If you never saw the Purple People Eaters browbeat quarterbacks or Joe Greene and the Steel Curtain blank opponent after opponent; if you never saw Walter Payton deliver crushing blows to prospective tacklers or Gayle Sayers dance his way to the goal line; if you never saw Paul Hornung covered in mud or an exhausted Kellen Winslow dragged off the field; if you’re not sure who the Super Bowl trophy is named after or who George Halas is or why the AFC trophy is named after Lamar Hunt, then to you NFL football may seem great, just fine, normal. But to those of us who have been fans long enough to remember when the game was still football, today’s NFL is a sad and pale reminder of better days gone by.
From 1948 to 1960 a linebacker named Hardy Brown terrorized NFL offenses using a devastating right shoulder, which he used the way a boxer delivers a six-inch knockout punch, sending player after player from field to hospital. During an interview for NFL Films in the 70s, after rule changes began to calm the game down, Hardy called the current state of football “a sissy game”. As much as we hated to see him go in 1991, it’s probably better that Hardy never got a chance to see today’s much sissy-er version of the game he loved to play.Keep Reading