanchez. The team's home games are played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Whitney, Nevada.

On March 12, 1985, UNLV forfeited all of their wins for the 1983 and 1984 seasons by the order of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) due to multiple NCAA violations on ineligible players.

UNLV Rebels football statistical leaders

The UNLV Rebels football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the UNLV Rebels football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Rebels represent the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the NCAA's Mountain West Conference (MW).

UNLV began competing in intercollegiate football in 1968. This is recent enough that, unlike most college football teams, there is no "pre-modern" era without complete statistics. However, these lists are still dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1968, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Rebels have played in one bowl game since this decision, the Heart of Dallas Bowl after the 2013 season, and, sure enough, 2013 has many more entries on these lists than surrounding years.

Additionally, UNLV has been grouped in the same MW football division as Hawaii since divisional play began in 2013, meaning that it plays at Hawaii every other year (currently in even-numbered years). This is relevant because the NCAA allows teams that play at Hawaii in a given season to schedule 13 regular-season games instead of the normal 12. Before divisional play began, UNLV scheduled 13 regular-season games in two seasons that it visited Hawaii—in 2010, before Hawaii joined MW football, and 2012, when Hawaii had joined but the league had yet to split into divisions. Since divisional play began, UNLV has played 13 regular-season games once, in 2014 (it was eligible to do so in 2016, but chose not to).These lists are updated through the end of the 2016 season.

Vashti Cunningham

Vashti Cunningham (born January 18, 1998) is an American track and field athlete specializing in the high jump. She is the daughter of retired National Football League (NFL) quarterback Randall Cunningham, niece of retired NFL fullback Sam Cunningham, and the younger sister of Randall Cunningham II. Her mother is Felicity de Jager Cunningham a former ballerina with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Vashti, like her brother two years ahead of her in school, jumped for Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada until March 2016 when she signed with Nike. She announced she will continue her education at a university while competing as a professional athlete.On April 18, 2015, at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California, Cunningham jumped 1.94 m (6 ft 4 1⁄4 in), to set the pending new national high school record. At age 17, that was also equal to the #4 world Youth mark (under 19 years old). At that date it was the #3 mark in the world in 2015. She was named USATF Athlete of the Week for that performance. On June 27, 2015 she won the U.S. Junior National Championship. A month later at the 2015 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, she improved again, jumping 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in). That mark equaled the World Youth Best.

On March 12, 2016, Vashti jumped 1.99 m (6 ft 6 1⁄4 in) while winning the 2016 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Portland, Oregon. The mark established a new World Junior Record. At the time, just one week before the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships, which were held in the same facility in the Portland convention center, Cunningham's jump was the #1 jump in the world in 2016. Eight days later, she won the World Indoor Championship.

In March 2017, Cunningham jumped 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) to win at 2017 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships. On April 15, 2017, Cunningham jumped 1.94 m (6 ft 4 1⁄4 in) to win in Torrance, California at Mt. SAC Relays, two weeks later she jumped 1.95 m (6 ft 4 3⁄4 in) to win at Penn Relays. Cunningham jumped 1.95 m (6 ft 4 3⁄4 in) to place 3rd behind World Champion Mariya Lasitskene on May 27 in Eugene at IAAF Diamond League 2017 Prefontaine Classic. On June 23, Cunningham jumped 1.99 m (6 ft 6 1⁄4 in) to win in 2017 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Sacramento State University. On July 9, 2017, Cunningham jumped 1.97 m (6 ft 5 1⁄2 in) to place 2nd at London Müller Anniversary Games. On July 21, 2017, Cunningham jumped 1.97 m (6 ft 5 1⁄2 in) to place 3rd at IAAF Diamond League 2017 Herculis in Fontvieille, Monaco. On August 12, 2017, Cunningham jumped 1.92 m (6 ft 3 1⁄2 in) to place 10th at World Championships.

On February 18, Cunningham jumped 1.97 m (6 ft 5 1⁄2 in) to win third consecutive high jump indoor title and 4th US senior title at 2018 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On March 1, Cunningham jumped 1.93 m (6 ft 3 3⁄4 in) to place second behind World Champion Mariya Lasitskene in high jump at 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Randall Cunningham—awards and honors

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