The More Things Change
We’ve all heard the saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” or something close to that. Well, a few days ago, I found myself referencing that age-old adage to make a point about the National Football League. It was during a panel discussion on which I participated following a sneak peek at a soon to be released documentary “Before the League.”
The six-part documentary is a look at pro football, its early years, the challenges, successes, its early stars, and its transition from rural small-town America to the big city. From the edited half-hour compilation that I saw, it looks like a real winner. I look forward to seeing the whole thing when it’s released later this month.
In any case, joining me on the panel discussion were three others, who like myself, are featured in the film; Chris Willis, the Head of the Research Library at NFL Films, Kate Buford, a Jim Thorpe biographer and Hall of Fame Gold Jacket, Floyd Little.
In a role reversal, Floyd, who is usually an interviewee, served as the interviewer for the discussion. Together we had a great back-and-forth exchange on the NFL’s early years, during which I made my “the more things change” observation.
My point was that when the NFL was founded on September 17, 1920 in Canton, Ohio, although it had profound results, it really wasn’t big news. In fact there was only a brief note on the meeting in just a couple newspapers, mostly from Ohio. But, each made reference to the need for a league and the three reasons why. And that was, as I pointed out, why the old adage “the more they stay the same” applied.
You see, the brief news coverage of the meeting reported that the NFL – or the American Professional Football Association as it was known until it changed its name in 1922 – was organized for three primary reasons: one, to combat players’ high salary demands, which were in the $75 to $150 per game range; two, to keep players from jumping from team to team – which they would do for an extra few bucks, and three, to protect college eligibility. “Ninety-five years later,” I queried, and I ask again now, “how we doin?” It seems like we’re still struggling with the same problems today – salary cap, free agency and college eligibility – as those that existed almost one hundred years ago.
So, I guess the answer is, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
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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