Friday, November 10, 2006

Old S.I. Review (November 21, 1988)

This edition focuses on an issue from November of 1988 with the inspired headline of "WHOA!" in honor of the Saints victory over the LA Rams in a key NFC West matchup. Let's jump right in....

No, Seriously...What If?

Towards the front of the issue there's a story written by a guy who was in the Stanford Band back in '82 and was on the field for the famous play against Cal. It's written kind of tongue-in-cheek. He talks about what the scene was like, how he may have been responsible for leading the band onto the field, how he should've tackled him and how he feels bad about it to this day even though, ultimately, it brought a lot of attention to the band and was "the best thing that ever happened to us."

It's the "should have tackled him" part that piques my interest though. Because, what I'm wondering is...seriously...what have happened if, by some freak of nature, a band member (or two...or six) had brought him down? Honestly? Would the refs have awarded him a TD because he was going to score? Would they have given a penalty and had another play? What the hell is the correct ruling on something like that?

US Olympic Gold on TBS

This show's still on the air, isn't it....

The Turner Broadcasting System announced that it will produce a weekly show called US Olympic Gold featuring world-class competition. The show will debut on superstation TBS on Jan. 7 with a boxing matchup between the U.S. and South Korea. "We hope every Olympic sport will appear at least once in the first 12 to 18 months, and that some will appear on a six-, eight- or nine-times-a-year basis," TBS senior executive vice-president Robert Wussler said.

Week 11 NFC West Showdown (Between Two Teams That Would Not Win The NFC West)

The cover story is the game recap of the Week 11 battle for first place in the NFC West in '88 between the Rams and the Saints in L.A. Both teams came into the game with matching 7-3 records and a 1-game lead over the 6-4 49ers. The Saints won the game 14-10 behind a stingy defensive effort and a few sweeps from Rueben Mayes much to the dismay, I would assume, of Magic Johnson, who appears in the article wearing a blue satin Rams jacket on the LA sideline.

Couple good quotes from the article...

"I'm a coverage linebacker and those aren't the guys who make All-Pro or get the Pro Bowl votes. Sacks are what people look at. I've taken pride in my coverage, being able to run downfield with a Gary Anderson or a Herschel Walker. When I was with Jacksonville, I made All-USFL, but who remembers something like that?"
-Saints L.B. Vaughan Johnson (Good question, Vaughan. Who does remember something like that?)

"This win was much bigger than big. This was a gigantic win for the Saints."
-Coach Jim Mora

And it seems as though S.I. agreed with Coach Mora. Here's the final paragraph of the story...

The remainder of the Saints' schedule is rough but not impossible - the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants at home, followed by the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers on the road and the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans. Now that the Saints have a one-game lead in the NFC West, you get the feeling that they'll be tough to dislodge. Maybe that's what Mora meant when he talked about Sunday's "gigantic" victory.

Well, as it turns it, that win wasn't so gigantic in the end. After bombing Denver 42-0 the next week the '88 Saints would limp to the wire losing 3 of their last 4 to finish 10-6 and in a 3-way tiebreaker with L.A. and San Francisco atop the division. San Fran not only won that tiebreaker...they'd eventually go on to win the Super Bowl. L.A. finished 2nd in the tiebreaker and ended up getting beat by the Vikings in a wild card game. The Saints didn't make the playoffs.

Everyone Hated The Hogs

The strangest story in the issue was about an Arkansas football team that, at the time, was 10-0 and, apparently, almost universally despised. The article claims that even their own fans didn't like them that much because they played boring football under coach Ken Hatfield, who everyone seemed to dislike, and because the old Southwest Conference was considered such a joke by then that Arkansas was ranked 9th behind no less than 5 one-loss teams.

(Incidentally, Arkansas would lose to two of those one-loss teams in their last two games - Miami in the regular season finale and UCLA in the Cotton Bowl - to finish the year with a 10-2 record.)

In any event, the story recaps the Hogs' 25-20 win over a Texas A&M team that began the year as a national title contender but, after the loss, had free-fallen to 5-5. I don't know much about that '88 Aggies squad offhand but if this description of the pregame scene in their locker room is any indication, it doesn't sound like there was too much fight left in them at this point...

