Dream games on a computer are one thing, but when the 1968 Baltimore Colts replayed Joe Namath and the New York Jets last weekend, it was the real thing--or as near a facsimile to Super Bowl III as bodies 21 years older would allow.
“You can tell you’re getting old,” Colt quarterback Earl Morrall said after a game of eight-man flag football billed as Legends Bowl I. “You look out there and your mind says, ‘There he is,’ but the ball just hangs there.”
There were several similarities. In Super Bowl III the upstart Jets shocked the Colts, 16-7. This time the Jets won, 18-13.
Colt defensive back Rick Volk, 44--that’s his age, not his jersey number--separated his right shoulder making a diving catch late in the game.
“It happened against the Jets in Super Bowl III, too,” Volk said. “I got knocked out of that one, too. Really knocked out.”
In Miami in 1969, the Colts turned the ball over five times. This time they had four turnovers, all of them interceptions--three thrown by Johnny Unitas.
The Jets scored on a 10-yard pass from Namath to former defensive back Johnny Sample, an 80-yard interception return by Ralph Baker and a two-yard run by backup quarterback Babe Parilli. Morrall passed to Tom Mitchell and Willie Richardson for Colt touchdowns.
Unitas completed seven of 11 passes, Morrall 13 of 17, and Namath nine of 16 with one interception.
Ready for 2010, guys?
Higher education: Kathy Valdez, an academic adviser for athletes at Nevada Las Vegas, thinks the secret of staying eligible is so simple she can put it on her license plate.
It reads: G02-CLAS.
Higher Ed. II: Debra Lassiter, a University of Georgia graduate who owns an Athens business called Perfectly Polished, got an idea after watching a swimming team from another school eat at a local restaurant.
“Their eating skills were atrocious,” she said. “I thought, ‘These people are representing their university. Do we send out athletes like this?’ ”
She offered to teach table etiquette to Coach Hugh Durham’s basketball team. Durham liked the idea so much that he and his coaches also are taking the class.
Pass the doughnuts, please--but no slam-dunks.
Trivia time: How did the Lakers acquire the first-round pick they used to select Magic Johnson in the 1979 draft?
Look out, Tech: Cumberland University became the answer to a trivia question when it suffered a 222-0 defeat--football’s worst--at the hands of Georgia Tech in 1916.
Now the little school in Lebanon, Tenn. has decided to start playing football again, after a layoff of 40 years.
The Bulldogs will play in the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics in a Division II conference that includes Campbellsville College, Georgetown College, Union College and Tennessee Wesleyan.
But you know the opponent they really want.
Add pouring it on: There were still 11 1/2 minutes left when the game officials approached Central State (Ohio) Coach Billy Joe with the football.
Joe said: “The one official told me, ‘The (Lane) coach is conceding the game. The routine is to hand you the ball.’ ”
Joe seemed surprised that Lane was giving up. After all, his team was ahead by only 101-0. And hadn’t he taken his starters out when it got to 73-0 in the third quarter?
“We didn’t try to (run up the score),” Joe said. “They caught us when we were hot.”
Trivia answer: In 1976, Laker guard Gail Goodrich signed with the New Orleans (now Utah) Jazz as a free agent. The Lakers got two first-round picks as compensation, one in 1977, one in 1979.
Help wanted: Ulster County Community College of Pound Ridge, N.Y., is looking for a basketball coach.
Coach Tom Hart said he is giving up his handsome salary of $2,500 a year and stepping down before the season starts because he can not devote enough time to the part-time job.
Hart is 0-49 over two seasons. He called Ulster “a tough place to win.”
Quotebook: Marcel Dionne, former King and New York Ranger: “If they want me to play in the minors, I’ll play. If they want me we to play in China, I’ll play. If they want me to play regularly, I’m in trouble.”