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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

Ole Miss — N.Y. Giants connection

Eli Manning, who played college football at Mississippi, is seeking his second NFL championship as quarterback of the New York Giants. And he’s the second Giants QB from Ole Miss to win an NFL title. Charlie Conerly, out of Mississippi, quarterbacked the Giants to the NFL title in 1956. He also led the Giants to the NFL title games in 1958 and ’59 and played as a backup in the 1961 championship game — all losses. Two years after Conerly… Read More »

Coaches, Hemingway, Shakespeare and World War II

When Jim Harbaugh quoted Ernest Hemingway on Sunday in the wake of the 49ers’ excruciating 20-17 overtime loss to the Giants in the Winner Goes To The Super Bowl game, it was unusual. Football coaches rarely quote a literary giant. But there have been exceptions. Paul Westhead, the former pro and college basketball coach, used to quote Shakespeare to his players. Magic Johnson famously interpreted one such exhortation by saying something to the effect, “You mean, get it to the… Read More »

Harbaugh and Hemingway

Some sportswriters called it a Harbaughism. Except it wasn’t a Harbaughism. It was a Hemingwayism. “This team is not defeated by any stretch of the imagination,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh told the media in the wake of last Sunday’s excruciating disappointment, a 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants in the Winner Goes to the Super Bowl game. “A man can be destroyed but he can’t be defeated as long as he knows that there’s hope.” “A man can… Read More »

Remember the 12-game NFL season?

NFL owners are pushing to extend the regular season from 16 games to 18. Hey, does anyone out there remember the 12-game season? I started paying attention to the NFL when I was 8 years old, and that would have been 1956. Twelve games, 12 teams, two divisions. Simple as a pimple. Division winners played for the league championship. That’s your postseason, pal. And in 1956, the New York Giants won the East with an 8-3-1 record, the Chicago Bears… Read More »

Favorite all-time cold-weather NFL games

The NFL’s recent announcement at the 2014 Super Bowl would be the first to be played in a cold-weather climate in an open-air stadium got me to thinking about my all-time favorite cold-weather games. Let me know what your favorites are. Mine are: 1. The Ice Bowl. Predictable no-brainer, really. This was the 1967 NFL Championship game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers played on — you guessed it — the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Bart Starr… Read More »