Me and my brother — Christmas 1969

The year was 1969. The Dallas Cowboys had just lost to the Cleveland Browns, 38–14, in the NFL playoffs. Dallas wasn’t supposed to lose. They had compiled an 11–2–1 record in the regular season. One of those losses was to the Browns, 42–10, in Week 7. Still, the Cowboys were favored to win and move on to face the powerful Minnesota Vikings in the NFL title game.

This would be the fourth year in a row that the Cowboys were good enough to reach the Super Bowl but didn’t. They lost two heart breakers to the Green Bay Packers in…

I grew up as a fan of the New York Knicks. The Knicks were really good in those days, and Willis Reed was one of the Knicks best players.

This story begins in 1972 and ends with how I got to meet Willis Reed.

After winning the NBA Championship in 1970, and losing in the playoffs in 1971, the Knicks returned to the NBA Championship in 1972, but lost to the Lakers 4 games to 1. They returned to the NBA Championship again in 1973, and this time defeated the Lakers 4 games to 1 for their second World Championship…

Willis Reed — photo credit — Topps card

May 8, 1970: It’s game 7 of the NBA Finals, between the LA Lakers and the New York Knicks. I was 8 years old, and my brother was eleven. Both of us being Knicks and Willis Reed fans, this would soon become a game we could never forget.

Prior to the 1969–1970 season, the Knicks had never won an NBA Championship. Their best season up to that point had been the 1952–1953 season, when they compiled a 47–23 regular season record, followed by a 5–1 record in the playoffs. …

Emmitt smith in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers

I was recently involved in two football debates–debates that football fans have been having for years. I got excited about these discussions and thought they’d make for good articles.

I’ll describe the first debate here and then get into second

The argument for today is who’s the better running back and why: Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith?

My first question is why even ask the question? I mean, really, you can’t go wrong with either of those guys in your backfield. I’ve been watching football since 1969 and those two are among the very best I’ve ever seen. …

The New York Post

I’ll never forget the night of March 8, 1971. It was one of the most publicized and talked about sporting events of all time. Boxing heavyweight champion, “Smokin” Joe Frazier, was defending his title against former champion, Muhammad Ali.

You can call me old-fashioned– not with the times, a dinosaur–but, oh, how I miss 1970’s football. Perhaps it meant so much to me because of my age. I was 8 years old in 1970 and 17 years old in 1979. For most people, so many of life’s memories are between the ages of 8 and 17. I can remember it all like it was yesterday. I played football and watched it with equal enthusiasm.

1970’s NFL football was, and still is, a big part of my life. …

I grew up watching and playing football in the 1970s. Football was a much different game then, so it’s understandable why I have a hard time embracing today’s game. From talking with others in my age group I know I’m not alone in feeling that way.

The biggest topic of conversation in football these days is concussions and CTE. It saddens me to see former players suffering. But, at the same time, it frustrates me to see penalty after penalty being called for what’s nothing more than clean and aggressive defensive play.

I say that because I’ve always been a…

I had always believed that football for young boys isn’t any more dangerous than any other contact sport. Why? I believed that young players weren’t strong enough or developed enough to hit each other that hard.

But I’ve changed my mind after watching videos of action in youth football leagues.

While I did see good clean hits, I also saw deliberate shots to the head. That’s poor coaching as I see it. Kids need to be taught how to tackle and block using proper technique.

When my son was seven I signed him up for football. I was surprised to…

Topps card company

The Miami Dolphins’ quest for perfection began on January 16, 1972. Miami suffered a humiliating loss that day, 24–3, to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl Vl. The Dolphins were never in the game, giving up 252 yards rushing, while gaining just 80 yards on the ground. But rather than getting down, the Dolphins used that game as a building block.

Don Shula’s leadership was the key. Shula took over a Dolphins team that hadn’t experienced success. Miami joined the AFL in 1966 and the Dolphins were 15–39–2 in four seasons before Shula came to town.

Meanwhile, Shula was in…

1968 Topps card company

Is it just me? Is anyone else getting tired of these who were the NFL’s “Best of All Time” and the “Top Ten NFL football” lists? Top ten quarterbacks, top ten running backs, top ten receivers, top ten defenses.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good debate as much as any other football fan, but comparing across generations is pointless. Who was a better QB? Was it Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Tom Brady, or Roger Staubach?

First of all, can you really go wrong with any of these guys leading your team? Secondly, how can you make a comparison…

Mark Morthier

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store