A WEEK IN HISTORY
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
It is the first week of December! Along with that comes a few time honored traditions including neighbors battling to see who can have the highest electricity bill due to their blinding displays of Christmas superiority, a new slate of Hallmark Christmas films that seem eerily similar to the 5,000 other movies they have in their repertoire and most importantly, the debate of whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie gets reignited just in time for families to be torn apart by John McClane’s Nakatomi Plaza antics. Another special treat is remembering the good old times of yore, and in keeping with that nostalgic vein, let’s take a look back at seven of the most festive and fun moments in NFL history from 12/3-12/9. Let’s all do the Jingle Bell rock!
* Games not played in the thirteenth week of that season but between 12/3-12/9 as a result of the schedule changing over time.
#7* Dec. 3, 1944: A temporary merger ends between two teams. Due to the ravages of WWII many players were drafted or enlisted, resulting in a severe lack of players in the NFL. one of the results was the merging of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Cardinals. The merger would be done at the end of the season, and the war was over by the start of the 1945 season so both teams resumed play as normal. It was the second merger of this kind for the Steelers having merged with the Philadelphia Eagles the year prior to form the “Steagles” who had a 5-4-1 record. It was the first winning record for the Eagles and the second for the Steelers as franchises. The so called “Car-Pitts” were not so fortunate going 0-10.
#6* Dec. 4, 1977: NFL’s 5,000th game. It was a game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs in which the Bengals beat the Chiefs 27-7. It was the worst season in franchise history for the Chief’s going 2-12 until they went 2-14 in 2008. The Bengals did much better on the season going 8-6, but a loss to the Houston Oilers at the end of the season ended their playoff hopes as quick as a Barry Allen mile. It took the NFL 56 years to reach the milestone, and it looks like they are going strong with over 16,000 games played at this point which is a pretty remarkable feat.
#5* Dec. 5, 1974: Settle Seahawks franchise officially announced. As a part of the merger between the AFL and the NFL, the NFL would expand from 26 to 28 teams. Those two teams would be the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They wouldn’t officially play until 1976 but moves were being made before that. The Seahawks have gone on to be one of the top teams in the league having emerged in the past decade under the guidance of head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russel Wilson. They have gone to three Superbowls in franchise history having only on once. However, they got incredibly close against the New England Patriots, but decided to throw the ball instead of run with Marshawn Lynch. We all know the end result of that mistake.
#4* Dec. 6, 2018: Derrick Henry has 99-yard rushing touchdown. ‘Tis the season to talk about the “King” because he lights it up in December about as much as the most decked out Christmas tree. In a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Henry tied Tony Dorsett’s record for longest touchdown run and went for 238 yards and four touchdowns on the day to give the Tennessee Titans a 30-9 victory. Henry has only 17 carries meaning he had a ridiculous 14 yards per carry in the game. The Titans did not make the playoffs, but the following year made a deep run, ultimately losing to the eventual Superbowl winning Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship. They are also looking like they can have another good run this year. The Jaguars could not repeat their success of the previous year and went 5-11.
#3* Dec. 7, 1973: Terrell Owens is born. The man known by his initials T.O. was born in Alexander City, Alabama and would become one of the biggest figures in NFL history as both a player and character. He was drafted in the third round of the 1996 draft by the San Francisco 49ers and would be there until 2003, his longest tenure with a single team. He is often associated with his notorious touchdown celebrations and post-game conferences especially one where he gets emotional about Tony Romo. He was his teammate and his quarterback, after all. Owens was inducted into the hall of fame in 2018, although, he is the only player to host their own private event instead of attending the official Canton, Ohio induction ceremony. He went to six pro bowls and holds numerous NFL and franchise records.
#2* Dec. 8, 1940: Bears win most one-sided victory in NFL history. In the eighth ever title game in the NFL, the Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins by a score of 73-0. They put those mascots that play against the pop warner kids at half time to shame. It is bad enough lose by 73 points but it’s even worse to get shut out. Far worse than that is to have all that happen in a title game. Even worse than that is for it to be the first NFL title game to be played on the radio, so the entire country got a chance to hear how humiliatingly you lost. Earlier in the season, the two teams met with the Bears losing that game 7-3. After the game, George Preston Marshall called the Bears team a bunch of “crybabies” and “quitters.” This caused the Bears to go into full on Michael Jordan mode with the sole purpose of revenge on their mind. In the title game, the Bears shot out of the gate and scored on their second play from scrimmage, a 68-yard run. At the end of the first half, the score was 28-0. Picture all the Redskin fans as the kid from The Simpsons shouting “Stop. Stop. He’s already dead.” However, the onslaught continued with the Bears scoring 45 more points in the second half; three of the score being pick-sixes. After this, the Bears won three more titles to win four in seven years, and that is mostly due to many of them going off to war. Basically, the moral of the story is to never piss off George Halas and the 1940’s Chicago Bears.
#1* Dec. 9, 1984: Eric Dickerson sets NFL rushing record. In a game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Houston Oilers, Dickerson ran for his season best 215 yards. In doing so, he passed O.J. Simpson as the NFL’s single season rushing leader by getting 2,105 yards. That is a record that is still held to this day even though some people have gotten pretty close. Adrian Peterson came the closest in 2012 with 2,097 yards, and there are a total of only seven men who have more than 2,000 rushing yards in a season. Dickerson remains one of the best backs to ever play and is well deserving of his hall of fame status.