Notes About “The Greatest Game Ever Played”

December 14, 2008 |

Let me begin by saying tonight, I saw more of that game than ever before. I’ve seen the final touchdown a million times, but no one has ever broken it down like that. ESPN did a great job and justice to the game. Their portrayal of the NFL Championship game could have only been outdone by the actual game. Even then, I’m not sure, because you wouldn’t have the perspective of players and even the game’s photographer.

For the game to be played on the Giants field makes it even more of a great feat for the Baltimore Colts. They went into the “lion’s den” and took care of business. Today, the championship site is predetermined, and never has one team playing on it’s home field. The closest was Superbowl XIX. That’s when the 49ers beat the Dolphins.

I really couldn’t make out the first down sticks. It looked as if it was some random white stick that was placed down, 10 yards from the original line of scrimmage. It didn’t look as if it was any chain or any other device, measuring off 10 yards. The stick was actually picked up several times when a runner ran towards it. I used my DVR device on my Comcast Cable to see if it was placed in the same spot, but I really couldn’t tell.

Johnny Unitas dropped back from the center straight up. He backed away. The only other quarterback I remember doing that was Dan Fouts of the San Diego Chargers. Most other quarterbacks drop back with their throwing arm farthest away from the line of scrimmage.

I expected to see Lenny Moore used more in the running game. He was used almost exclusively as a wide receiver. Most of the deep routes were thrown his way.

I don’t know how anyone knew how much time there was left in a game. The “Longine’s” clock looked like a regular clock. Did you have to count how many times the hand went around the clock? Did you know there was :30 seconds left because the clock went around 14 times already, and there was :30 left? I’m sure someone will explain that to me.

The game was played differently. The play selection looked like the plays we ran in high school. There were a lot of straight “dives” and slant routes. Of course, they made it look a lot better than high school kids, but it was just different than today. It didn’t seem as sophisticated. Square-ins and outs, slants, and “go” routes. I didn’t see a lot of “sweeps.” Most of the runs were between the tackles.

I was always told about “Rosey” Grier playing for the Los Angeles Rams. I didn’t know he played for the New York Giants. I looked him up and discovered he played the majority of his career in New York.

After ESPN went through all of this trouble to do this, I’m sure this will be released on DVD. If so, I hope they include the game, uncut, without the commentary. I’ve never seen it that way before. Would love to hear your comments on the show.