Paul here. Today is Phil’s birthday, so I’ve given him 50¢ and sent him to the movies. There’s no way I can match his usual Sunday smorgasbord, but I think I’ve come up with something that’s appropriate for the last Sunday of the NFL regular season.
A few weeks ago, Jim Vilk posted a series of late-night comments that linked to some excellent NFL-related videos — videos that are too good to be relegated to a series of late-night comments. So I’m going to cover them today and give them the attention they deserve.
First up: a CBS halftime show from 1979, anchored by Brent Musberger. The thing that really jumps out at you here is the junior high-level production values — incredibly (and endearingly) rinky-dink, although I’ve always loved this illustration. Also of note: great sock stripes being worn by the Giants (also note the official’s NOB), a good view of the Eagles’ old UCLA inserts, and a rare sighting of the Cards’ old full-house backfield. And check out John Stallworth at the line of scrimmage with his hands on his hips — remember when that used to be a fairly common way for wideouts to set up for the snap? Always struck me as “I’m so cool, just hangin’ out, I’m loose, I’m cool.” Anyway, here’s the full vid:
Next up: NBC’s early-’70s theme music and game intro, complete with players suiting up in their uniforms before the game. No need for screen shots on this one — just watch and enjoy:
Not a dry pair of pants in the house after watching that, am I right? But here’s a bonus factoid you may have forgotten: NBC briefly used that same musical score for its Sunday-afternoon NHL broadcasts. The final note — punctuated in the NFL version by the player slapping himself in the helmet — was accented by a goalie pounding his catching glove either with his fist or his stick, can’t remember.
Next: The world-beating intro to CBS’s NFL Today opening credits, circa 1978. Fun fact: Back in the day, a young Paul Lukas was thoroughly entranced — I mean thoroughly entranced — by the bit where a hand is shown flipping this lever. A supple flick of the wrist + just a hint of resistance from the lever = Perfection. Watch for it at the 44-second mark:
After Jim posted that one in the comments two weeks ago, Ricko followed up with the following info: “That music wasn’t original, wasn’t commissioned by CBS. It’s from a commercial music library (can’t remember the name of the track, though). It later showed up on a chainsaw commercial, and we used it a couple times on radio spots to parody the NFL…and for only the cost of standard ‘needledrop.'”
I’m too young to remember the great animation featured in our next video, which is from a 1970 playoff game, but I love (also note the great CBS Sports logo in the opening seconds):
That should be enough to keep everyone happy for the rest of the day, if not well into the new year. Faith Hill and Hank Jr. can blow me — I’ll take this stuff every day of the week.
Uni Watch News Ticker, Rare Sunday Edition: I knew Bert Campaneris had worn “Campy” on his jersey during that period when so many of the A’s were wearing nickNOBs, but I hadn’t seen visual evidence of it until now (major find by Steve K.). … Air Force went with a camo-patterned lightning bolt for the Armed Forces Bowl on Friday. … Portland Winterhawks goalie Ian Curtis has a new mask design with lots of Portland references (with thanks to Travis McGuire). … If you scroll about two-thirds of the way down this page, you’ll see all the different “ND” logos on display at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend (nice find by Matt Blinco). … Standford running backs coach Willie Taggard is slated to become Western Kentucky’s head coach, but couldn’t he have waited until after the Sun Bowl before wearing WKU gear? (Screen shot courtesy of Eric Visokey.) … Cort McMurray‘s wife didn’t like any of the Houston Cougars stadium blankets she saw in stores (“cheap acrylic junk,” he says), so she made a DIY blanket for him and also got him tickets for the Armed Forces Bowl, where he enjoyed the color-on-color action. … Bit of a cock-up when the announced the Team USA hockey roster during the Winter Classic, as the kid wearing Jamie Langenbrunner’s jersey was sporting a typo (as sotted by Mike Eakins). … Jeremy Brahm kicked off the new year by sending along new of the new FIBA Men’s Championship mascot, along with a video FIBA championship history with lots of cool old uniforms — recommended view (although the soundtrack is unlistenable, so hit your mute button). … Ten minutes well spent: This video of Pittsburgh hockey history, with lots of cool old uniforms (big thanks to Austin Chen). … Interesting news about skate guards and Kevlar socks here (with thanks to Paul Richard Cook). … Best part of the Winter Classic: hockey players with eye-black! … Matt Powers is gonna find this one very troubling: a Princeton football player without footwear. Barefootedness notwithstanding, it’s kinda odd to put a punter on a program cover, no? (Great find by Tris Wykes.) … What happens when your jersey is the same color as the field? The superimposed TV graphics can be superimposed on you (nice screen-grab work by Brian Polk). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Fucking awesome DIY Chargers gridiron on display here. … While looking for something else, I came across this great shot of Spahny and Yogi in civvies. … Already worrying about what to wear next Christmas? You could do a lot worse than this. … Matt Newbery was watching one of those high school all-star games and noticed a few players with uni number issues. Note the different NOB fonts, too. … No photo, but Trey Jones says that when Warren Moon made his NFL debut with the Oilers, he wore “Canada” on his nose bumper, as a shout-out to his CFL days. Can anyone confirm or disprove? … Matthew Robins attended a wedding in Wisconsin on New Year’s Eve. The groom’s cake looked like this. … Oregon wasn’t part of Nike’s riflery program, but they got their own rifle-style glove design for the Rose Bowl (big thanks to Christopher Smith).
For the Birthday Boy: Please join me in wishing Phil the happiest of birthdays today. Enjoy your special day, buddy — hope you get everything you wish for when you blow out the candles. Now turn off the computer and go treat yourself to something special. You deserve it.