A Not So Good Passing Record
Last weekend’s wild shootout between the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants in which Drew Brees tossed a record-tying 7 TDs and Eli Manning fired 6 touchdown passes, reminded me of another touchdown tossing QB, Jim Hardy. “Who?” you say. Well, in 1950, Chicago Cardinals quarterback – and yes, the Cardinals used to play in Chicago – Jim Hardy threw six TDs. He nearly had a record seventh if not for a drop in the end zone. Pretty good for a guy you probably never heard of before now.
But the truth is the Brees-Manning performance really didn’t cause me to reflect on Hardy’s then-great passing performance. What it really reminded me of was his performance the week before. In that game, Hardy did set an NFL record. Not for touchdown passes but for interceptions. Hardy threw eight. To make matters worse, he also had two fumbles. Could things get any worse than that? Of course they could.
The game was the season opener against the defending World Champion Philadelphia Eagles and Hardy’s day started off on a really bad note. He and teammates, future Hall of Famer Charley Trippi and Mal Kutner, were involved in a car accident on the way to the stadium. Fortunately, no one was hurt. While Trippi and Kutner jumped into a cab and headed to the stadium, Hardy, the driver, had to stay back to fill out the police report. He arrived at the stadium just in time for the kickoff. So, he took his first snap without even the benefit of a warm-up throw.
Hardy’s bad on-the-field day started almost immediately. His second pass attempt was picked off. By halftime he’d thrown three picks and the Cardinals trailed the Eagles, 31-0.
“I can still remember sitting on the bench in the dressing room with my head in my hands thinking that nothing could be worse than three interceptions in one half,” Hardy once recalled. Little did he know he’d throw five more.
To start the second half, the beleaguered passer fumbled the first snap from center. Then on the next possession, he threw the first of his five second-half interceptions. The onslaught continued but there was no rest for the shell-shocked Hardy. He received a brief reprieve when he was pulled from the game midway through the fourth quarter. However, his backup Frank Tripucka lasted only three plays before being carted off the field with an injury. Hardy’s nightmare continued as he was inserted back into the game.
In all, Philadelphia converted his two fumbles and three of his interceptions into points and cruised to a 45-7 victory. Poor Jim’s infamous day finally and mercifully ended. Unfortunately, his stats showed almost as many of his 39 attempts ending up in Eagles’ players hands as those of his receivers. He completed just 12 passes.
So, unfairly or not, Jim Hardy will be forever remembered not for his outstanding six-TD performance, but rather for his car-wreck-of-a-day on opening day, 1950.
Super Bowl Rematch Update
Each week in my blog, I update the results of the Super Bowl rematches taken place throughout the season leading up to Super Bowl 50. Here they are through Week 8.
|WEEK||DATE||TEAMS||SB MEETING||SB Rematch Results|
|1||Sept. 13||Miami at Washington||SB VII - Miami 14, Washington 7; XVII - Washington 27, Miami 17||Miami, 17 at Washington, 10|
|2||Sept. 21||New York Jets at Indianapolis||SB III - New York Jets 16, Baltimore 7||New York Jets, 20 at Indianapolis, 7|
|3||Sept. 27||Pittsburgh at St. Louis||SB XIV - Pittsburgh 31, Los Angeles 19||Pittsburgh, 12 at St. Louis Rams, 6|
|3||Sept. 28||Kansas City at Green Bay||SB I - Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10||Kansas City, 28 at Green Bay, 38|
|4||Oct. 4||New York Giants at Buffalo||SB XXV - New York Giants 20, Buffalo 19||New York Giants, 24 at Buffalo, 10|
|6||Oct. 18||Baltimore at San Francisco||SB XLVII - Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31||Baltimore, 20 at San Francisco, 25|
|6||Oct. 18||Arizona at Pittsburgh||SB XLIII - Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23||Arizona, 13 at Pittsburgh, 25|
|6||Oct. 18||Kansas City at Minnesota||SB IV - Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7||Kansas City, 10 at Minnesota, 16|
|7||Oct. 25||New Orleans at Indianapolis||SB XLIV - New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17||New Orleans, 27 at Indianapolis, 21|
|8||Nov. 1||Green Bay at Denver||SB XXXII - Denver 31, Green Bay 24||Green Bay, 10 at Denver, 29|
|10||Nov. 15||Minnesota at Oakland||SB XI - Oakland 32, Minnesota 14||TBD|
|10||Nov. 15||New England at New York Giants||SB XLII - New York Giants 17, New England 14; XLVI - New York Giants 21, New England 17||TBD|
|11||Nov. 22||Dallas at Miami||SB VI - Dallas 24, Miami 3||TBD|
|12||Nov. 29||Pittsburgh at Seattle||SB XL - Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10||TBD|
|13||Dec. 6||Philadelphia at New England||SB XXXIX - New England 24, Philadelphia 21||TBD|
|15||Dec. 20||Buffalo at Washington||SB XXVI - Washington 37, Buffalo 24||TBD|
|15||Dec. 20||Green Bay at Oakland||SB II - Green Bay 33, Oakland 14||TBD|
|15||Dec. 20||Cincinnati at San Francisco||SB XVI - San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21; XXIII - San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16||TBD|
|16||Dec. 27||Dallas at Buffalo||SB XXVII - Dallas 52, Buffalo 17; XXVIII - Dallas 30, Buffalo 13||TBD|
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