5 episodes

Tom Leyden and Butch Stearns guide you through the history of professional football, year by year, starting with the pre-merger era, welcoming key guests along the way to provide first-hand stories from their days in the NFL.

TB25 - A History of Football Tom Leyden and Butch Stearns

    • Sports
    • 5.0, 2 Ratings

Tom Leyden and Butch Stearns guide you through the history of professional football, year by year, starting with the pre-merger era, welcoming key guests along the way to provide first-hand stories from their days in the NFL.

    TB25 - A History of Football: Episode V: 1973(Bob Griese)

    TB25 - A History of Football: Episode V: 1973(Bob Griese)

    Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese joins Tom Leyden and Butch Stearns as they tell the story of the 1973 NFL season.

    The 1973 Dolphins completed a two-year stretch of dominance that will likely never be matched in NFL history. Over the course of two years, Miami finished with a 32-2 record and two Super Bowl titles.

    A year after going undefeated, the Dolphins continued their run of success, winning the AFC East by three games with a 12-2 record. The Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers both finished 10-4 in the AFC Central, while the Oakland Raiders won the AFC West with a 9-4-1 record.

    The Dolphins ground game was led by Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris, who combined for 1,957 yards rushing in 1973 - an impressive stat until you compare it to the achievement of OJ Simpson, who ran for an NFL-record 2,003 yards for the Buffalo Bills.

    Simpson had established himself as a dymanic runner through the first four years of his NFL career, but the Bills offensive line, nicknamed "The Electric Company," helped open massive holes that sprung Simpson loose. He became the first played to eclipse 2,000 yards rushing in a single season.

    Simpson won the 1973 NFL MVP, despite Buffalo missing the playoffs.

    In the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams began a run of eight straight seasons during which they'd qualify for the postseason. Led by John Hadl at quarterback, the Rams won th ewest with a 12-2 record, but were beaten in the divisional round of the playoffs by the veteran Dallas Cowboys, who were playing in an eighth-straight NFL postseason.

    The Minnesota Vikings, who had won 12 games in 1970, 11 in 1971 and 7 in 1972, took the NFC Central title and the NFC's top seed with a 12-2 record in 1973. Fran Tarkenton, who had quarterbacked the Vikings from 1961-66 before spending five seasons with the New York Giants, was in the second year of his second stint in Minnesota.

    Tarkenton and the Vikings returned to the Super Bowl for the first time in four years, defeating the defending NFC champion Redskins and Dallas in the playoffs.

    Super Bowl VIII was played at Rice Stadium in Houston in terrible weather, which suited the ground game of the Dolphins. Csonka was named MVP after rushing for a Super Bowl-record 145 yards, leading Miami to a 24-7 win and a second straight championship.

    The Dolphins became the second team in the Super Bowl-era to win back-to-back championships.

    • 22 min
    TB25 - A History of Football: Episode IV: 1972 (Bob Griese)

    TB25 - A History of Football: Episode IV: 1972 (Bob Griese)

    Tom Leyden and Butch Stearns are joined by Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese as they tell the story of the 1972 NFL season.

    The Dolphins bounced back from their Super Bowl VI loss to the Cowboys to go undefeated and beat the Washington Redskins 14-7 in Super Bowl VII. No team has won a Super Bowl as an undefeated team again.

    Griese shares how Don Shula turned the Dolphins into winners, what motivated the players every week en route to the 17-0 season and where he feels the team stacks up in NFL history.

    The 1972 season featured some memorable playoff games, including the Steelers "Immaculate Reception" win over the Raiders and the Cowboys fourth-quarter rally win over the 49ers - both on the same day.

    The Redskins qualified for the Super Bowl under the leadership of George Allen, in his second year with the squad. Washington won the NFC East, unseating the defending champion Cowboys in the process and knocking off Dallas in the NFC Championship Game.

    Miami, despite having the AFC's top record, traveled to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. With his team trailing in the third quarter, Shula turned to Griese, who had missed much of the season with a broken ankle, to relieve veteran QB Earl Morrall.

    Griese led a comeback win over the Steelers and went on to start in Super Bowl VII, a game the Dolphins dominated despite the misleading margin of victory.

