Monday, January 12

Memory lane, though before my time

1958: The Colts came flying out of the gate winning their first 6 games; on the way to a 9-1 start that had sewn up the Western Division Title. However the Colts would limp into the NFL Championship game after losing their final 2 games of the season. On December 28th the Colts prepared to face the New York Giants in the NFL Championship game at Yankee Stadium, as nationwide TV audience settled in for their first true glance at a NFL Championship Game. For years the NFL had toiled in local markets without national attention, while trying to get itself in to America's consciousness. Throughout the 50's the NFL had grown, but the growth had not made it into mass appeal yet. The NFL only hoped this game would help in attaining that goal. The Colts went to halftime with a 14-3 lead after scoring 2 TDs in the 2nd Quarter. However the Giants would come back, and take a 17-14 lead, as Colts PK Steve Myhra missed 2 FGs. With time winding down Johnny Unitas brought the Colts down field, setting up Myhra for a 20-yard FG that tied the game with 7 seconds left. The 4th Quarter would end tied a 17, meaning the NFL would have to use overtime for the first time ever. The rule was simple, who scored first won and when the Giants got the ball first the Colts knew they must stop them. The Colts defense rose to the occasion forcing the Giants to punt after just 3 plays. The Colts would get the ball, but after Unitas lost 8 yards on a sack the drive looked stalled at 3rd and 15. However Unitas would hit WR Raymond Berry with a clutch pass that gave the Colts a 1st down in Giants territory. The Colts continued to drive down the field until a Unitas pass set them up on the 1-yard line first and goal. Not content with a FG Unitas handed off to Alan Ameche who dove across the goal line to give the Colts a 23-17 win, in what many called the greatest game ever. The game would serve as a launching point, and was the start of the NFL's remarkable boom in popularity.

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