Golden Football Magazine
November 26, 2020


"I wouldn't hire Belichick to run a Burger King," and "If the Pats owner cannot see why Belichick is wrong for his franchise, the team is doomed."
Opinions of a talk show host and a columnist in Boston after the Patriots started 0-4 in 2000, Bill Belichick's first season with the Patriots.

Tiger Den

LSU vs the Mannings - 3

Eli Manning faced the Tigers three times, starting in 2001.

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Saints Saga: New Series

Saints Playoff Games - 1987

In their 21st NFL season, the Saints finally made the playoffs.

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Seminole Sidelines

1964: First AP ranking after the Kentucky game

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Super Bowl XVIII

Washington Redskins vs Los Angeles Raiders

The Redskins won the regular season game but not the Big One.

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Memorable Football Game

1926 Rose Bowl: Alabama vs Washington

It's been called "the most important game in Southern football history."

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How Well Do You Know the Rules?

Recovers blocked punt and throws a pass

Unofficial college nicknames

SEC Legend: Don Hutson
SEC Football's Greatest Games: The Legendary Players, Last-Minute Prayers, and Championship Moments, Alex Martin Smith (2018)
Even as he worked his way toward All-America honors as the nation's best pass catcher, Don Hutson kept his sights on Major League Baseball. The NFL just wasn't sexy enough.
"They didn't even write about it in the newspapers," he said.
His high school basketball coach had forced him to play football as a senior. When he showed promise, a pool-hall owner in Hutson's hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, helped him land a spot on Frank Thomas's football team at Alabama.
Two bum seasons in the Cincinnati Reds baseball organization - and a two-touchdown showing in Alabama's 1935 Rose Bowl victory - helped steer Hutson toward the gridiron career he kept trying to avoid.
The "Alabama Antelope" agreed to sign with the Green Bay Packers, and it was not long before he was the league's best player.
"He had all the moves," fellow Packers legend Tony Canadeo said. "He invented the moves."
The era's passing game was so undeveloped that simple changes - for example, turning Hutson into a "split end" by lining him up near the sideline - were extremely progressive in the 1930s. Hutson essentially created modern route-running, and coach Curly Lambeau aided his ascension by moving him from the defensive line to safety, thereby helping him avoid big hits on defense.
He had too many legendary moments to publish in this space, but here are a couple of the best:
In one game against the Detroit Lions, he caught four touchdown passes and kicked 5 extra points ... in one quarter. His record of 29 points in a single period still stands more than seven decades later.
In another game against the Cleveland Rams, Hutson was running a crossing route in the back of the end zone when he decided to change directions. Instead of simply stopping and cutting, he grabbed the right goalpost and swung himself around it - both feet off the ground - before making a one-handed touchdown catch.

L: Bear Bryant and Don Hutson, Alabama; R: Don Hutson and Curly Lambeau Green Bay
Hutson did not rewrite the record books; he wrote them.
His 488 career receptions were 298 ahead of the nearest challenger at the time of his retirement. His single-season record of 17 touchdown receptions stood for 42 years. His 99 career touchdown catches stood for 44.
Hutson led the NFL in receptions eight times, including five consecutive seasons. He led the league in receiving yards seven times, including four consecutive seasons. He led the league in touchdown receptions nine times, including five consecutive seasons. Those are all still NFL records. (He also intercepted 30 passes in his career.)
"He would glide downfield, leaning forward as if to steady himself close to the ground," Lambeau said. "Then, as suddenly as you gulp or blink an eye, he would feint one way and go the other, reach up like a dancer, gracefully squeeze the ball and leave the scene of the accident - the accident being the defensive backs who tangled their feet up and fell trying to cover him."
Of course, his time at Alabama was scintillating, too. Teammate Paul "Bear" Bryant knew he was watching an all-time great in Tuscaloosa.
"In all my life, I have never seen a better pass receiver," Bryant said. "He had great hands, great timing, and deceptive speed. He'd come off the line looking like he was running wide open, and just be cruising. Then, he'd really open up. He looked like he was gliding, and he'd reach for the ball at the exact moment it got there, like it was an apple from a tree."
Alabama coach Frank Thomas remembered a player who exhibited plenty of toughness to complement his graceful athleticism. There was an eerie calm about him, too.
"Hutson never tightened up," Thomas said. "He was as relaxed in the Rose Bowl as he was in practice."
Put simply by former Chicago Bears rival Clyde "Bulldog" Turner upon Hutson's death in 1997: "He was the best I've ever seen. I don't like to compare plaeyrs then with players now. But he was head and shoulders above the ones in that era."

Tiger Den: LSU vs the Mannings - 3
Saints Saga: Playoff Games - 1987
Seminoles Sidelines: First AP Ranking
Super Bowl XVIII - Redskins vs Raiders
Memorable Game: 1926 Rose Bowl
Short Story: SEC Legend - Don Hutson
How Well Do You Know the Rules?
Football Quiz


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