    The Dolphins avenged the Super Bowl VI loss and clinched an indelible spot in NFL lore, becoming the first (and only) undefeated champion.

    • 30 min
    TB25 - A History of Football: Episode III: 1971 (Bob Lilly)

    TB25 - A History of Football: Episode III: 1971 (Bob Lilly)

    Tom Leyden and Butch Stearns are joined by Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Lilly as they tell the story of the 1971 NFL season.

    The Cowboys finally broke through to win their first championship after knocking on the door so many times in the late 60s and early 70s. Dallas had lost two NFL Championship Games to the Packers, two playoff games to the Browns and then Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts.

    The 1971 season also featured the longest game ever played, when the Dolphins beat the Chiefs 27-24 on Christmas Day in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. Butch has vivid memories of Ed Podolak's effort not only that day, but throughout the season.

    The Dolphins benefited from an upset win by the Patriots over the Colts in the final week of the regular season to clinch home field advantage in the playoffs. Baltimore and Miami, fierce division rivals, met the the AFC Championship Game.

    In the NFC, the Minnesota Vikings once again finished with the best record, this time tied with Dallas, only to suffer bitter and familiar disappointment in the playoffs. Alan Page was named MVP in 1971, the first time a defensive player had ever earned the honor.

    After the Super Bowl V loss, Dallas’ GM Tex Schramm did everything in his power to make sure the Cowboys wouldn’t lose in the Super Bowl the next year. He added future Hall of Famers Forrest Gregg and Lance Alworth to a team that already boasted the likes of Lilly, Mel Renfro, Roger Staubach, Rayfield Wright, Bob Hayes, Herb Adderley and Mike Ditka.

    Add to that group the leadership of legendary coach Tom Landry and you had the makings of a fantastic squad, which is what the Cowboys were in 1971. You can argue the 1971 Cowboys are among the best teams to ever play in the NFL. They only surrendered one touchdown in the postseason and to this day, remain the only team not to surrender a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

    The Doomsday Defense stymied the Miami Dolphins in a 24-3 win in Super Bowl VI.

    Bob Lilly, now age 77 and still living in Texas, shares great perspective on the Cowboys run to the title:

    - The commitment the Cowboys players made to each other after losing to Baltimore in Super Bowl V
    - The Flex defense, how and why it worked for so long
    - What veteran players like Forrest Gregg, Herb Adderley and Lance Alworth added to the team that made a difference
    - The impact Roger Staubach had on the offense after he was named the full-time starting quarterback when the Cowboys were 4-3
    - The game plan to beat the Dolphins and how Don Shula called the Cowboys defensive performance the best he’d ever seen
    - The genius of Tom Landry and how it translated to success on the field
    - The underrated Cowboys backfield of Duane Thomas, Calvin Hill and Walt Garrison
    - The competitiveness that still exists when the five Cowboys championship teams get together and how Staubach can still sling it

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    • 43 min
    TB25 - A History of Football: Episode II: 1970 (Bill Curry)

    TB25 - A History of Football: Episode II: 1970 (Bill Curry)

    Tom and Butch discuss the 1970 NFL season, the first year all 26 teams from the AFL and NFL played together after the merger. They're joined by Bill Curry, who started at center for the Super Bowl V champion Baltimore Colts and Dr. Brad Schultz, the author of "The NFL: Year One: The 1970 Season and the Dawn of Modern Football." 1970 was the dawn of new rivalries that remain red-hot 46 years later.

    • 52 min
    TB25 - A History Of Football: Episode I: 1960s (Jerry Kramer)

    TB25 - A History Of Football: Episode I: 1960s (Jerry Kramer)

    Tom Leyden and Butch Stearns welcome former Packers legend Jerry Kramer to the premiere episode of TB25 - A History of Football. To kick things off, Tom and Butch cover the "Pre-Merger Era" of the NFL, from 1958 to 1969, when the Packers dominated the landscape and the AFL came of age.

    • 52 min

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The stories from the Greats of the Game along with Professional commentary. I've been waiting for this podcast for a long time and now we have it. Every fan needs to listen and appreciate the history of how the NFL was built. This podcast gives us these stories through those who made the history themselves. Can't speak highly enough about this Podcast.

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