Coach Jackie Sherrill tried to get his troops fired up by writing PARTY TIME on the chalkboard. No reaction. He talked about ruining the Razorbacks' homecoming; he told his charges, "We're bringing a skunk to their party." No one stirred. Finally, he shouted in exasperation, "You guys act like you're going to your own funeral. From the back of the room, a player responded, "Naw, we're going to theirs."

How Sweet It Was
Sugar Ray Leonard KO'd Donny Lalonde and savored every brutal second of it

That's an actual headline from this issue. I have nothing to add.

Free Smokes

Question: Is there a giant pop-ad for Camel Cigarettes in the middle of the issue that includes a coupon for a free pack of Camels, any style, no questions asked?

Answer: Why yes. Yes, there is.

Articles That Failed To Impress

The story of a foreign tour of major league baseball all-stars to Japan. The story of Curtis Strange winning the Nabisco Championships at Pebble Beach. A story about Seattle offensive lineman Bryan Millard and his dual passion for football and bass fishing. A story about Roger Penske. A story about Doc Blanchard (Mr. Inside), Glenn Davis (Mr. Outside) and the glory days of Army football.

Down Times For Ohio Football

Also failing to impress, back in '88, was college football in the state of Ohio. The Inside College Football section noted that Toledo, at 6-5, was the only team in the state with a winning record. Ohio State was 4-5-1 with a game to go. Combined, the eight Division 1-A teams in the state, went 15-40 against out of state competition. Funny how things like that go in cycles.

Beat Burritos?

Inside College Football also has a little blurb about some racially-charged incidents that took place over the course of a few weeks at different games in the fall of '88 across the country. Some BYU players were accused of taunting San Diego State players with racial slurs. Some Indiana fans were accused of doing the same to some Iowa players. And then there's this bizarre story...

Of the five schools in Tijuana, Mexico that play American style football, only the private Centro de Ensenanza Tecnica y Superior sends its team across the border to play in the U.S. At a recent game against Coronado (Calif.) High, which is 20 miles away from San Diego, the Tijuana players had to endure chants of "B-E-A-T B-U-R-R-I-T-O-S" by the Coronado cheerleading squad."

Obviously, the racial aspect of that story is disgusting. But "Beat Burritos?" That doesn't even make sense.

Faces In The Crowd

Hey, we've finally got a recognizable name in the Faces in the Crowd section. It's Malivai Washington, who got a mention for winning the NCAA singles title for Michigan as a Sophomore.

A Promo For The Ages

Finally, here's my favorite thing in the entire issue. Buried towards the back is a full-page ad for ESPN's Sunday Night Football. And here's the copy for that ad...


Casual embrace or half nelson? Find out November 20 as the Dolphins greet their division rivals, the Patriots, on NFL Sunday Night Football at 8PM (ET). This friendly exchange is preceded by NFL PrimeTime at 7PM. So tune in Sunday and see Miami's 11-man Welcome Wagon in action.

That's awesome.

The Pats won that game 6-3 by the way. So I guess it was more of a casual embrace from Miami.

Past S.I. Reviews...


Machon said...

Great stuff as always. Even though none of us here at 10CFP smoke, it may be worth running into a Lil' Peach and trying to redeem that coupon. I got ten bucks saying that they just go ahead and give it up. In fact, we should send a minor in there with a couple KENO tickets filled out, a six pack, and the coupon.

Hadley said...

Tough break for the Saints....10-6 and head home? Whew...

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what the rules were in '82, but the Bret Bielema offside kickoff has led me to some interesting findings in the current college rulebook. If they had anything like today's "unfair play" rule, I think having your band tackle the runaway TD would qualify. Under the current rule, the ref can award anything he thinks is equitable, so I don't think it would make a difference if the guy got tackled on the 4 yard line.

Clarke said...

Interesting. I guess if he got tackled on the 4 and was clearly going to score you give him the TD. If he gets tackled on the 25 though...and there's a Stanford player in the area so you can't assume the TD...that's a tough one.